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In hockey, either you are trying to keep the puck out, or put it in the net. Whether you are Wayne Gretzky, who has scored an NHL record 894 times or a member of the NHL's one goal club, they all count the same. Ken Reid (Sportsnet) tracked down 39 players who have lit the lamp just once, and in the process, turned footnotes into features, bringing…
 
Hockey fans in Canada know Paul Romanuk best from his broadcasting days at TSN and Hockey Night in Canada (Sportsnet), but for well over 30 years, he has also written Hockey Superstars, an annual release that showcases the NHL's best, to kids. The 2020-21 edition was released on Oct. 6, and Romanuk joined us to discuss the challenges of producing t…
 
Serge Savard grew up in rural Quebec following WWII in an era known as Le Grand Noirceur (The Great Darkness), but he didn't see it that way. Confident and astute, Savard went from playing hockey on outdoor rinks reminiscent of illustrations in Roch Carrier's The Hockey Sweater, to starring for the Montreal Canadiens from 1966-67 - 80-81. Once he r…
 
When journalist Dave Shoalts joined us for Season 2, Episode 5 to discuss Hockey Fight in Canada, his book about the rights battle for Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC), he told us that his print stories about the storied program always moved the dial. It's true, HNIC gets people talking...and writing. Al Strachan had a long history with the show as a …
 
Joe Murphy lives in the precarious crack that lies between an uplifting ending or a tragic conclusion. Once upon a time he was the first NCAA player selected in the NHL Draft, a Stanley Cup winner and an eccentric teammate, but today he is homeless and in clear need of mental health care. Could a vicious hit sustained in one of the 779 career games…
 
Ron Hawkins sings of "a wounded soldier from the bad old days," in his song Peace and Quiet, which Tim Thompson wove together with archived footage to create his acclaimed ode to the Toronto Maple Leafs. That lyric rings true when examining the tenure of former captain Rick Vaive. A prolific scorer, he was named team captain at the age of 22 and ne…
 
Manon Rheaume was always in a league of her own. Mention her name to hockey fans and most will remember the media frenzy that accompanied her appearance in net with the Tampa Bay Lightning during NHL exhibition play in 1992. While GM Phil Esposito got the attention he sought for his expansion team, Rheaume’s professionalism under the spotlight illu…
 
On Nov. 3, 1995, the Toronto Raptors tipped off against the New Jersey Nets and changed the sports landscape of the city. The Raptors are now a team to be reckoned with but it wasn’t long ago that people would have laughed at the notion they would ever win an NBA title, let alone by the time their 25th anniversary rolled around. Why did they become…
 
If you are a hockey fan, you probably know the story of Willie O’Ree. In 1958, he became the first black player to skate in an NHL game when his Boston Bruins faced the Montreal Canadiens. The feat wasn’t heralded at the time and Mr. O’Ree’s NHL career lasted just 45 games, though he would go on to play professional hockey until 1979. Following his…
 
Whether it is an attention-grabbing quote, transaction or ruling, Brian Burke has always made a splash wherever he has worked, from the NHL head office, to running a marquee franchise. He is well known for his tenure as the leagues’ disciplinarian and his time at the helm of the Hartford Whalers, Vancouver Canucks, Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flam…
 
As a child, Sami Jo Small had visions of summer Olympic glory, but those podium dreams would be realized through a winter sport. When she began playing hockey as the only girl on a boys team in Winnipeg, there had yet to be an IIHF Women’s World Championship or competition at the winter games. An excellent athlete, she landed a scholarship to Stanf…
 
As we entered a new millennium, the LA Lakers were in search of the sequel to Showtime. GM Jerry West was looking for answers after the curtain had dropped on Magic, Kareem and Worthy. He found them in Shaq, a larger than life centre and a petulant, singularly focused, rising superstar named Kobe. In assembling this new era of dominance under head …
 
The NHL annually celebrates diversity with the campaign "Hockey is for Everyone", because at one time it wasn’t. Before Willie O’Ree, there was Herb Carnegie. The racial barrier that O’Ree was able to penetrate in 1958 when he became the first black player to play in the NHL, was the same one that kept Carnegie from ever reaching that goal. Born in…
 
The roots of this country and the game so many love are intertwined…but there is a problem, there has been for a long time. Canadian hockey is approaching a state of crisis because of cost and exclusivity. Reasons as to why this is the case have been thoroughly explored in a new book titled: Before the Lights Go Out: A Season Inside a Game Worth Sa…
 
Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth were like extended family for Toronto Blue Jays fans, all you have to do is mention their first names, and people in Canada know exactly who you are referring too. From 1982-2004, the duo broadcasted the sights and sounds of Major League Baseball into cars, garages, workplaces and homes across the country via radio and l…
 
His name is so obscure, it doesn’t even grace the title of a new book about him. Even if author Mark Hebscher included George Washington Orton in the title, would you know who he was? Orton is Canada’s first ever Olympic medallist, reaching the podium with bronze in hurdles and then winning gold in steeplechase at the 1900 Summer Olympics held in P…
 
