Breakaway: The Inside Story of the Pittsburgh Penguins' Rebirth [NOOK Book]

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...

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Breakaway: The Inside Story of the Pittsburgh Penguins' Rebirth

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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.

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What People Are Saying

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)
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, National Hockey Writer, ESPN the Magazine)
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)
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935628972
  • Publisher: Blue River Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,427,577
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Andrew Conte as a reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, covered the legalization of casino gambling in Pennsylvania and the Penguins bid for an arena. He has won numerous national and state awards for his writing, including the Carnegie Science Award and first-place honors from the Inland Press Association, the Association of Health Care Journalists, the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors and the Associated Press Society of Ohio. Two times, the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Andrew with the Spotlight Award, its top prize for investigative reporting. Andrew was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists. The Tribune-Review has twice named him its reporter of the year, and at a previous job he was a member of the Scripps Howard Dream Team. When he's not writing, Andrew teaches journalism as the founding director of a news service program at Pittsburgh's Point Park University.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2012

    Not Bad; Expected Better

    In all honesty this book should have been titled "Why I Love Mario Lemieux". I fully understand and can appreciate all he's done for the Penguins franchise over the years, but I had expected a more in-depth story than what was presented here.
    There was very little about coaching changes, how the team was able to gel, etc., etc.
    The book greatly covers negotiations between the city of Pittsburgh, the NHL, and the Penguins organization. There are a couple feel-good tidbits about nice changes Ray Shero implemented, but for all intents and purposes, this book isn't about the team itself as much as it's about the upper management, owners, and people like that.
    If you're looking for a book that covers the rebuild through the team's perspective, this isn't it. This book will probably be appreciated more by casual hockey fans than by people who really want to hear/learn more about the team's rebuild.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    Is threre any profanity in it?

    Zddsfde¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿ewqddfffffffddddddd¿¿u¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿??¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿¿

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2012

    Xyvvjcjujkk mbihohyyukco htvy

    Hvyhtkrfiuvocphygybutfuhyblggybtdyduvg

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012

    Fascinating

    *

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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