October 28, 2010

They Call Me Killer by Brian Kilrea and James Duthie

TSN's entertaining hockey host James Duthie has two books hitting store shelves in 2010. First there is the rip-roaring The Day I (Almost) Killed Two Gretzkys, and, the focus of this article, the Brian Kilrea autobiography They Call Me KILLER: Tales from Junior Hockeys Legendary Hall-of-Fame Coach

Buy The Book: Amazon.ca - Chapters - Amazon.com - E-Book

Brian Kilrea of course is the former NHL player turned into Hockey Hall of Fame junior coach with the Ottawa 67's. In his book he allows us a fascinating look at both of his careers.

His playing days are full of great stories, especially his minor league exile in Springfield with legendary coach Eddie Shore. Yet when NHL expansion finally gave Kilrea a chance to play in the big leagues, he would ask the Los Angeles Kings to send him back to Springfield.

He then goes on to talk about his lengthy coaching career - including his short stint as Al Arbour's assistant with the New York Islanders and his decision to turn down the head coaching job of the Toronto Maple Leafs. But of course most of the book revolves around his days with the 67s

Kilrea also talks about his friendship with Don Cherry (who writes the foreword for the book), his role in the forming of a player's association, and most movingly his standing up for former 67's forward Lance Galbraith. Kilrea wrote a letter to a judge saying he would take responsibility for the troubled teen if the judge would just give the kid another chance. He loved his players more so than hockey itself

"A lot have made the national league, the American league, Europe but I'm equally proud of the ones that made it into the police force, fire department and the ones that became lawyers and farmers," said Kilrea.

The book is written in association with TSN's James Duthie. Duthie has created a fun, easy to read text, full of stories that will have you smiling throughout. Duthie also tracks down a number of former 67s players for more antecdotes, such as Doug Wilson, Mike Peca and Gary Roberts 

By the way, Kilrea is giving his share of proceeds from the book to the teaching room at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario that bears his name

Here's the specs:
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley (Sep 3 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470677422
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470677421
Here's more information from the publisher, Wiley:

An intimate, humorous look at Brian Kilrea's 60-year career in junior hockey

With more wins than any coach in junior hockey history, and a personality as large as his winning record, Brian Kilrea is more than a hockey legend, he's one of the most beloved figures in the game. With veteran sportswriter, James Duthie, Kilrea gives fans a rink-side view of his early days as a player with the Red Wings and what it was like to score the first-ever goal in the history of the L.A. Kings; as well as his role as a coach for the Ottawa 67s and as a mentor to young stars of the future. With stories and comments from famous NHLers who played for Killer, including Bryan Trottier and Dennis Potvin, as well as coaches, trainers, and general managers, readers will get a taste of Kilrea's hardnosed coaching style, as well as the knowledge and dedication that has made him last so long.

* Anecdotes from NHLers like Mike Peca, Gary Roberts, Doug Wilson, Brian Campbell, Darren Pang, and many others
* An inside look at the day-to-day life in the world of junior hockey, including brutal practices, broken curfews, trades, and tirades

With a Foreword by lifelong friend, Don Cherry, They Call Me Killer is a fascinating, real-life look at the world of junior hockey and the man who has meant so much to the sport.

Buy The Book: Amazon.ca - Chapters - Amazon.com - E-Book


Anonymous,  November 22, 2010 at 12:11 AM  

It's a great read! Loved it, and I look forward to James Duthie's new book too!

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