First of all, this book has been out awhile and are you kidding me that I'm the first to review it? Where are all the hockey fans in Canada?
Anyway, Roy MacGregor is one of Canada's best writer on hockey and this is a compilation of his best articles on the sport from various magazines and newspapers he's been published in.
The book is broken up into sections and the best are when he writes on the Legends of the Game and Stars of now. You learn so much that really I wonder why I'm not checking the Ottawa Citizen Web site every week. Who knew "Burnaby" Joe Sakic really is Vancouver Joe and only played his minor hockey in Burnaby? He grew up in Vancouver. I knew Guy Lafleur was a smoker but he used to smoke in the between-period intermissions. He's the first writer I've ever seen explain kids' affection towards Alexander Ovechkin's style of play. We also learn the real family reason why grandpa Jean Beliveau turned down Canada's Governor General posting. You thought Beliveau was the epitome of class already. His actions in this case choosing his family over country are beyond honorable and really the man should be sainted.
MacGregor also understands the game and the beauty of international play better than any sportswriter around. He's the first writer I've read who "got" how good the Nagano '98 Team Canada team was and put the whole thing in Hasekian perspective.
The great thing about the book is there is so much in here that is so current from articles on the Sedins, Ryan Kesler, Drew Doughty, Kris Letang. Marc Savard (pre-concussion), Alexei Kovalev, Canada at the Olympics both men's and women's teams and the World Junior Tournaments including the meltdown vs. Russia in 2010.
Finally, the piece de resistance is his criticism of the way Hockey Night in Canada seems stuck in the past. The funny thing I think MacGregor does not touch on is, being out here in the West, I don't really know anyone who sees HNIC as must-see TV ever since the advent of TSN and Sportsnet carrying games-a-go-go. After all who really wants to watch the Make Beliefs every Saturday when you get Blackhawks, Red Wings, Flyers, Pens, Caps, Rangers, what have you all week long. Let alone once you get the NHL Centre Ice package, HNIC becomes totally irrelevant.
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