What a great, fun book. As a Capitals fan, I've enjoyed having Bruce Boudreau as the head coach. He's a very open, very talkative guy -- hence the nickname of Gabby. And unlike most coaches, he speaks his mind. He'll tell jokes, he'll be blunt, he'll be honest. It's refreshing to see in sports.
The book is also very refreshing in its openness and honesty. He pulls no punches, spreading praise and asking blunt questions. He doesn't just shine the light on others, questioning his own approach to the game as a player and coming to the conclusion that he can use himself as an example of how NOT to play the game. He admits that he didn't do what he could to be the player he could (even though he's been inducted to the AHL Hall of Fame, he didn't reach his potential in the NHL). That kind of honesty isn't seen much, and lends a nice air to the book.
Boudreau covers his playing and early coaching career in some depth, too, talking up the up-and-down career he had with multiple teams in multiple leagues, admitting when perhaps he made a wrong decision in his contracts, and pointing out a few instances when he could have gotten off track but for one minor choice. He also gives readers a great look at the evolution of his coaching style and background, talking about who he coached, for, with, and against, and what he learned from each of them. It wasn't all peaches and cream, and he bluntly discusses why -- even when it was due to his own actions or decisions.
But where the book is really fun for Caps fans is when Boudreau is promoted on Thanksgiving Day 2007 and takes the worst team in the league on a magic carpet ride to the playoffs, making DC one of the new Hockey Towns in the league. Yes, Boudreau had some help -- Ovie, Greenie, Feds, Nicky (aren't hockey nicknames great?) and more -- but he really gives an inside look into coaching the Caps, coaching in hockey, and how he turned the team around.
Boudreau has really led a full life, and it comes through in the book. His co-author, Tim Leone, covered Boudreau when he was coach for the Hershey Bears, and the two have an obvious rapport that shines through. Leone lets Boudreau's personality do the heavy lifting in the book, opting to present him unvarnished without the cleaning up some autobiographies do. It's a really refreshing approach, and makes you believe you truly got to know Bruce Boudreau in reading the book.