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Straight Shooter: The Brad Park Story [Hardcover]

Thom Sears , Brad Park
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 13 2012
The official biography of an NHL legend

By the time he retired, Brad Park had surpassed the great Bobby Orr in career assists by a defenseman. Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame the first year he was eligible, and later named one of the Top 100 NHL players of all time by The Hockey News, Park will forever be remembered as one of the greatest men ever to take the ice. The first and only authorized biography of Park's life and career, Straight Shooter: The Brad Park Story, delves deeper into his legendary success than any book has before, bringing together exclusive, candid insights from Park himself, as well as interviews with dozens of players, family members, and key figures from the hockey world.

Covering Park's early years growing up in Toronto, to his first exposure to the NHL with the New York Rangers and his stellar performance with the Boston Bruins, through the twilight of his career and retirement, the book examines every aspect of his remarkable life in unprecedented detail. Giving hockey fans a full, frank look at the career of an NHL legend—including the challenges Park faced in his personal life, including caring for his physically handicapped son—Straight Shooter is a fascinating look at one of the game's true greats.

  • Offers a fascinating insight into the life of Brad Park, one of the greatest defensemen the NHL has ever seen
  • Covers Park's life in detail, from his time with the Rangers and Bruins to his experiences with Team Canada in the 1972 Summit Series
  • Features a Foreword from hockey legend Don Cherry

Working closely with Park himself, writer and researcher Thom Sears has created a thorough, authorized biography of one of the NHL's greatest legends and an essential read for hockey fans everywhere.

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Product Description

From the Inside Flap

"Brad is not only a Hall of Famer as a player; he's a Hall of Famer as a guy."
—Don Cherry, from the foreword

For a hockey-mad kid from the suburbs of Toronto, Brad Park didn't do too badly.

Playing the game every chance he got, often with his brother or under the watchful eye of his coach father, Brad quickly found the work ethic and talent that would take him far. Rising through the ranks of junior hockey with the Toronto Marlies and Buffalo Bisons, it wasn't long before he was proving himself a key member of the New York Rangers and later the Boston Bruins. But Brad's story is about more than just his time on the ice. It's about life in the NHL, his experiences off the ice, of building teams and what it takes to build a career out of the sport you love. It's about his family, his friendships and the hard work and dedication it takes to balance everything.

Through the highs of playoff rounds and the '72 Summit Series to his trying times with the Detroit Red Wings and the lows of knee surgeries that could have ended his career prematurely, Thom Sears and Brad Park take you on a guided tour deep into the heart of one of the longest and most distinguished careers ever seen in the NHL. Highlights and interviews from other notable stars such as Don Cherry, Walter Tkaczuk, Gerry Cheevers, Jean Ratelle, Rod Gilbert and a host of others, provide additional color, balance and insight.

Sometimes joyous, sometimes bittersweet, Straight Shooter is the captivating, authorized and candid biography of a hockey legend.

About the Author

Thom Sears was born in Cambridge, Ontario. He is a volunteer at the Hockey Hall of Fame and proud member of SIHR (Society for International Hockey Research). Growing up, Thom lived and breathed the game of hockey. He wrote his first hockey book at the age of 12; a simple book on Wayne Gretzky, complete with illustrations and cut up O-Pee-Chee and Topps hockey cards, that if left intact would be worth a small fortune today. Presently, Thom works as a professional actor in Toronto where he lives with his wife and two daughters.

For 17 NHL seasons Toronto-born Brad Park patrolled the blue line for the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings, bringing intelligence, skill, will and a quick wit to the game. He was a perennial All-Star who, in 1988, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. Park currently lives in the Boston area, and is still a fixture at Bruins and Rangers alumni events.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The forgotten one June 20 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
People forget how good this guy was in the NHL. Great book about this great NHL star. I recommend it
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5.0 out of 5 stars a true great Jan. 8 2013
By Brian Maitland TOP 500 REVIEWER
One of my fave players of all-time comes out with an autobio that just fits exactly the way he played. It's a cool, calm, composed, honest look at a life in hockey, and I have even greater respect for his career and the man himself after reading this. The knee injuries alone just leave my mind boggled as to how he was able to play at such a high level all those seasons. It also explains his style of play that was more controlled (think Nicklas Lidstrom but tougher) as he aged.

Also, some gems were getting to know how as a young 24-year-old defenseman reacted to all the craziness of the '72 Summit Series as well as learning more about those late '70s to early '90s Boston Bruins teams. It was also interesting to note how Park was one of the early voices to question Alan Eagleson's involvement in the slush funds the Canada Cups became (as well as all the other scams the guy pulled as NHLPA head).

Plus if you thought the Toronto Maple Leafs were a messed-up organization back in the Harold Ballard era, wait till you read about Park's trip (during his junior Marlies' days when the Laffs owned the junior team in Toronto) to the emergency ward and subsequent trip to see the Leafs' team doctor (who it turned out was a gynecologist!).
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4.0 out of 5 stars '70s Hockey Nov. 10 2012
By George
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a good book. I can remember hockey in the '70s and it gives good insight to the goings on. Especially, liked the chapter on Allan Eagleson and how he ripped off the players in collusion with the owners. Stole money from the Canada Cups which was suppose to go to the players pension. Supported the Cleveland Barons for one year on players pension money. Park was one of the best d-men in game and his pension is only $13,000 a year.

As a big time Habs fan like the chapter on "hate the Habs". Playoffs those years were some of best moments of my youth. Like Park said in the book, Habs had 11 hall of famers, Bruins had 3. I think Boston was able to push Montreal to brink on elimination with togetherness and hard work. I was real glad of trade in '75, to the Bruins. Rangers at that time was hated in Montreal. They beat us out of playoffs in '72 and '74. We knew once the trade was made Rangers would never be the same and opened it up more for Habs.

Park mentions writing an early book with Stan Fischler also. Around the early '70s. I would like to find a copy as it most likely is a good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest to put on hockey skaqtes Sept. 23 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
With a Foreword by Don Cherry how can you go wrong. A look into the life of one of the greatest hockey player to ever lace up skates. hockey people, runs for the Stanley Cup, Team Canada 72 it's all their for you to see. A great read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Hockey Read Sept. 7 2012
By Jeff C.
"Straight Shooter: The Brad Park Story" is the first book by Toronto Actor Thom Sears, and it doesn't disappoint. Sears delves into his subject with great care, telling us not just about Brad's career on the ice, but about his time after hockey and up to the current day. Interviews with Brad's hockey chums are interspersed with comments from his family to paint a detailed portrait of one of the best hockey players never to win a Stanley Cup. As Sears will tell you, this doesn't bother Brad - he remains proud of what he gave to the game that also gave him so much. The Forward by Don Cherry really adds to the authenticity and validity of the book. A must-read for any hockey fan.
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