Game I'll Never Forget: 100 Hockey Stars' Stories

Overview

A professional hockey player plays in hundreds of games during his career but there is always one game that stands out from the rest — the game he'll never forget. For Dave Schultz it was beating the Soviet Union after the Central Red Army had embarrassed the NHL's best teams in 1976. Maurice "Rocket" Richard recalls the Leafs-Canadiens game where he scored five goals in a playoff game, single-handedly winning the game. Frank Mahovlich remembers scoring his 500th goal after ...

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Overview

A professional hockey player plays in hundreds of games during his career but there is always one game that stands out from the rest — the game he'll never forget. For Dave Schultz it was beating the Soviet Union after the Central Red Army had embarrassed the NHL's best teams in 1976. Maurice "Rocket" Richard recalls the Leafs-Canadiens game where he scored five goals in a playoff game, single-handedly winning the game. Frank Mahovlich remembers scoring his 500th goal after falling — not the most beautiful way to reach this career milestone.

But it's not just the incredible victories, career milestones or amazing goals that stand out. Ted Lindsay recalls playing for the Detroit Red Wings while under a death threat. And for Denis Potvin, it was sleeping in and missing a game during his rookie year, a mistake that could have torpedoed his career before it started. Gordie Howe's most memorable game was the first game he played with his sons.
Spanning 70 years of hockey, The Game I'll Never Forget is an unique account of some incredible games and the players who played them.

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Editorial Reviews

Globe and Mail
Lots of good pictures.
Hockey News - Stu Hackel
Terrific first-person recollections.
Booklist - David Pitt
A real treat ... Wherever there are hockey fans, this will be a much-read, well-thumbed book.
Ottawa Citizen - Craig Macinnis
Classic yarns from the game's greats ... Gorgeous photographs and a crisp layout.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781552976043
  • Publisher: Firefly Books, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/2/2002
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 1,306,158
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris McDonell is a writer, graphic artist and hockey enthusiast. His previous books include: Hockey All-Stars: The NHL Honor Roll, Hockey's Greatest Stars: Legends and Young Lions and For the Love of Hockey: Hockey Stars' Personal Stories.

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Table of Contents

Preface

The Players


Sid Abel
Dave Andreychuk
Dave Babych
Ralph Backstrom
Andy Bathgate
Jean Beliveau
Red Berenson
Hector "Toe" Blake
Neal Broten
Johnny Bucyk
Lorne Carr
Dino Ciccarelli
John Cullen
Vincent Damphousse
Kevin Dineen
Gary Dornhoefer
Ken Dryden
Dick Duff
Ron Duguay
Pat Egan
Phil Esposito
Tony Esposito
Bernie Federko
John Ferguson
Ray Ferraro
Ron Francis
Bill Gadsby
Bob Gainey
Danny Gare
Mike Gartner
Bernie Geoffrion
Ed Giacomin
Butch Goring
Dirk Graham
Glenn Hall
Camille Henry
Ron Hextall
Bronco Horvath
Gordie Howe
Kelly Hrudey
Bobby Hull
Dennis Hull
Punch Imlach
Craig Janney
Tom Johnson
Red Kelly
Dave Keon
Claude Larose
Reggie Leach
Jacques Lemaire
Ted Lindsay
Craig Ludwig
Frank Mahovlich
Peter Mahovich
Don Maloney
Jack McCartan
Stan Mikita
Ken Morrow
Bill Mosienko
Joe Mullen
Don Murdoch
Vaclav Nedomansky
Bernie Nicholls
Adam Oates
Ed Olczyk
Willie O'Ree
Terry O'Reilly
Bobby Orr
Joel Otto
Bernie Parent
Barclay Plager
Jacques Plante
Denis Potvin
Jean Ratelle
Billy Reay
MarkRecchi
Chico Resch
Maurice Richard
Jeremy Roenick
Milt Schmidt
Dave Schultz
Steve Shutt
Charlie Simmer
Craig Simpson
Harry Sinden
Darryl Sittler
Steve Smith
Pat Stapleton
Peter Stastny
Pete Stemkowski
Tiny Thompson
Mark Tinordi
Walt Tkaczuk
Rick Tocchet
John Tonelli
Ian Turnbull
Rogie Vachon
Harry Watson
Bill White
Gump Worsley

Index

Acknowledgments

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Preface

Preface

I was hoarse and exhausted but thoroughly exhilarated. Canada had just defeated our archenemy, the Soviet Union, 3-1, in the round robin preliminaries of the first Canada Cup tournament. My 15-year-old sister Anne, one year my junior, took turns with me waving our big Canadian flag, tied to the end of a hockey stick, as we hung out of our mezzanine seats in Maple Leaf Gardens. The tears welled up in my eyes as my hero Bobby Orr skated out to center ice to accept the award as the game's most valuable player. The crowd in the Gardens (the same folks that had routinely booed Orr whenever he handled the puck as a visiting Boston Bruin) gave the star defenseman his fourth or fifth prolonged standing ovation of the night.

All of the ingredients — the patriotic fervor in the air, the assemblage of, arguably, Canada's most stellar international line-up, Orr's dominance and the end of his career shortly after the tournament ended — enhanced my memories of the night of September 11, 1976. The event has become indelible in my mind rather than receding into the past. It's the game I'll never forget.

Every fan will have similar recollections, but with other players in the spotlight, other teams winning, with the ambience of other eras imbuing their memories with different feelings. But imagine, if you can, what it would mean to actually play in such a game. Would the memory be sharper, more personal, more significant? I believe the answer is "Yes," and that the stories in this book support me.

