Monday, November 2, 2009

Gretzky's Tears ; Stephen Brunt

From Chapters.ca: Renowned sportswriter Stephen Brunt reveals how "the Great One," who was bought and sold more than once, decided that the comfortable Canadian city where hockey ruled couldn't compete with the slushy ice of a California franchise.

Bobby Orr's career ended prematurely, with tears. Wayne Gretzky's tears, unlike Orr's, announced not an ending but another beginning. Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers had four Stanley Cup victories, but Gretzky may then have had other goals in mind.

Beginning with his dad, Walter, and continuing with Nelson Skalbania, Peter Pocklington, Bruce McNall, Jerry Buss - and with the CBC's Peter Gzowski as chronicler for the eager masses - the enormity of Gretzky's talent attracted all sorts of people who were after a variety of vicarious thrills.

Review: I really quite enjoyed it being as I am a hockey fan and have followed much of the exploits of what happened in regards to the NHL expansion since the mid-1990s and the eventual downfall of the game in the Southern United States. It was not only interesting from from my prospective as a hockey fan, but also as somebody who is interested in history and has been following the news stories in regards to the Phoenix Coyotes, which were once located in Winnipeg and were called the Jets and can recall the moves of various and formation of teams since 1994.

I also liked how Brunt integrated the climate of Canada as a country at the time of the Gretzky "trade" with the events surrounding his departure. While I was alive at the time and probably saw it on the news the day of the event, I recall the Ben Johnson scandal that hit the fan in the next 3 weeks afterwards. Its strange how one recalls certain events and not others, even though both are significant in terms of one's sporting history, especially when they occur within a few weeks of each other.
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