on March 26, 2008
Gare Joyce moves right up to the top of the hockey writing pyramid with the greats like Roy MacGregor and Damien Cox. Great premise to start from and an infamous game we all remember in Canada.
The great thing is Joyce does all the usual background setup but also views the whole incident from different angles--the CBC broadcast crew there and at home, the CAHA and IIHF officials, the on-ice officials and the two teams' players and staff. It's one of the first books that helps us understand the fates of all involved and it's fascinating to see where so-called can't miss "stars" like Jimmy Waite and Everett Sanipass went awry post-Piestany.
The stuff on Pierre Turgeon is oddly interesting when you think of how long he played in the NHL, the points he put up and how soft a player he truly was hence the lack of "ultimate" success. We all know bits of Brendan Shanahan and Theoren Fleury's off-ice lives but this fills in the picture plus updates us with their thoughts right through to Nagano 98. I also found Alexander Mogilny's story as intriguing as the demise of Bert Templeton (at least on a wider NHL or int'l stage).
I don't know whether I agree that this particular game ended hockey's Cold War as that took years but it certainly changed the way Canada approached the WJC...for the better.
The whole book was a fresh approach to understanding pro and junior hockey and how it is organized/run.