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The Best Seat in the House: Stories from the NHLInside the Room, on the Iceand on the Bench [Paperback]

Jamie McLennan , Ian Mendes
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 29 2012
A back-up goalie's hilarious behind-the-mask look at life in the NHL

Jamie McLennan spent twenty years playing professional hockey. Sort of. As the backup for such legendary goalies as Grant Fuhr, Ron Hextall, Roberto Luongo, and Miikka Kiprusoff, he saw everything—except much playing time. In The Best Seat in the House, McLennan looks back on his unique career, from breaking into the NHL, to working with the legends, to life on the road and in the league, offering readers an unprecedented glimpse into life inside the locker room.

Filled with tales of camaraderie and crazy antics, the book covers 20 years on and off the ice—including McLennan's disastrous meeting with Gene Simmons, accidentally calling Lady Gaga a troll to her face, charging an opposing team's mascot on the orders of legendary coach Billy Smith, and even how he hid a hotdog in his gear for an in-game snack.

  • A collection of hilarious, strange, and sometimes unbelievable stories about hockey, the NHL, and celebrity from throughout the career of NHL backup goalie Jamie McLennan
  • A deeply personal account of life on and off the ice, packed with hilarious personal anecdotes
  • Co-written with Sportsnet's Ian Mendes

The Best Seat in the House is an irreverent look at the life of a professional hockey player, on the ice, on the bench, and in the dressing room, that is sure to delight hockey fans everywhere.


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From the Back Cover

Always at ice level, but not always on the ice.

Jamie "Noodles" McLennan has seen a ton of hockey as a goaltender in the NHL and backup goalie to some of the game's greatest netminders, including Ron Hextall, Grant Fuhr, Roberto Luongo and Miikka Kiprusoff—just not all of it was actually from in the net. This is life in professional hockey and the NHL, from the buses to the charter flights, as seen from between the pipes and even more so from the end of the bench. Or as he calls it, The Best Seat in the House.

Hilarious and heartfelt, this is a man with a knack for getting himself into—and out of—strange situations and tight spots. Whether it's a game that goes off the rails due to a plate of rotisserie chicken, a disastrous meeting with Gene Simmons, accidentally beating up a senior citizen, charging an opposing team's mascot on the orders of legendary coach Billy Smith, or even how he hid a hotdog in his glove for an in-game snack, McLennan's got a story for it. This is a guided tour of pro hockey on the ice, on the bench and in the locker room.

About the Author

Jamie McLennan—known to many as "Noodles"—is an Edmonton-born former NHL goaltender. Jamie spent 17 years playing professional hockey, 11 of those in the NHL, playing in 245 games and dressing for over 550 games with the New York Islanders, St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild, Florida Panthers and Calgary Flames organizations. Later in his career, he had a short stint in Russia and Asia before retiring and working for the Flames again as part of their coaching and player development staff. Jamie is currently an analyst for TSN and the NHL Network and sometimes writes a column in The Hockey News.

Ian Mendes has spent more than a decade as a television reporter for Sportsnet, covering the NHL and other major sporting events for the network. A graduate of Carleton University's journalism program, he is also a regular contributor to the Ottawa Citizen and Today's Parent.


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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very entertaining read Oct. 2 2012
By danno
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An easy read, great story telling, and very entertaining. A good book for any one that is a fan of hockey.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay Nov. 22 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Some interesting insights and some humour as well. Better than some hockey books for sure. I would like to see more from Jamie in the future.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hard to put down June 21 2013
By ash - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have a newfound respect for Jamie McLennan. If you're a hockey fan - you can't go wrong. And if you're not, you'll find a unique look into hockey which may turn you onto the game.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marshmallows, Mascots, Mayhem March 29 2013
By Jennifer D. Munro - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I adored this book. I love humorous books, but they hardly ever make me laugh out loud; this one did. I'm a casual hockey fan, so you don't have to be an obsessed hockey nut or know all of the big hockey names to like this book. You've just gotta love an author who goes by the nickname Noodles--what a likable, humble narrator. Fun, fast, interesting read, like a goaltender sat on the barstool next to you and started spinning stories--the kind of stories I tried to re-tell to my husband but laughed too much to make any sense. No, it's not Dostoevsky or Hawthorne. It's not trying to be. For what it is, five stars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Over too soon... May 22 2013
By Lance McLean - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Jamie McLennan's book offers a badly needed insider's look into NHL life for any hockey fan tired of the same insipid lines from modern day NHL analysts, players and coaches ("We have to play a full 60 minutes", "He's a great teammate") via the standard media outlets (TV, newspapers, magazines, etc.). I think my only complaint is that the book was so engaging that it felt as though it was too short by the time I finished it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining hockey stories Jan. 24 2013
By Wayne Page - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is easy to read and has many entertaining hockey stories. The only drawback is that there is a lack of flow or continuity. It was as though Jamie would think of a story in a certain time period and that would be the chapter. Then on to the next chapter in another time era that could be back to Junior or with a particular NHL team.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Humor and Insight Nov. 8 2012
By Alex - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are some really funny stories in this book! My favorite was the one about Billy Smith telling him to guard his crease against a mascot. Great stuff! There's also a bare-knuckles review of his short stint in the KHL... a very different experience! I immediately sent it to a hockey buddy after I was done with it. It's a quick read, and well worth it.
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