Breakaway: The Inside Story of the Pittsburgh Penguins' Rebirth
  • Breakaway: The Inside Story of the Pittsburgh Penguins' Rebirth
  • Breakaway: The Inside Story of the Pittsburgh Penguins' Rebirth

Breakaway: The Inside Story of the Pittsburgh Penguins' Rebirth

5.0 5
by Andrew Conte
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Breakaway transcends Americans' passions for sports and casino gambling as it follows two professional hockey team owners who run the table from bankruptcy to a lucrative new arena and the most-storied trophy in all of sports.

Already the Pittsburgh Penguins were unconventional. One former owner, a Hollywood producer, used the team as backdrop for a

See more details below

Overview

Breakaway transcends Americans' passions for sports and casino gambling as it follows two professional hockey team owners who run the table from bankruptcy to a lucrative new arena and the most-storied trophy in all of sports.

Already the Pittsburgh Penguins were unconventional. One former owner, a Hollywood producer, used the team as backdrop for a blockbuster movie with terrorists attacking during a championship game. Then after the Penguins won two real championships, its star forward Mario Lemieux took ownership of the team when it could not afford to pay the $32.5 million he was owed. Rather than skating off to a richer market, he stayed in Pittsburgh, a city going through its own transformation from gritty steel to clean, high-tech industries. To make payroll, Lemieux partnered with California billionaire Ron Burkle, a Page Six celebrity and pal of President Bill Clinton.

None of that changed the fact that no one wins without cash. To make that money, a team needs a modern arena with luxury boxes, club seats and concession stands serving quality cuts of beef and micro-brewed beers. Defying conventional wisdom about sports and gambling, Lemieux rolled the dice on slot machines. When that idea became an uncertain prospect, Lemieux threatened to unload the team, nearly selling it to the Canadian business mogul who makes BlackBerry wireless devices. Finally, Lemieux forced politicians into doing what he wanted all along: They came up with money for an arena that would keep the team in Pittsburgh. In a meeting so secret that it took place in the back room of a New Jersey roadside hotel, Pennsylvania's Gov. Ed Rendell worked out a deal for using the state's slots proceeds to pay for the building. The moment brought together two old friends from Democratic circles: the governor and Burkle, a major party benefactor.

Then Lemieux and Burkle hit a hockey lottery jackpot, winning rights to draft the hottest phenomenon in a generation, Sidney Crosby, 17, who, like basketball's LeBron James, had been marked for greatness since grade school. The owners already had picked up another hot prospect: Evgeni Malkin, a Russian who played for the "Steelers" of the Ural Mountains, snuck away from his old team's owners in a late-night escape with the drama of a Cold War spy novel.

Breakaway brings the hockey fan into the action of the behind the scenes intrigue and high stakes action in the front office of a major league sports franchise.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781935628101
Publisher:
Blue River Press
Publication date:
10/01/2011
Pages:
248
Sales rank:
1,413,321
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Related Subjects

What People are saying about this

Bob Pompeani
Andrew...shoots and scores big!!! A top shelf look back at the re-build of a proud franchise (Bob Pompeani, KDKA TV, Sports Director)
Bob Grove
Conte's sharp eye for detail and impeccable sense of context provide the background for some great storytelling, in the process pulling back the curtain for an inside look at how the Penguins' smart and focused ownership and management team steered the franchise from the brink of disaster back to the top of the hockey world. (Bob Grove, Host, Penguins Radio Network)
Craig Custance
Breakaway... mixes the perfect blend of dogged reporting with colorful story-telling. The detail Andrew Conte provides while lifting the curtain on the behind-the-scenes maneuvering to keep the Penguins in Pittsburgh is remark-able. This is not just a hockey book, this is story of politics and of business that shares the blueprint in how to successfully run an organization. Even the most die-hard Penguins fan will learn something new about the power brokers who saved their franchise. (Craig Custance, Sporting News National Hockey Writer)
Paul Alexander
When I grew up playing hockey in Pittsburgh, those of us who played and went to Penguin games were cult-like. Andrew Conte in Breakaway, explains how and why we are so lucky to be one of the best hockey cities in the world. How did it happen? Andrew gives you every single detail and reminds everyone how Mario Lemieux is and was the Penguins savior. (Paul Alexander, Host, Sports Radio 93.7 The Fan, Pittsburgh)
Mike Zeisberger
Andrew Conte provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes read documenting how a once-proud franchise regained its powerhouse status by stickhandling around greedy casino barons, ruthless creditors and a potential relocation to Kansas City. Two thumbs up. (Mike Zeisberger, Hockey Columnist, Toronto Sun/QMI Agency)

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >