Hockey Strong means playing through pain. Lots of players do that so discussing hockey scars with Michael Rupp was a good way to lead off the book.
Shjon Podein’s 70-something stitches was a story I remember. Dave Brown is featured and I always say good things about him because he’s my age and he’s way bigger than me and sits above me at Flyers games. Its simple self preservation.
I love the Glossary of terms like the “Grind Line” and then mentioning the 4th line of the champion, Detroit Red Wings (Matlby, Draper and Kocur and later McCarty).
This book isn’t just about physical pain. It explores mental pain as well. It talks about the Stanley Cup Playoffs and having covered them many times over I see the personal sacrifice these players make in order to win. Playing through pain is one thing. Players pretty much say there’s no way to play this sport and be 100% healthy throughout an entire season.
This book showed off how valuable teams training staffs are. Performing small miracles in the locker rooms so players can get back out on the ice, of their own accord, no matter how many stitches they get or even getting a midgame root canal like Zach Parise endured one season.
The quotes are great and the feel isn’t overly gruesome, it’s just very real. Todd Smith (son of Gary “Smitty” Smith the head athletic trainer for the 1980 Miracle on Ice team) has created something special. Gallery Books has a real winner on their hands.
This book will be on sale on September 27, 2016. It’s a hardcover tome with some terrific pictures. Keep an eye out for it.