By Rob Ficiur
There is nothing a sports fan likes more for Christmas than a good book. As I entered Coles Book Store in Medicine Hat this week, I determined to write that this year’s list would contain the first ten sports books I saw. They were located in sections of the store to grab the shopper. In the sports book section these were the titles that were turned so shoppers could see the covers. Marketing gurus must think will be the best sellers this year.
1, Shift Work by Tie Domi ($10)
Through fifteen NHL seasons Tie Domi was involved in 333 fights. In this book Tie describes his NHL life as he tried to protect his team mates in an NHL that had one designated fighter per team. It is hard to believe that Tie has been retired since 2006 because he is still in the public eye doing commercials. This season his son, Max, has brought the Domi name to the lips of Arizona Coyotes fans. The rookie has 20 points in his first 23 games. Tie had a total of 104 NHL goals and 245 points, but his real claim to fame was being a tough guy who played 1020 games.
2. Canada’s Team (2015 Toronto Blue Jays) ($20)
Two months ago Blue Jays fever raged across Canada. Losing in the playoffs to the eventual World Series champs put an end to fan’s World Series dreams. When fans get over the disappointment of falling short they will look back at the 2015 season with fond memories. Rarely does a .500 team turn their season around half way through the year and become a dominant team. Jays fans will enjoy reading Canada’s Team, hoping that the 2016 version of the book will have a World Series chapter.
3. Quinn the life of a hockey legend ($25)
A year ago Pat Quinn legendary NHL coach and player passed away. With the help of his family hockey writer Dan Robson describes the life and career of the stubborn Irishman. As a player Quinn played 606 games a rugged stay at home defenseman. Quinn became a well-known coach of five NHL teams and 1400 games behind the bench. Canadians best remember Pat as the coach of the Gold Medal men’s hockey team in the Salt Lake Olympics.
4. NHL Stories over 100 years ($15)
This is one of those books that take fans back in time. Every picture brings back a memory, even if you were not even born when that game took place.
5. Left for Dead: My Journey home from Everest (Movie tie in Edition) (by Beck Weathers) ($15.16)
In 1996 Beck Weathers and a climbing team pushed toward the summit of Mount Everest. Then a storm exploded on the mountain, ripping the team to shreds, forcing brave men to scratch and crawl for their lives. Rescuers who reached Weathers saw that he was dying, and left him. This story of survival in the most extreme conditions was made into the movie Everest.
6, Breaking Away: A Harrowing True story of resilience, courage and triumph by Patrick O’sullivan
At one point in his junior hockey career Patrick O’ Sullivan was a “sure thing” for a top five pick in the NHL draft. Behind the scenes Patrick had put up with an abusive father who made him eat spam (yes that ham like stuff) until he threw up. The book describe even crueler things that his Dad did . Somehow Patrick O’Sullivan has found a way past the abuse. His NHL hockey career lasted only 334 games, but at age 30 he has worked through even more difficult challenges.
7. Straight Up and Personal the world according to Grapes (Don Cherry)
In this brand new book Don Cherry offers him straight up honest opinions on topic such as hockey, Afghanistan, politics and anything else. Sounds like an unedited Coach’s Corner.
8, Jeremy Roenick, My Life No Filter, Shoot First, Pass Later
Fans either love J.R. or they think he is a loud mouth. He offers his opinions about teammates, opponents and hockey events from his colorful career. He predicts what he sees in the future of the NHL. J.R. has always been outspoken, so his thoughts will either make fans admire him or dislike him even more.
9 Bench Bosses: The NHL Coaching Elite by Matthew Dibiase
In this book Disbiase developed a unique assessment method determines his selection of the top fifty head coaches of all time. He claims his system of ranking best coaches of all time takes away the bias and subjectivity that is too often in such rankings.
10. Hockey Towns: Untold Stories from the Heart of Canada by Ron MacLean
Don Cherry’s partner in Coach’s Corner has hockey stories from across Canada. From the youngest skaters to the NHL stars. From the hockey mom, the local coach to the ice maker. From one end of the country to the other, Ron MacLean tells stories about the hockey and Canada.