- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Viking Canada (Sept. 11 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0670065927
- ISBN-13: 978-0670065929
- Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.8 x 23.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 567 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Instigator: How Gary Bettman Remade the League and Changed the Game Forever Hardcover – Sep 11 2012
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About the Author
Jonathon Gatehouse is a senior correspondent for Maclean’s magazine and was formerly a reporter for the National Post and Montreal’s Gazette. He lives in Toronto with his wife and children, plays hockey three times a week, and has a dog named Wendel.
Top customer reviews
The book gives an idea of why he did some of the things he did and shows his decisions in a context I had never before considered. It shows how hard the guy works and that, in the end, he wants the hockey business to grow. And that's where I think the trouble comes with the perception of Bettman. We want it treated as a game, his job is to treat it as a business.
I found the anecdotes interesting and felt it was a generally balanced voice used throughout.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
However, this book fails to really capture Bettman. Instead, there are sporadic quotes from the Commissioner and little insight into Bettman himself. The meat of the book is simply a statement of facts and situations that the NHL has found itself in during Bettman's tenure. Most of it you can find on the Internet or in other books. I give the author a lot of credit for a well-researched book, but by the middle of the book, I was skimming and skipping many sections filled with generic information that I already knew.
For a casual hockey fan that does not know a lot about the game, I recommend this book, but if you're a diehard familiar with the nuances of the game, I'd take a pass.
NOTE: I give the author a great deal of credit for uncovering little tidbits about Bettman such as the fact that he wrote his Masters Thesis on the branches of power within a Mafia organization. Draw your own conclusion!
But it's slow in parts, and I kept having to look back to earlier in the book to figure out who was who. At one point Gatehouse mentions a person briefly in an early chapter, then brings him up again over a hundred pages later and expects you to remember who he was.
The author of this book realizes that in order to understand the game of professional hockey as it exists today, you must understand where it was before the current commissioner took over. In order to understand how Gary Bettman pushed through the things he wanted done, you must understand the man's personality and history. And in order to comprehend the difficulty of doing so, you must understand the former and current structure of NHL ownership, as well as the personalities who did and do make up that exclusive circle. Mr. Gatehouse accomplishes these goals in a book that cannot be “just one type” in order to do its job.
Highly recommended for hockey fans, both the ones who are enjoying the game played today and the ones who lament for “the good old days”.
RATING: 5 stars.