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Gretzky's Tears

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06-17-2014, 06:40 PM
  #1
dackelljuneaubulis02
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Gretzky's Tears

I'd post this in the book thread but I can't find it (and can never seem to find threads through the thread search engine for whatever reason).

What a helluva book by Stephen Brunt on the Gretzky trade. I think someone may have recommended on this site or another one.

It really shows how much it changed the cultural landscape of hockey (especially hockey in Canada) and also the shady dealings behind it. It really wasn't even a trade. Gretzky was bought and sold.

Anyone who uses the Gretzky trade as an example that 'anyone can be traded' should read this book. Peter Pocklington seems like quite the nightmare.

I haven't read too many sports books but this has to be up there. As much as I enjoyed Dryden's 'The Game' I think I might just put this one ahead of it. It's at least as good. Brunt's a damn good writer. I'd definitely want to read his book on Orr which I heard is great as well and his others.

Anyone else read it?

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06-17-2014, 07:08 PM
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Garry Valk
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Fantastic book. One of the best sports books I have ever read.

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06-17-2014, 07:31 PM
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dackelljuneaubulis02
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Fantastic book. One of the best sports books I have ever read.
I was really blown away by it. The only issue I had was maybe some of those 'conversations' that would happen between say McNall and Pocklington or any of those clandestine chats he shows. Some just seem like he could've made them up or he was just writing what most likely was said.

It seemed like he did talk to enough legit sources where he got as much of the straight dope as he could. So it's not like he was really taking any great liberties with the truth. I liked the way those behind closed door talks were written they just seemed to be presented as if those were word for word what happened and I'm not sure they were.

Such a minor minor complaint though as no non-fiction book can ever be 100% accurate I'm sure. He did an amazing job at showing the different aspects of it all. Need to read that Orr book of his.

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06-17-2014, 07:32 PM
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Garry Valk
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Originally Posted by dackelljuneaubulis02 View Post
I was really blown away by it. The only issue I had was maybe some of those 'conversations' that would happen between say McNall and Pocklington or any of those clandestine chats he shows. Some just seem like he could've made them up or he was just writing what most likely was said.

It seemed like he did talk to enough legit sources where he got as much of the straight dope as he could. So it's not like he was really taking any great liberties with the truth. I liked the way those behind closed door talks were written they just seemed to be presented as if those were word for word what happened and I'm not sure they were.

Such a minor minor complaint though as no non-fiction book can ever be 100% accurate I'm sure. He did an amazing job at showing the different aspects of it all. Need to read that Orr book of his.
The Orr book may be even better. Same style. I'm really hoping for another one. He really is a fantastic author. He and Roy MacGregor are real gems.

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06-17-2014, 07:33 PM
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Habs
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ESPN E60 had a great documentary on the trade.

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06-17-2014, 07:37 PM
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dackelljuneaubulis02
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ESPN E60 had a great documentary on the trade.
yes! just caught the tail end of it a couple years ago. I think I asked around what the doc was called and it led to someone mentioning this book and I kept the title in my head until I found it in a Value Village a couple weeks ago.

I imagine the two would complement each other pretty well as they seemed to come from the same angle of it just being this pretty corrupt deal in many different ways.

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06-17-2014, 07:49 PM
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Boris Le Tigre
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I told Mess I wasn't going to do this

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06-17-2014, 07:57 PM
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Runner77
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What a great time of year to suggest something to read.

I've always liked Brunt. So articulate, packs so much meaning and can defend any position intelligently. Miss those days when he'd be a contributor on Melnick's show.

As to Bobby Orr ... a living legend, someone who has marked the Canadian psyche and beyond. We've all wondered how he survived the cruel fate that his opponents devised for him, when they couldn't keep up the with way he elevated the game. To retire at such a young age, to have his body undergo so many surgeries and to have the will to bounce back and to know how humble a man he has remained, is especially compelling.

That Brunt gets to be the one to delve into Orr's story, has all the makings of a must-read. It's definitely on my list.


Last edited by Runner77: 06-17-2014 at 09:35 PM. Reason: typo
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06-17-2014, 09:32 PM
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dackelljuneaubulis02
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I told Mess I wasn't going to do this
lol

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What a great time of year to suggest something to read.

