Ken Dryden’s The Game has been hailed as the best hockey book ever written and included in Sports Illustrated’s list of the top 100 best sports books of all time. Dryden was one of my idols growing up (along with Guy Lafleur, the Flower Power) so this book has a special place in my heart.
Dryden played goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, a true and longtime hockey dynasty. During Dryden’s eight seasons with the Canadiens in the 1970s, the team won the Stanley Cup six times. Dryden does not fit the stereotype of a hockey player. He is one of hockey’s most intelligent and insightful commentators. He “retired” for one season due to a contract dispute and decided to finish requirements for a law degree. He is currently a member of the Canadian Parliament. The Game is both thoughtful and articulate and I highly recommend reading this book. You can pick up a copy at either Amazon or your local book store (ie. B and N, Chapters).
The next hockey book I recommend is different: Why is the Stanley Cup in Mario Lemieux’s Swimming Pool? Follow the true exploits of the most celebrated of sport’s trophies beyond the champagne toasts and all-star embraces. Why is the Stanley Cup in Mario Lemieux’s Swimming Pool is a wild, globe-trotting romp filled with zany, surprising, and often touching accounts of what really happens once hockey’s greatest quest has been conquered and the celebration begins-off the ice.
What did the sport’s greatest players do when, king for a day, they spent an eventful twenty-four hours with the Stanley Cup? The prestigious trophy has held everything from beer to infants, and has been carted from Moscow’s Red Square to Bob’s Big Boy. Why is The Stanley Cup in Mario Lemieux’s Swimming Pool? includes:
- Stories of raw emotion and personal triumph-a visit to MIKE KEANE’S one-hundred-year-old grandmother’s nursing home, and a presentation by JOE NIEUWENDYK to his blind professor during a reception at Cornell University
- Raucous anecdotes of high comedy-nights abandoned on street corners, visits to strip clubs, golf course hi-jinks, and a trip to the bottom of MARIO LEMIEUX’S pool
- Unbelievable twenty-four-hour world travel to Sweden, Russia, and beyond, mysterious tales of the Stanley Cup ghost, and reflections from hockey’s greatest of the greats -HOWE, GRETZKY, ESPOSITO, and HULL
Would you drink from the Stanley Cup if you knew where it had been? This is one of the funniest hockey book I have ever read. Being a hockey fan, I ate these stories up like no tomorrow. You don’t need to be a crazy fan like myself to enjoy the stories though. The Stanley Cup is definately the most well traveled hunk of silver around and its story is still being written.
I will post some more good hockey books shortly. I am still impatiently waiting for McFarlane Toys to make a Ken Dryden figure in his classic stance. They did release a Guy Lafleur figure which you can buy online at: cmdstore.com. We have tons of other hockey figures that you can check on the site.