August 31, 2012

Best Seat In The House by Jamie McLennan

Jamie McLennan offers us a back-up goalie's hilarious behind-the-mask look at life in the NHL in his first book, The Best Seat in the House: Stories from the NHLInside the Room, on the Ice and on the Bench.

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Jamie McLennan spent twenty years playing professional hockey. Sort of. As the backup for such legendary goalies as Grant Fuhr, Ron Hextall, Roberto Luongo, and Miikka Kiprusoff, he saw everything—except much playing time. In The Best Seat in the House, McLennan looks back on his unique career, from breaking into the NHL, to working with the legends, to life on the road and in the league, offering readers an unprecedented glimpse into life inside the locker room.

Filled with tales of camaraderie and crazy antics, the book covers 20 years on and off the ice—including McLennan's disastrous meeting with Gene Simmons, accidentally calling Lady Gaga a troll to her face, charging an opposing team's mascot on the orders of legendary coach Billy Smith, and even how he hid a hotdog in his gear for an in-game snack.
  • A collection of hilarious, strange, and sometimes unbelievable stories about hockey, the NHL, and celebrity from throughout the career of NHL backup goalie Jamie McLennan
  • A deeply personal account of life on and off the ice, packed with hilarious personal anecdotes
  • Co-written with Sportsnet's Ian Mendes
The Best Seat in the House is an irreverent look at the life of a professional hockey player, on the ice, on the bench, and in the dressing room, that is sure to delight hockey fans everywhere.

Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun relays this story from the book:

In his new book, The Best Seat in the House, career backup Jamie McLennan details his first meeting with goaltender coach Billy Smith. McLennan was playing in the minors for the Islanders at the time when the legendary Smith popped in to get a look at him.

At the end of his first game, a rather strong performance, Smith called McLennan said: “I need to talk to you.” McLennan thought he was about to be praised for how well he played. Instead, he was read the riot act for allowing a minor league mascot in St. John’s to stand in his goal crease prior to the game. “I don’t care how many pucks you stop,” Smith said to him. “Don’t you ever let a $%^& mascot stand in your crease. If he’s there the next game, you %^^&$* run him over. Do you understand?” McLennan understood.

He started the next night and just as he was told, skating to his crease at full speed, he sent the mascot flying. He felt horrible about it. And he played horribly that night. But the goalie coach didn’t seem to care. “That’s how you do it, kid. That’s how you get respect in this league.”

The book, like McLennan, is full of these kind of gems from a very funny man.


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