In their own words, these are the accounts of the games that the hockey legends themselves love to recall. Hockey Digest started compiling these recollections in the fall of 1972, when Bobby Hull recounted the pressure-filled days leading up to his record-setting 51st goal in 1966. Since then, almost 200 former and current NHL stars and coaches have regaled readers with "The Game I'll Never Forget." Choosing the stories to include in this book sounded like an easy task until it came time to pare the list down to a manageable length. The more significant the game, the greater was its chance for inclusion. And the more important the player is or was to his team and the more esteemed his hockey career has been, the higher priority I gave his blow-by-blow report. Still, there were too many great players with wonderful anecdotes!

Although each man brought his unique perspective to the tale, I decided not to include duplicate accounts of the same game. In the end, I argued successfully for including 100 tales, with a handful from remarkable coaches such as Toe Blake, Punch Imlach and Billy Reay. The mix of stories, as you will discover, includes a wide variety of events and eras. The Stanley Cup playoffs are a perennial source of inspiration, and there are dozens of such stories here, going all the way back to legendary goaltender Tiny Thompson's look at the 1933 Cup finals. While the Cold War contributed to the magnitude of Canada's victory in the 1972 Summit Series and the USA's 1980 Olympic "Miracle on Ice" — mythical events you'll read about here — you will see that international competition still continues to create an intensity that makes for powerful feelings, exciting hockey and vivid memories.

For many players, nothing has duplicated the pride associated with personal milestones, such as a first NHL game. Of course, meaningful goals also abound in these narratives, from finding the back of an NHL net for the first time to potting an important hat trick, a 50th goal of the season or a 500th career goal. The sweet recollections of tallying a multi-goal game, a Stanley Cup-winner or a league record-breaker are also here. Along the way, almost every era of the NHL is touched upon, providing brilliantly colorful snapshots of hockey history. The statistical summary for each game is also provided, adding detail to flesh out the picture. In addition to the words and numbers, great photography augments each story. While choosing the images to accompany the text, I saw more photos that I felt compelled to include. You'll find them interspersed throughout the book.

Some of the games recounted will be familiar to many fans, while some will be unheard or told in a fresh way that makes them new. I'm certain that The Game I'll Never Forget will create new memories for every reader. Enjoy.

— Chris McDonell

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Introduction

Preface

I was hoarse and exhausted but thoroughly exhilarated. Canada had just defeated our archenemy, the Soviet Union, 3-1, in the round robin preliminaries of the first Canada Cup tournament. My 15-year-old sister Anne, one year my junior, took turns with me waving our big Can155037o the end of a hockey stick, as we hung out of our mezzanine seats in Maple Leaf Gardens. The tears welled up in my eyes as my hero Bobby Orr skated out to center ice to accept the award as the game's most valuable player. The crowd in the Gardens (the same folks that had routinely booed Orr whenever he handled the puck as a visiting Boston Bruin) gave the star defenseman his fourth or fifth prolonged standing ovation of the night.

All of the ingredients -- the patriotic fervor in the air, the assemblage of, arguably, Canada's most stellar international line-up, Orr's dominance and the end of his career shortly after the tournament ended -- enhanced my memories of the night of September 11, 1976. The event has become indelible in my mind rather than receding into the past. It's the game I'll never forget.

Every fan will have similar recollections, but with other players in the spotlight, other teams winning, with the ambience of other eras imbuing their memories with different feelings. But imagine, if you can, what it would mean to actually play in such a game. Would the memory be sharper, more personal, more significant? I believe the answer is "Yes," and that the stories in this book support me.

In their own words, these are the accounts of the games that the hockey legends themselves love to recall. Hockey Digest started compiling these recollections in the fall of 1972, when Bobby Hull recounted the pressure-filled days leading up to his record-setting 51st goal in 1966. Since then, almost 200 former and current NHL stars and coaches have regaled readers with "The Game I'll Never Forget." Choosing the stories to include in this book sounded like an easy task until it came time to pare the list down to a manageable length. The more significant the game, the greater was its chance for inclusion. And the more important the player is or was to his team and the more esteemed his hockey career has been, the higher priority I gave his blow-by-blow report. Still, there were too many great players with wonderful anecdotes!

Although each man brought his unique perspective to the tale, I decided not to include duplicate accounts of the same game. In the end, I argued successfully for including 100 tales, with a handful from remarkable coaches such as Toe Blake, Punch Imlach and Billy Reay. The mix of stories, as you will discover, includes a wide variety of events and eras. The Stanley Cup playoffs are a perennial source of inspiration, and there are dozens of such stories here, going all the way back to legendary goaltender Tiny Thompson's look at the 1933 Cup finals. While the Cold War contributed to the magnitude of Canada's victory in the 1972 Summit Series and the USA's 1980 Olympic "Miracle on Ice" -- mythical events you'll read about here -- you will see that international competition still continues to create an intensity that makes for powerful feelings, exciting hockey and vivid memories.

For many players, nothing has duplicated the pride associated with personal milestones, such as a first NHL game. Of course, meaningful goals also abound in these narratives, from finding the back of an NHL net for the first time to potting an important hat trick, a 50th goal of the season or a 500th career goal. The sweet recollections of tallying a multi-goal game, a Stanley Cup-winner or a league record-breaker are also here. Along the way, almost every era of the NHL is touched upon, providing brilliantly colorful snapshots of hockey history. The statistical summary for each game is also provided, adding detail to flesh out the picture. In addition to the words and numbers, great photography augments each story. While choosing the images to accompany the text, I saw more photos that I felt compelled to include. You'll find them interspersed throughout the book.

Some of the games recounted will be familiar to many fans, while some will be unheard or told in a fresh way that makes them new. I'm certain that The Game I'll Never Forget will create new memories for every reader. Enjoy.

-- Chris McDonell

Read More Show Less

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