Coach: The Pat Burns Story


Rosie DiManno - 2012
    He worked with the Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils, and seemed always to enjoy instant success. He capped his extraordinary career by coaching the New Jersey Devils to a Stanley Cup victory in 2003. Cancer--his third bout--finally claimed him in 2010, aged 58. Rosie DiManno, who knew Burns well, has written a revealing, exhilarating and heartfelt account of his life: his childhood as a fatherless, solitary male surrounded by many women, his years as a police officer, his glorious coaching career and his long and characteristically valiant ending."Coach "is both the first major biography of Burns and one that, with its revelations, personal insights and riveting prose, is--like the man himself--sure to be both controversial and hard to beat. Rosie DiManno knew, liked and admired Burns, and in the writing of this book has interviewed many, many people from every stage of his life. She is not blind to his less endearing qualities, but seeks to explain them."" DiManno reveals a man of contradictions--gruff and crude, bullying and sentimental, and easily wounded. She shows, moreover, a man of hockey. The Burns who rode motorcycles, dressed like a cowboy, and sweet-talked the ladies was, says DiManno, a self-creation. His one indisputable, true talent was for coaching hockey. He was a pure coach. DiManno tells a compelling story and helps us to understand a complex man, one who gave little of himself to the public and yet whose funeral was a spectacle. How did that happen? Who was Pat Burns? Rosie DiManno, who witnessed much of the story, has the answers.

The Montreal Canadiens: 100 Years of Glory


D'Arcy Jenish - 2008
    Founded on December 4, 1909, the team won its first Stanley Cup in 1916. Since then, the Canadiens have won 23 more championships, making them the most successful hockey team in the world. The team has survived two wars, the Great Depression, NHL expansion, and countless other upheavals, thanks largely to the loyalty of fans and an extraordinary cast of players, coaches, owners, and managers. The Montreal Canadiens captures the full glory of this saga. It weaves the personalities, triumphs, heartaches, and hysteria into a compelling narrative with a surprise on every page. It sheds new light on old questions – how the team colours were chosen, how the Canadiens came to be known as the Habitants – and goes behind the scenes of tumultuous recent events still awaiting thorough examination: why Scotty Bowman was passed over as general manager after Sam Pollock resigned; why Pollock’s successor, Irving Grunman, failed; why Serge Savard was dumped as GM so hastily despite his record.Colourful and controversial, The Montreal Canadiens is the history of a team that has been making news for 100 years – and continues to do so with the return of legendary player Bob Gainey as general manager, determined to bring the Stanley Cup back to Montreal.

Gretzky's Tears: Hockey, Canada, and the Day Everything Changed


Stephen Brunt - 2009
    Wayne Gretzky’s tears, unlike Orr’s, announced not an ending but another beginning. Gretzky’s Edmonton Oilers had four Stanley Cup victories, but Gretzky may then have had other goals in mind.Beginning with his dad, Walter, and continuing with Nelson Skalbania, Peter Pocklington, Bruce McNall, Jerry Buss — and with the CBC’s Peter Gzowski as chronicler for the eager masses — the enormity of Gretzky’s talent attracted all sorts of people who were after a variety of vicarious thrills.

A Great Game: The Forgotten Leafs & The Rise of Professional Hockey


Stephen J. Harper - 2013
    This engaging new book is about the hockey heroes and hard-boiled businessmen who built the game, and the rise and fall of legendary teams pursuing the Stanley Cup. With a historian’s perspective and fan’s passion, Stephen Harper presents a riveting and often-surprising portrait, capturing everything from the physical contests on the rinks to the battles behind the scenes and the changing social conventions of the twentieth century.A Great Game shows that many things have stayed the same. Rough play, fervent hometown loyalties, owner-player contract disputes, dubious news coverage, and big money were issues from the get-go. Most important in these early years was the question: Was hockey to be a game of obsessed amateurs playing for the love of the sport, or was it a game for paid professionals who would give fans what they wanted? Who should be responsible for the sport – including its bouts of violence – both on and off the ice?A century ago, rinks could melt, and by half time the blades screwed to the players’ shoes could be sinking in mud. It was during this time that teams such as the Toronto Professionals of 1908 and the Toronto Blue Shirts of 1914 took turns battling for the city’s very first Stanley Cup. Against the fanatical opposition of amateur hockey leaders, these “forgotten Leafs” would lay the groundwork for the world’s most profitable hockey franchise.In paying tribute to these hockey pioneers and the contagious loyalty of their fans, Harper resurrects the history of hockey’s first decades. Lavishly illustrated with photographs of the game’s greatest arenas and earliest star players, this entertaining and original book will captivate you from start to finish.

