Top 5

Jonas Hiller

Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller was born in Switzerland and is fluent in German, French and English. Here are his Top 5 cities in Europe:


  1. Bern, Switzerland

  2. Prague, Czech Republic

  3. Paris, France

  4. Barcelona, Spain

  5. Rome, Italy

NHL Confidential

Brad RichardsonVancouver Canucks forward Brad Richardson, formerly of the Colorado Avalanche, recommends John Elway's restaurant in suburban Denver. "It’s the best prime rib I’ve ever had," Richardson says. "Have it with the creamed corn."

JP

Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

Book review: ‘J.R.’

jeremy roenick book

I’m worried for Jeremy Roenick.

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Book Review: “The Instigator”

Gary Bettman

There is a familiar saying about “instigators” in hockey — you love ‘em when they’re on your side, you hate ‘em when they’re not. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Matt Cooke, Raffi Torres and Chris Simon have so much in common, it’s ironic that they run afoul of each other so often.

That’s because Bettman is the game’s ultimate instigator. He routinely issues proud proclamations to packed Stanley Cup stadiums while fans douse his words with boos and whatever projectiles they can grab. He says one thing to the public and another behind closed doors. He says nothing about the Atlanta Thrashers or Winnipeg Jets, while secretly ensuring the Atlanta Thrashers cease to exist and become the Winnipeg Jets. And he doesn’t care what you think about any of this.

For 20 years, hockey people have tried to pin down Gary Bettman with a single word – villainous, American, opportunistic, short, smart, lawyer, Jewish. Author Jonathon Gatehouse may have come the closest in “The Instigator: How Gary Bettman Remade the NHL and Changed the Game Forever.” ($24.95, Triumph Books) Researched to the Gladwellian hilt1 and fair to a fault, “The Instigator” is less about Bettman the person and more about Bettman the commissioner — tapping into the perspective of NHL history, the history of commissioners, the psyche of (mostly Canadian) fans who want to beat the guy up and that of (mostly American) fans who don’t give a damn about hockey.

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Book Review: “Fighting the Good Fight”

Eavesdropping on the debate about physicality in the NHL in 2011 is not unlike flipping your TV to an episode of “Divorce Court.” It only takes a couple seconds to gauge the emotional temperature in the room, which usually falls somewhere between “lukewarm” and “Elin Woods.” "Fighting The Good Fight"The facts should speak for themselves but they don’t – at least the two parties, charged with emotion, rarely let them. The endgame is clear: They’re breaking up. It’s just a question of who gets what.

Headshots? Yes, gone.

An all-out fighting ban? Let’s talk about that.

In “Fighting the Good Fight,” Adam Proteau comes out swinging with the the golf clubs, and he wants the yacht.

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Book Review: “Killer B’s”

Fans of Seinfeld will recall that Cosmo Kramer once penned a “coffee table book about coffee tables,” an over-sized hardback filled with images of celebrities’ coffee tables.

So who would own a copy of “Killer B’s: The Incredible Story of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins” (Triumph Books, 2011)?

Matt Damon? Maybe.

Stephen Tyler? Perhaps.

Denis Leary? Probably.

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Book Review/Interview: “The Championship Formula”

I recently received an email asking if I would review the forthcoming book “The Championship Formula: How To Transform Your Team Into a Dynasty” by Dr. Jack Stark. The pitch: “The difference between winning and losing can be less than 1%. It’s almost always less than 5%.”

At first I figured maybe Dr. Stark can explain what separated the Bruins and Canucks in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, or what separated the U.S. and Canada in the Olympic gold-medal game in Vancouver. (And maybe the answer to both won’t be Roberto Luongo.)

Sign me up.

I’m still not sure if I have the answer to those questions after reading “The Championship Formula,” born out of a lifetime’s worth of material from Dr. Stark, a famous sports psychologist who counts Anaheim Ducks goalie Dan Ellis and Minnesota Wild defenseman Greg Zanon among his clients. So I put this question, as well as a few others, in general terms to Dr. Stark in a telephone interview — see his answers below.

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