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December 11, 2017 December 11, 2017

Sports Books for Christmas

Posted on December 5, 2017 by 40 Mile Commentator

By Rob Ficiur

There is nothing a sports fan likes more for Christmas than a good book. Every year my preparation for this early December sports column is quite simple.  I go into Coles Book Store in Medicine Hat or Chapters in Lethbridge.   I pick out the first ten books I see and those are the ones I write about. Marketing gurus must think will be the best sellers this year so they put them in high traffic areas.  Most years I see a few books and eventually wander to the sports section.  This year all ten books (and a few more) greeted me as I entered Chapters.  The store must think hockey books will be the big seller this year because all the books on that front of store shelf were hockey, hockey and more hockey.
1. A CENTURY OF NHL® MEMORIES: RARE PHOTOS FROM THE HOCKEY HALL OF FAME MEMORIES
By Jim Hynes, Phil Pritchard (37.46)
Any book with pictures from the past that can take the reader back down memory lane is a good book
1. 5-MINUTE HOCKEY STORIES
By Meg Braithwaite  (13.49)
This book is written for the young hockey fan just before sleep time.  Topics of the stories range from building a family ice rink to the Olympic Golden goal in Vancouver

1. FAST ICE: SUPERSTARS OF THE NEW NHL
by Andrew Podnieks  (18.71)
Thus book profiles  more than fifty NHL players.  Long time stars like Crosby and Ovechkin get their space but most of the profiles are of the younger faster rising stars.  One review of the book said fans will appreciate the facts incorporated by the writer.

1. THE MCDAVID EFFECT: CONNOR MCDAVID AND THE NEW HOPE FOR HOCKEY
byMarty Klinkenberg  (16.50)
Connor McDavid will become a generational superstar like Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby.   Each of these elite players changed hockey.   In one breath it still seems premature to declare that a player with barely two years NHL experience will change the sport.   On the other hand look at  all the books and articles about Connor McDavid.  He is changing hockey.

1. GAME CHANGE: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF STEVE MONTADOR, AND THE FUTURE OF HOCKEY
By Ken Dryden  (22.09)
In this book Ken Dryden, a lawyer and NHL Hall of Famer, offers simple solutions to the complex problem of concussions in hockey.  Dryden shares the tragic suicide story of Steve Montador.  IN the past decade suicide among former NHL fighters has become all too common.   Dryden suggested a total ban on all head shots. IN theory this sounds easy.  IN real life the speed of the game will make it hard to enforce.   AN imperfect ban on head shots is still better than side stepping the issue.   Would a ban on head shots mean a ban on fighting?  There is less fighting now than ever before.

The NHL is now facing a class action lawsuit from former players claiming the leagues concussion protocols (or lack of such) was willfully neglecting player health.  Ken is a lawyer – so he should know the NHL is facing this law suit of the century.  Making drastic changes to NHL play with court pending is like admitting they were wrong.

1. NOW I’M CATCHING ON: MY LIFE ON AND OFF THE AIR
byBob Cole, Stephen Brunt (15.7)
Bob Cole is the hockey broadcaster of the last generation.  “OHhh Baby!!!â€? This book will give long time fans insights behind the scenes of a unique hockey personality.
1. DENNIS MARUK: THE UNFORGETTABLE STORY OF HOCKEY’S FORGOTTEN 60 GOAL SCORER
byDennis Maruk As told byKen Reid Foreword byMarcel Dionne (19.57)
Dennis  Mark is right, he has been forgotten by the NHL and fans.   Maruk played  for some of the most easily forgettable teams such as California Golden Seals, the Cleveland Barons and thWashington Capitals of the early1980’s.   He scored sixty goals for a Capitals team that never won anything.  Twenty years after his NHL career ended what stories does he share?

1. HOCKEY HALL OF FAME BOOK OF TRIVIA: NHL CENTENNIAL EDITION
by Don Weekes  (14.96)

In this second updated book Weekes wants to stump long time fans and new comers.  Two questions on the summary have been trying to figure the answer out without google.  Which NHL 500 goal scorer waited longest to enter the Hockey Hal of Fame?   I know I can narrow this down…I think.

A harder question has me thinking and remembering or trying to remember? The question is “How many of the five Canadian skaters on the ice when Darryl sitter scored the climatic Canada cup winning goal in 1976 are in the Hall of Fame?â€?  I know that goaltender Rogie Vachon entered the hall this year.  Sittler went in a few years ago.  Maybe Ron Ellis was on that team, was he on the ice for that big overtime goal? Who else was on the ice????

1. DON CHERRY’S SPORTS HEROES
by Don Cherry  (15.75)
Didn’t Don Cherry have a book on last year’s list – and the year before and the year before?  It turns out this is Cherry’s sixth book.   I was probably confusing his books with his 28 Rock me Sock me videos.  Cherry gives behind the scenes stories of the legends of hockey from rocket Richard to Goldie Howe to Bobby Orr to Wayne Gretzky.  He has known them all.

1. POWER OF TWO: CARL BREWER’S BATTLE WITH HOCKEY’S POWER BROKERS
by Susan Foster  (24.95)
In our day when hockey players make more in one year than most of us will make in our life time we forget this was not always so.   Ted Lindsay and later Carl Brewer challenged the owners almost  unilateral control of player contracts.  The players gave their all, including their health and body to play the game.  The long battle for a fair share of the money begins with Carl Brewer.

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