Book Review: The Big 50 Boston Bruins

Espo, Orr and 48 more 

Author Fluto Shinzawa had the difficult task of taking the Boston Bruins’ 92-year history and boiling it down into his book “The Big 50: Boston Bruins: The Men and Moments that Made the Boston Bruins.” (Though it is too bad that someone couldn’t boil down the book’s title to less than 14 words.) As the title abundantly suggests, the book reads like a highlight reel of the Bruins’ best players and defining moments. But Shinzawa doesn’t just focus on the high points; some of the team’s darker moments are spotlighted. 

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G.I. Joe-inspired file cards of NHL players

Like many kids growing up in the 1980s, I played with G.I. Joe action figures. Each figure had an interesting code name like Snake-Eyes, Shipwreck, Roadblock or Cobra Commander, had a ton of poseability  — including swivel-arm battle grip! — and came with some pretty cool weapons.

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The back of each G.I. Joe figure’s toy packaging had a file card. Flint here has a degree in English literature.

Another great thing about G.I. Joe action figures was that each one came with its own file card on the back of the toy packaging — a small profile about the character that you were supposed to cut out and save for future reference. Believe it or not, these file cards many times became a factor when deciding which figure to buy. As a nine-year old, standing in the toy aisle of K-Mart, with only enough scratch in my Ghostbusters wallet to get one figure, I had to make a tough choice each week. All the figures looked awesome, so the file cards told you what kind of character the toy was supposed to be, which made picking one easier.

So this got me thinking, what if NHL players had file cards that summed up what you needed to know about them? It would quickly get you up to speed if you haven’t been following their career, and help you decide if you were going to like them or not.

I imagine they’d look something like these.

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A History of Enforcers in All-Star Games

John Scott’s selection to the 2016 NHL All-Star Game is not without precedent. Having a guy known more for punching than puckhandling play in the NHL All-Star Game, while rare, has happened on several occasions.

Then there is the curious case of Chris Nilan, whose near-appearance in the 1991 All-Star Game was, until now, the most controversial selection ever made.

But neither Scott, or Nilan before him, would have been the first pugilist to play in an NHL All-Star Game. Continue reading “A History of Enforcers in All-Star Games”

Movie Review: The Wrath of Grapes: The Don Cherry Story II

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Apparently, I wasn’t the only person who enjoyed Keep Your Head Up, Kid: The Don Cherry Story, a television miniseries that first aired on CBC in 2010. Two years later, the Don of Hockey was the subject of a second three-hour miniseries, The Wrath of Grapes: The Don Cherry Story II — a great title for a great follow-up.

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Movie Review: Keep Your Head Up, Kid: The Don Cherry Story

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Last night, I spent three hours binge-watching Keep Your Head Up, Kid: The Don Cherry Story. The plan was to watch half of the miniseries one night before bed, and the other part the next night, but it was so much fun that my girlfriend and I decided to watch it in one sitting — bedtimes be dammed!

The made-for-TV miniseries, which originally aired on CBC in 2010, is about everyone’s favorite — or sometimes least favorite — hockey commentator Don Cherry. The two-part biopic chronicles “Grapes” long minor-league hockey career then gets into his coaching career and eventual tenure on Hockey Night in Canada. It was written by his son, Tim Cherry.

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Book Review – The Lost 10 Point Night: Searching for My Hockey Hero . . . Jim Harrison

cover_Lost-10-Point-NightThe Lost 10 Point Night: Searching for My Hockey Hero, Jim Harrison is not your typical biography. Instead of the usual formula — early days, career and post-career with current reflections woven throughout — this is a story about both the subject and the chronicler, liberally flip-flopping between past and present. The result is a book that, in many ways, is more about the journey than the destination.

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