- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: FENN-M&S (Nov. 4 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0771072368
- ISBN-13: 978-0771072369
- Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 2.6 x 23.5 cm
- Shipping Weight: 481 g
- Average Customer Review: 8 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #228,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Great Defender: My Hockey Odyssey Hardcover – Nov 4 2014
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About the Author
LARRY ROBINSON is the Associate Coach of the San Jose Sharks. This inducted member of the Hockey Hall of Fame played seventeen seasons with the Montreal Canadiens and 3 seasons with the Los Angeles Kings. He hung up his skates after having won 6 Stanley Cups, then went on to coach with the Kings, and then coached the NJ Devils to a Stanley Cup Championship before joining the Sharks in the summer of 2013. This Norris Trophy winner is widely regarded as one of the greatest defencemen to ever play in the NHL.
KEVIN SHEA is a noted hockey historian and Globe and Mail bestselling author. He sits on the Toronto Maple Leafs Historical Committee, is the Hockey Hall of Fame's writer, teaches hockey history at Toronto's Seneca College and is a frequent contributor to various publications, including The Hockey News. A Leafs' season ticket subscriber since 1984, Shea's passion for the Blue and White is immense, dating back to the origins of the franchise. He co-wrote Derek Sanderson's bestselling memoir, Crossing the Line, and is the author of Toronto Maple Leafs: Diary of a Dynasty, 1957-1967, Barilko: Without a Trace, Centre Ice, A Fan For All Seasons, and Over the Boards. Shea is the Associate Director of Public Relations at The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and lives with his wife Nancy in Ajax, Ontario.
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The stuff on his coaching life is far more interesting and we get more of an idea why Robinson quit head coaching and now prefers to be an assistant. What I really wanted to know more was this whole Devils-Habs connection in coaching and why three-time a 90+-point scorer Jacques Lemaire, who although defensively sound centering at times Guy Lafleur and Steve Shutt, abandoned almost any offensive instincts when inflicting the trap on hockey with that Devils' 1995 Cup win. Given when Robinson (a defenceman as a player) took over the Devils as head coach and the team not only won a Cup and got to another Final but also proved they could score leading the NHL in goals for, why was Lemaire so "anti-offence"?
Plus I would have liked to hear Robinson's take on why the San Jose Sharks, with whom he is currently an assistant coach, consistently fail in the playoffs.
The best part of the book is learning about Robinson's life growing up on a farm, his time in junior and the minors as well as his interests outside hockey such as with polo. Given such recent unreal biographies from his NHL defence contemporaries of that era by Mark Howe (Gordie's Son) and Brad Park (Straight Shooter), I expected a lot more from one on Larry Robinson.
He repeats several time how 'funny' his teammate Guy Lapointe was but leaves it at that. Why not relate a few interesting examples.?
Just plain dull. The best bits are when he quotes paragraphs from a REAL insightful biography, 'The Game' by his teammate Ken Dryden. He is never going to top that, but he ( and his 'co-writer) don't even try.
Save your money.
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