Heart of the Blackhawks: The Pierre Pilote Story Hardcover – 2013
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Pilote spent 13 years with Chicago before being dealt to the Toronto Maple Leafs where he spent the final year of his career. Pilote found the change of teams to be a rather uneasy relationship due to fights he had had with players he now had to accept as his teammates. Defense was Pilote's forte and was often compared with the legendary defense man Doug Harvey of the Montreal Canadians. Pilote was a good family man and found the transition into life away from hockey to be smooth.
If you are a Chicago Black Hawk hockey fan I'm sure you will rate this a five star book. The fact that I'm rating it four stars is due to the reasons I've listed above.
He teamed with Moose Vasko to anchor one of the strongest defensive tandems in the NHL, and was a solid presence both on the ice and in the locker room. It seems inconceivable to look at Pilotte through the prism of time and see a strong two way player who set the NHL points total for a defenseman in a season with 59. Bobby Orr and Paul Coffey changed the perception of an NHL defenseman, but Pilotte was the gatekeeper.
His solid play and solid personality anchored this Black Hawk team bolstered a struggling franchise.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It takes the reader from his Aboriginal background in rural Canada, through his minor league career, and season by season through his career. An amazingly grounded and gracious athlete, Pilotte thrived in a rough and tumble NHL. This book explores just how heartless the old NHL could be, as well as how much fun, and the brotherhood that existed between teammates. It takes the reader at times into the locker room and beyond.
For Pilotte, it details his journey as he recalls it without bitterness, and with his amazing life attitude as his guide.
I am biased, witnessing this great team in my youth, and reading of my favorite athletes and their nemesis' throughout, but I am happy to have come upon this book, and happier to have read it cover to cover.