99: Gretzky: His Game, His Story


Al Strachan - 2013
    His point totals, his puck control, and the manner in which he conducted himself both on and off the ice reflected the very best of the game.You can't talk about Gretzky without talking about his records and achievements: 50 goals in just 39 games, 9 Hart Trophies, 10 Art Ross Trophies, 4 Stanley Cups, 215 points in a single season, and, of course, retiring with 2856 points. Each record is a remarkable achievement by the game's most remarkable player, and each will be broken down in this book.Published with Wayne Gretzky's approval and written with his cooperation, this is the Gretzky biography that his fans have so anxiously awaited. Veteran sports journalist Al Strachan has enjoyed an extremely close friendship with Gretzky for well over 25 years, and during this time Strachan has reported on every aspect of his professional career. The two have spent thousands of hours talking about the game and such details as Wayne's move to L.A., managing the 2002 Canadian Olympic team and coaching in Phoenix. Their close friendship has offered each man the opportunity to discuss the game that they both love, and in this book Strachan takes readers on a most remarkable journey and details the life of Wayne Gretzky like it has never been told.

Quinn: The Life of a Hockey Legend


Dan Robson - 2015
         Tough guys sobbed. Networks carried montages of Quinn's rugged hits, his steely-eyed glare, and his famous victories. Quinn made a few enemies over the years, but there was no one who didn't respect the tough working-class kid who had fought his way to the very top of the hockey world.     He had butted heads with superstars, with management, and with the league itself. And he had also succeeded at every level, finishing his journeyman's career as the captain of an NHL team, then quickly emerged as one of the best coaches in the league. He gathered executive titles like hockey cards, and done things his own way, picking up a law degree along the way.      He was brash, dour, and abrasive--and people loved him for his alloy of pugnacity and flair, his three-piece suits and cigars, his Churchillian heft and his scowl.     In the end, the player who would never even have dreamed of being inducted into the Hall of Fame was the chair of the Hall's selection committee. That is Quinn's story: an underdog who succeeded so completely that his legacy has become the standard by which others are judged.      Told by bestselling author Dan Robson, and supported by the Quinn family and network of friends, Quinn is the definitive account of one of the game's biggest personalities and most storied lives.

The Game of Our Lives


Peter Gzowski - 1981
    These were the days when the young Oilers, led by a teenaged Wayne Gretzky, were poised on the edge of greatness, and about to blaze their way into the record books and the consciousness of a nation. While the story of the early Oilers embodies the book, The Game of Our Lives is much more than a retelling of one season in the life of an NHL team.Unlike any book ever written in the annals of hockey, Gzowski beautifully weaves together the anatomy of a modern NHL team with the magnificent history of the game to create one of the best books about hockey in Canada. Here are the great teams and the great players through the ages—Morenz, Richard, Howe, Orr, Hull—the men whose rare and indefinable genius on the ice exemplified the speed, grit and innovation of the game.The Game of Our Lives is the best book on the Canadian passion for hockey; a wondrously perceptive account of the hold the game has on Canadians. —Jack Granatstein, The National Post

The Best Seat in the House: Stories from the NHL--Inside the Room, on the Iceand on the Bench


Jamie McLennan - 2012
    Sort of. As the back-up for several legendary goalies, he saw everything - except much playing time. In this book, McLennan looks back on his career, from breaking into the NHL, to working with the legends, to life on the road and in the league.

Offside: My Life Crossing the Line


Sean Avery - 2018
    And the most respected of these is the code of silence. For the first time, a hockey player is prepared to reveal what really goes on in the NHL, in the spirit of what Ball Four did for baseball. The money, the personalities, the adultery, and the drugs--and also the little things that make up daily life in the league. Most athletes have little to say, but Sean doesn't have that problem. Yes, he tells us about the guys he's fought and the guys he's partied with, and he tells us where to find the best cougar bars in various NHL cities and what it's like to be hounded by the media when you're dating a celebrity. But Sean's job on the ice was always to get inside the heads of the guys he played against, and that insight on human nature is on full display in Offside.What makes millionaire athletes tick? What are their weaknesses? And in the end, what makes Sean Avery--once called the most hated player in the NHL--who he is? What is it like to make people hate you for a living? Sean Avery's misdeeds on and off the ice are well-documented, and he certainly has his detractors. But on the other hand, he has a lot of supporters, in part for things like being the first North American athlete to come out in favour of marriage equality, and in part just for being an interesting guy. Love him or hate him, he is one of the best-known players of the past few decades, and certainly one of the most colourful and outspoken. In Offside, he meets his accusers head-on, and gives them something to think about.

Keon and Me: My Search For The Lost Soul Of The Leafs


Dave Bidini - 2013
    So it was for Dave Bidini in 1974, the last year Dave Keon played in Toronto. In a new grade in a new school, Bidini found himself the victim of a bully—a depredation he could understand only by thinking about what the Leafs dauntless captain went through game after game.Throughout his twenty-two-year career, Keon was only in one hockey fight, in his last game as a Leaf on April 22, 1974. It was on this day that the eleven-year-old Bidini decided to fight back, an occasion that the writer looks back on with breathtaking courage and honesty. But while Bidini would remain a blue-blooded Leafs fan into adulthood, Keon became estranged from the franchise with which he’d won four Stanley Cups, two Lady Byngs, and the first ever Conn Smythe Trophy in 1967.Told in two narratives—one from the point of view of the young Bidini growing up in Toronto in the early 70s and one from the perspective of the man looking for his absent hero—Keon and Me tells not only the story of a hockey icon who has haunted Toronto for decades, but of a life lived in parallel to Keon’s. It’s the story of cultural change, an account of the tribulations of the NHL’s most beloved (and most despised) franchise in the decades since Keon left under a cloud, and most of all, it is a story of growing up, with all the wisdom and sadness that imparts.Part ode to a legendary hockey player, part memoir, Keon and Me captures what we all cherish in the game we love and the importance of the innocence we cling to long after the cheers have faded.