I've always liked Brunt. So articulate, packs so much meaning and can defend any position intelligently. Miss those days when he'd be a contributor on Melnick's show.

As to Bobby Orr ... a living legend, someone who has marked the Canadian psyche and beyond. We've all wondered how he survived the cruel fate that his opponents devised for him, when they couldn't keep up with way he elevated the game. To retire at such a young age, to have his body undergo so many surgeries and to have the will to bounce back and to know how humble a man he has remained, is especially compelling.

That Brunt gets to be the one to delve into Orr's story, has all the makings of a must-read. It's definitely on my list.
As great as the story is itself, he's one helluva writer. Really shocked at how good a writer he is. If anyone knows of other sports writers that are his equal or better, I'm all ears.

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06-17-2014, 09:48 PM
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FF de Mars
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Why could't Gretzsky accept to be paid with team share stocks like Lemieux ? He should have stayed in Edmonton !

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06-17-2014, 09:55 PM
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dackelljuneaubulis02
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Why could't Gretzsky accept to be paid with team share stocks like Lemieux ? He should have stayed in Edmonton !
the book states that Pocklington started shopping him around for cash before Gretzky even knew about it because Pocklington needed money real bad due to his other struggling businesses. Gretzky was outraged at first but then went along with it as long as he could go to either LA or Detroit.

Gretzky did start to ease into LA lifestyle because of the wife but the book states that it wasn't his idea.

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06-17-2014, 10:39 PM
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TassieHab
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Kings Ransom is the ESPN doc, well worth a look.

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06-18-2014, 01:07 AM
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madhi19
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When you think about the trade it kind of amazing that the Habs, the Leafs or the Rangers did not swoop in and outbid McNall. Or that Pocklington did not even try to get some kind of auction going. Off course Ballard in Toronto was notoriously cheap but McNall did not have the wealth to match the Molson in Montreal either. You got to wonder what the hell was Serge Savard doing that year? Because he sure was not doing his job all that well.

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06-18-2014, 01:26 AM
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dackelljuneaubulis02
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When you think about the trade it kind of amazing that the Habs, the Leafs or the Rangers did not swoop in and outbid McNall. Or that Pocklington did not even try to get some kind of auction going. Off course Ballard in Toronto was notoriously cheap but McNall did not have the wealth to match the Molson in Montreal either. You got to wonder what the hell was Serge Savard doing that year? Because he sure was not doing his job all that well.
The book claims that Pock shopped him to Vancouver first for whatever reason (can't remember) before Gretzky got wind of it. Once Gretzky did, he said he'd only go to Detroit or LA.

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06-18-2014, 01:26 AM
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dackelljuneaubulis02
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Originally Posted by TassieHab View Post
Kings Ransom is the ESPN doc, well worth a look.
Thanks, I'll check it out.

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06-18-2014, 05:50 AM
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The Peter Gzowski book "The Game of Our Lives" is a great companion read to the Brunt book. Gzowski followed the baby Oilers for a year in the early '80s, just as they were rounding into the dynasty they'd become. Great book, great writer.

Roy MacGregor is an excellent hockey writer, and he did something similar with "Road Games," which is an account of the birth of the Senators and their first season, along with all the corruption behind the Sens and the Sharks tanking to draft Daigle. "Home Game," which he co-wrote with Dryden is really good as well, and so is "Wayne Gretzky's Ghost," a series of hockey stories. Basically, anything MacGregor writes is worth reading.

"Open Net" is funny. It's the inside story of George Plimpton attending Bruins camp as a goalie in the '70s.

Those, along with "The Game" are a few of my favourite hockey books.

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06-18-2014, 07:13 AM
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Le Tricolore
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There's already a book? Wow, we just traded for him in February. Awesome.

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06-18-2014, 02:57 PM
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habtastic
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Curious - why would he want to go to Detroit of all places at THAT time?

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06-18-2014, 02:59 PM
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lou4gehrig
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Originally Posted by Habs View Post
ESPN E60 had a great documentary on the trade.
Espn 30 for 30 called A King's Ransom

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06-18-2014, 03:23 PM
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Thanks for two great book recommendations. Time to raise my reading standards a bit higher than this board...

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