If you’re looking for a great gift or stocking stuffer for a hockey fan on your Christmas list, or just a great collection of hockey stories for yourself, look no further than Stan Fischler’s latest book, Behind the Net: 101 Incredible Hockey Stories.
Fischler, an Islanders, Rangers and Devils correspondent for MSG and veteran author of over 90 books, writes a wide spectrum of hockey stories in BTN – everything from the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2013 playoff collapse against the Boston Bruins, to puck tales that predate the NHL. There’s a story about how a game that went deep into overtime in the 1930’s was almost decided by coin toss – a crazy notion when you consider the discussion of the shootout and other game ending approaches these days. Today’s debate about preventing and managing concussions make the game’s stewards in the 1940′s look like primitive cave people – it sounds like it was commonplace for fights to spill into the stands and involve spectators, and sticks were regularly cracked over helmetless players’ heads. It makes for interesting commentary on where the game has evolved from when you read that teams used to only cost $75,000 and gunshots used to signal period ends, seasons used to last around 20 games, and the Art Ross Trophy winner would net 70 points in that short span.
As today’s hockey fans are aware, the NHLPA and NHL don’t always get along, but those of us affected by their disagreements may take solace in learning that the NHLPA has been a thorn in the side of NHL ownership since the 50′s. And as we are all reminded by Gary Bettman’s annual awarding of the Stanley Cup always being met by a deafening rebuttal of boos from fans in attendance, the NHL commissioner has not always been a fan favorite either. When Clarence Campbell was at the league’s helm, he had everything from insults, tear gas, and items from the produce section whipped at him by fans who did not agree with his suspension of Maurice Richard. Can you imagine Bettman having to make public appearances in riot gear?
Hockey players have always been known for their toughness, resilience, and overwhelming desire to keep playing the game. One of the best examples of this is included in the book. It depicts the story of Bill Chadwick, who lost sight in one eye from an injury but kept playing. He later injured his other eye too, and was forced to end his playing days. But he stayed in the game, becoming a referee, and then an announcer. Do you think they were having the visor discussion even then? The book also digs up interesting tidbits on player oddities, like how Jaromir Jagr runs the stairs of every arena he plays in, and how Gordie Howe was ambidextrous and gave goalies he faced double the grief in trying to stop him.
Fischler’s book gives us glimpses into the days when the NHL competed for fans and players with rival leagues like the WHA and the lesser known Eastern League. He tells us stories of when players were bought with, and arenas were built on, horse race winnings. It unveils stories of “Big” Bill Dwyer, a bootlegger in the 1920′s, who owned the New York Americans; and local rival New York Rangers coach Lester Patrick, who okayed the team publicist’s suggestion to modify to players names to Jewish and Italian last names to attract fans of those local minorities to Rangers games, and away from Americans games.
And if you thought the Winnipeg Jets had a tough travel schedule when they were still competing in the Eastern Conference, things won’t seem so bad when you read about the team from the Klondike that rode dogsleds to Ottawa to challenge for the Stanley Cup in 1905, only to get shelled 23-2 and see Frank McGee score 14 goals in a game against them.
It’s an enthralling and easy read – most of the stories are only 1-3 pages long, suitable for any age or level of reader, and any completion time frame. Any fan of hockey will be a fan of this book. You can find it a print or digital copy for around $20 on Amazon, Chapters, or your local bookstore.
Here’s the Press Release:
Stan Fischler’s latest hockey classic, Behind the Net: 101 Incredible Hockey Stories (Sports Publishing, November 2013) is a collection of short, zany (but true!) tales that have taken place over more than a half century of hockey-watching. An easy read for fans of all ages with photos to accompany the anecdotes, this book offers a unique perspective into the NHL from one of today’s most prolific hockey writers. Different from the typical NHL “game” stories, this book details everything, from the hilarious to the absurd.
Fischler details the time that:
• Bill Mosienko scored three goals in 21 seconds
• Rene Fernand Gauthier accepted a challenge to shoot the puck in the ocean
• Sam LoPresti faced 83 shots on goal in one game
• And 98 more unique stories!
So lace up your skates and hit the ice with Behind the Net, a comprehensive collection sure to entertain any hockey fan, regardless of team allegiances.
About the author:
Stan Fischler is a legend of sports broadcasting. He began his career as a publicist for the New York Rangers in 1954 and has been covering hockey in the over half a century since. The winner of five Emmy Awards, Fischler has worked in every medium from print to TV to Twitter. This “Hockey Maven” currently serves as the resident hockey expert for MSG and MSG Plus. He can be seen every week on MSG Hockey Night Live. He lives in New York City.