In our final episode of season 2, Phil Lind (Vice-Chair, Rogers Communications Inc.) and author Robert (Bob) Brehl step into the arena to discuss Right Hand Man - How Phil Lind Guided the Genius of Ted Rogers, Canada's Foremost Entrepreneur (Barlow Books). What does this have to do with sports? Well, quite a bit. Lind was in lockstep with Rogers fo…
 
Think all we cover are books about hockey? Well, given this market, you wouldn't be entirely wrong. With that in mind, it's a pleasure to announce that in our latest episode, Glenn Stout (Series Editor - Best American Sports Writing, author - Fenway 1912: The Birth of a Ballpark, a Championship Season, and Fenway's Remarkable First Year) joins us v…
 
The 1992-93 Campbell Conference Final was riveting. 7 games in all, the series between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings had all the elements of high drama. In his new book, The Last Good Year (Viking / Penguin Random House), veteran sportswriter Damien Cox (Toronto Star, Sportsnet) revisits the events that took place on and off the ice…
 
Down Goes Brown injects a shot of humour directly into the NHL's funny bone. Emerging from the blogosphere to the forefront of hockey coverage, Sean McIndoe (as he is also known) employs his perspective developed as an outsider to present a hilarious take on the often flawed history of the league in The Down Goes Brown History of the NHL (Penguin R…
 
When you think of Johnny Bower, what comes to mind? A loveable, charitable, kind man, who could be the archetype of the perfect grandfather? Goaltender extraordinaire, playing at the highest level into middle age during the NHL's golden era? All true, as is evident in best-selling author Dan Robson's new book about the legendary Toronto Maple Leafs…
 
As hockey continues to evolve, so to do the people within the game, and those surrounding it. Everyday Hockey Heroes: Inspiring Stories On and Off the Ice (Simon and Schuster) highlights individuals who have triumphed over adversity, overcome great odds and blazed new trails. From household names like Wayne Simmonds (Philadelphia Flyers) and Andi P…
 
Come On You Reds! For fans of TFC, uttering those words must have rung hollow through much of the club's existence. The organization appeared to be constantly resetting, apathy was setting in. Where had the joy of being a shiny new franchise gone? Eventually they did get it right and won the MLS Cup in 2017. Joshua Kloke (The Athletic Toronto) chro…
 
When Ken Reid (Sportsnet Central) is not busy doing TV, or raising his young family, he is collecting hockey cards and moreover, writing about them. In 2014, he released Hockey Card Stories: True Tales from Your Favourite Players - which was a Canadian best seller, since then he has released two other books (One Night Only: Conversations with the N…
 
Saturday night's all right for fighting, or perhaps - fighting for. A new book written by David Shoalts (Globe and Mail) examines how Hockey Night in Canada, the crown jewel of Canadian sports broadcasting properties, changed hands from CBC to Rogers Communications in shocking fashion prior to the 2014-15 NHL season. Shoalts joins Neil Acharya & Ne…
 
Variety is the spice of life, just ask Rob Simpson. The current co-host of Stellick and Simmer (SiriusXM) is known primarily for his work covering the NHL (NHL Network, NBC, NESN), but he has chosen the scenic route along the way. For his fourth book, Simmer compiles his unique adventures in broadcasting in No Heavy Lifting (ECW Press). From coveri…
 
First-time author Daemon Fairless explores and uncovers the propensity toward male violence in Mad Blood Stirring. Utilizing his background in journalism (producer - CBC - As It Happens, Nature) and science (MSc - Neuroscience - Dalhousie University), Fairless writes compelling narrative non-fiction involving but not limited to: MMA fighters, TFC's…
 
Teammates called him Killer. Fans refer to him simply as Dougie. Born in Kingston, Ontario, Doug Gilmour played twenty seasons in the NHL despite largely being written off early in his hockey career for being undersized. Along the way the centreman won the Memorial Cup, Stanley Cup, Canada Cup gold, and was integral in resuscitating (even if tempor…
 
Karl Subban has an impressive resume. Educator. Motivator. Famous hockey dad and now, author. He joins us for our first episode of 2018 to discuss his debut book, How We Did It - The Subban Plan for Success in Hockey, School and Life, written with journalist Scott Colby (Toronto Star). While most know him as the father of NHL superstar P.K. Subban …
 
A Filipino basketball league in the Yukon, street racers dodging the law around Toronto's suburbs and a first-hand account of the Bassmaster Classic fishing challenge are just a few of the unique stories curated by Stacey May Fowles and Pasha Malla in the Best Canadian Sports Writing anthology. Released this fall, the compilation highlights narrati…
 
How many NHL goalies claim to have had out of body experiences?, traveled to India to study meditation....and partied like a rock star? We know of one, his name is Gilles Gratton, otherwise known as Gratoony The Loony. Join journalists Neil Acharya & Neate Sager as they discuss his "wild and unpredictable life" with author Greg Oliver (Slam Wrestli…
 
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