King of Russia: A Year in the Russian Super League


Dave King - 2007
    From the beginning, King, Canada’s long-time national coach and former coach of both the Flames and Blue Jackets, realized he was in for an adventure. His first meeting with team officials in a Vienna hotel lobby included six fast-talking Russians and the “bag-man” — assistant general manager Oleg Kuprianov, who always carried a little black bag full of U.S. one hundred dollar bills.The mission seemed simple enough: keep the old Soviet style combination play on offence, but improve the team’s defensive play — and win a Russian Super League Championship. Yet, as King’s diary of his time in Russia reveals, coaching an elite Russian team is anything but simple. King of Russia details the world of Russian hockey from the inside, intimately acquainting us with the lives of key players, owners, managers, and fans, while granting us a unique perspective on life in an industrial town in the new Russia. And introducing us to Evgeni Malkin, Magnitogorsk’s star and the NHL’s newest phenomenon.

99: Stories of the Game


Wayne Gretzky - 2016
    Now, to mark the NHL's 99th anniversary, Wayne Gretzky has written the story of our game.No one has been as close to the game as Wayne Gretzky. When he first laced up skates in the NHL, he changed the league. And by the time he had hung up his skates, he had re-written the record book.There can be no doubt what he means to the game. What we haven't seen is what the game means to him. For the first time, Wayne Gretzky will tell us about the NHL's great moments from his point of view. We will meet the people who inspired him and motivated him. We'll read the stories of the players who ignited his imagination, just as Gretzky himself inspired the dreams of so many young players and fans.Seen through the eyes of the player whose name has come to stand for greatness in the game of hockey, 99: Stories of the Game brings to life the NHL's glorious past, from its fierce early battles on natural ice, through its mythical golden era, when the Howes and Richards, Hulls and Orrs defined greatness, through the unforgettable dynasties in Montreal, New York, and of course, Edmonton, through to the present day.Written with all the insight of someone who knows what it feels like when your lungs burn at the end of a long shift, and the pain of bruises at the end of a long playoff series, who knows what it feels like to fall short against a bitter rival, and also the incomparable feeling of lifting the Stanley Cup over your head, 99: Stories of the Game doesn't just tell the history of the NHL's 99 years. It relives them.

My Last Fight: The True Story of a Hockey Rock Star


Darren McCarty - 2013
    As a member of four Red Wings’ Stanley Cup–winning teams, McCarty played the role of enforcer from 1993 to 2004 and returning again in 2008 and 2009. His “Grind Line” with teammates Kris Draper and Kirk Maltby physically overmatched some of the best offensive lines in the NHL, but he was more than just a brawler: his 127 career goals included several of the highlight variety, including an inside-out move against Philadelphia in the clinching game of the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals. As colorful a character as any NHL player, he has arms adorned with tattoos, and he was the lead singer in the hard rock band Grinder during the offseason. Yet this autobiography details what may have endeared him most to his fans: the honest, open way he has dealt with his struggles in life off the ice. Whether dealing with substance abuse, bankruptcy, divorce, or the death of his father, Darren McCarty has always seemed to persevere.

Don Cherry's Hockey Stories, Part 2


Don Cherry - 2010
    His more than twenty-five years as a player and coach have informed his popular Hockey Night in Canada commentary segment, "Coach's Corner." And now he's got more stories to share.In Don Cherry's Hockey Stories, Part 2, Grapes tells us about the 2010 Stanley Cup, relays the lessons he's learned both on and off the ice, and takes us inside hockey's mythical players' "code." You'll encounter familiar names from the game and find out who this idol looks up to. You'll travel back in time to Cherry's days playing in the minor leagues. You'll share his experiences of being named Coach of the Year in the NHL and in the AHL. And you'll hear from his kids about what it was like growing up with a dad like Don..Don Cherry tells it like it is, for better or for worse. You won't be disappointed.P.S. Don wants you to know it's a book the whole family can enjoy.

Hockey Card Stories: True Tales from Your Favorite Players


Ken Reid - 2014
    Some of the cards are definitely worth a few bucks, some a few cents — but every story told here is priceless. Sportsnet’s Ken Reid presents the cards you loved and the airbrushed monstrosities that made you howl, the cards that have been packed away in boxes forever, and others you can’t believe ever existed. Whether it’s a case of mistaken identity or simply a great old photo, a fantastic 1970s haircut and ’stache, a wicked awesome goalie mask or a future Hall of Famer’s off-season fashion sense, a wide variety of players — from superstars like Bobby Orr, Denis Potvin, and Phil Esposito to the likes of Bill Armstrong who played only one game in the NHL — chime in on one of their most famous cards.