Contact the Publisher:
Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
307 W 36th Street, 11th Floor | New York, NY 10018
Ph:(212) 643-6816 x 226 | Fax: (212) 643-6819
I recently visited the Philippines, and it didn’t take long to learn how revered Manny Pacquiao is by Filipino people. While lodging in El Nido, Palawan, I heard tales first hand of adoration, love and respect for this man from locals over more than one bottle Tanduay rum. As he squares off against Brandon Rios on November 23rd, I thought it appropriate to post this infographic on the hero of a recently storm ravaged country, passed along to me by Alex Hillsberg. To read further biographical info on Manny by Alex, click here.
Do you think Manny can leave Macau, China with a victory?
The ol’ blog punched in it’s 100,000th view today. Wowzers.
While this is surely a far smaller page view count than some big time bloggers, I am very proud of what my little corner of the internet has done so far.
Since starting this blog in 2009 simply as a means of getting thoughts out of my brain, the thing has been quite the launching pad for my writing career. I’ve written for three newspapers and appeared on two radio stations between Canada and Korea, had numerous writers pen guest posts, started mentoring aspiring young writers, appeared on one podcast and started my own, received piles of
free stuff promotional material and did my best to promote the heck out of it all, interviewed NHL stars of past and present, local talent, a TV star, and even a political figure. I even got interviewed myself one time.
Amazingly, this blog has pulled in views from 160 countries. Which makes my head spin. Top of the heap? The true north, strong and free. Thanks, Canada. Honorable mention to the US, UK, India, Australia, South Korea, the Philippines, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany for rounding out the top ten in that order.
My top read article has been the one denouncing the Mayans’ so-called prediction of the end of the world in 2012. Also appearing in the top ten were my post on free online hockey game links, one of my Vancouver 2010 Olympics articles, a piece venting my frustrations with Air Canada, a tribute to my late friend Colin Burritt, and a mixed bag of some other solid pieces and some good old fashioned total non-sense.
All in all, the only thing I can do is give thanks. Thanks for reading, everyone. Special thanks to my wife for her support while attempting to transition into a new career, to my friend Justin Bourne for his inspiration and example, and everyone else who has supported me by reading, listening, or in other ways. You know who you are.
I suppose the next milestone would be 1,000,000 views, but at this rate that’s gonna take 36 more years, so one step at a time.
Thanks again, everyone!
When I turned 19 and became legal to gamble, of course one of the first things I did was hit our local casino. Not one who enjoys losing money, my trip frequency soon dwindled to a much more affordable rate than at the onset of my legality. One lesson a good friend of mine learned and established early was to set a budget: come in with a set amount of cash to play with, and leave your wallet in the car(bring your ID too though). Whether your night at the tables lasts five minutes or five hours, look at it this way: you could spend $20-??? on dinner, drinks, a movie, or whatever other evening entertainment you’re into, or you could try your luck at making far more than you came in with. Either way, gambling is just entertainment. If you play responsibly, you can have a fun night, not lose more than the cash in your jeans, and get over how fast you lost it.
If you’re into online gambling more than the real life version, our friends at Lucky Nugget Online Casino have a great hockey themed slot machine game called “Break Away” that they’d love for you to try out. Looks like a great time. Have a read of their review of it, and maybe sign up and (responsibly) play a few pulls!
Review of Ice Hockey Slots Game Break Away
One of the most appealing aspects of slot machine games is that they are based on a wide range of themes. These themes can be quite varied and taken from pop culture, history, music and sports. For those who are sports lovers, it is of little surprise that they are drawn to sports slot machine. Fans of ice hockey can enjoy a slot machine known as Break Away. Some online slots such as Break Away stays true to the sport without tying in any league or team affiliations. Therefore, no matter who their favourite team is, ice hockey fans can find universal fun with this slot machine game.
One aspect of Break Away that immediately pops out to players is its massive amount of paylines which number 243. This gives players many opportunities to win big with Break Away. The symbols of this game are of course items from ice hockey such as rinks, players and refs. The game also provides realistic sounds that one would expect to hear while at an ice hockey match. Ice Hockey fans will find the design quite pleasing.
While Break Away does offer an additional progressive jackpot, with 243 paylines and an awesome free spin feature, it has a lot going for it already. When the free spin bonus is triggered, the largest amount of spins that can be won are 25. The exact amount is based on the number of scatter symbols that appear. Three of these symbols will results in 15 spins while four will award 20 spins. Of course, five symbols are needed to get all 25 spins. The free spin feature doesn’t stop there. When in this part of the game, any money that is won has a special multipliers added to it which makes winnings soar. The more wins translates to a great multiplier amount.