The Devil and Bobby Hull How Hockey’s Original Million-Dollar Man Became the Game’s Lost Legend. By Gare Joyce, Wiley, 274 pages, $32.95
This tale of acrimony, glamour and marital woes is the warts-and-all story behind the fabled career and compromised legacy of the Golden Jet, who left the NHL for the Winnipeg Jets of a fledgling rival league, and a million bucks, in 1972. It’s one of two hockey books this season from veteran journalist Gare Joyce.
My First Goal 50 Players and the Goal That Marked the Beginning of Their NHL Careers. By Mike Brophy, McClelland & Stewart, 254 pages, $19.99
Sportswriter Mike Brophy gives background and career notes for the 50 hockey players collected here, from superstars who went on to illustrious careers and others for whom that first goal was also the last.
Why I Didn’t Say Anything By Sheldon Kennedy, with James Grainger, Insomniac, 234 pages, $19.95
Sheldon Kennedy gained fame, or notoriety, anyway, by outing 1989 Hockey News Man of the Year Graham James as a sexual predator who’d abused him more than 300 times. The story he and Grainger tell is riveting, though without a happy ending; the demons haunt Kennedy still.
Sid vs. Ovi Natural Born Rivals. By Andrew Podnieks, McClelland & Stewart, 308 pages, $22
Andrew Podnieks presents the careers of arguably the two best hockey players in the world, comparing their styles and influences, strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures.
30 Years of the Game at Its best Edited by Gare Joyce, Viking Canada, 247 pages, $39
Gare Joyce’s second entry is a lavishly illustrated history of Canadian performances since 1982 at the world junior championships.
Over the Line Wrist Shots, Slap Shots, and Five-Minute Majors. By Al Strachan, McClelland & Stewart, 268 pages, $19.99
In his 40-year career covering hockey for newspapers and television, journalist and author Al Strachan has collected a formidable supply of inside stories, tall tales and amusing anecdotes, which he shares with us here.
The Lives of Conn Smythe By Kelly McParland, Fenn/M&S, 370 pages, $32.99
This is the first full biography of the irascible, combative man who built the Toronto Maple Leafs, and Maple Leaf Gardens, and turned Saturdays into hockey night in Canada.