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The 5 Best Hockey Books to Read Over the Holidays

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 12/07/17, 11:30AM EST

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Penguin Random House features books for every hockey fan

The holiday break offers the rare time of the year to unwind. After all the chaos of holiday shopping and wrapping up school, it can be nice to take some time to yourself to sit back and relax with a book. Sit by the fire and open that book you've been meaning to read or get in a couple of chapters before bedtime.

There are many new hockey books that are hitting shelves just in time for the holidays. They make great gifts and offer stories of family, community and the bond that hockey creates. Here are five books from Penguin Random House to take a look at this holiday season from some of the biggest names in the hockey world.

Nine Lessons I Learned from My Father by Murray Howe

As a child, Murray Howe wanted to be like his father. He was an adult before he realized that didn't necessarily mean playing hockey.

Gordie Howe may have been the greatest player in the history of hockey, but greatness was never defined by goals or assists in the Howe household. Greatness meant being the best person you could be, not the best player on the ice.

Unlike his two brother, Murray Howe failed in his attempt to follow in his father's footsteps to become a professional athlete. Yet his failure brought him to the realization that his dream wasn't really to be a pro hockey player. His dream was to be his father. To be amazing at something, but humble and gracious. To be courageous, and stand up for the little guy. To be a hero. You don't need to be a hockey player to do that. What he learned was that it was a waste of time wishing you were like someone else.

When Gordie Howe passed away in 2016, it was Murray who was asked to deliver the eulogy. Nine Lessons I Learned from My Father takes the reader through the hours Murray spent writing the words that would give shape to his father's legacy--the hours immediately after his hero's death, as he gathers his thoughts and memories, and makes sense of what his remarkable father meant to him. The result is nine pieces of wisdom, built out of hundreds of stories, that show us the man behind the legend and give us a glimpse of what we can learn from this incredible life.

100 Years, 100 Moments by Scott Morrison

For the NHL's 100th season, a fan-friendly, argument starter of a book, compiling the 100 most impactful moments in league history.

From ostentatious scoring totals to unstoppable teams destined for championships, the NHL boasts a history of greatness. But as die-hard fans well know, greatness isn't the whole story. In this image-rich, licensed celebration of the NHL's past and present, veteran hockey journalist Scott Morrison mines a century of NHL hockey to find the game's 100 most important moments. From Bobby Orr's 1969-70 trophy haul, to Detroit coach Scotty Bowman's unprecedented icing of five Russians at once on the Red Wings' way to their first of several Stanley Cups, the Stastny brothers' defection, and Roger Neilson reviewing a game on VHS, these moments weren't always the photogenic peaks of athletic glory that graced the morning news, but each of them changed the game.

How We Did It by Karl Subban

The ultimate hockey dad, Karl Subban is a former school principal and father of five, including three sons--P.K., Malcolm and Jordan--who have been drafted to the NHL. Karl's inspirational and moving story follows the hockey journey from house league to the big leagues and shows how to grow the unlimited potential that is in every child.

In his thirty-plus years of coaching, teaching and parenting, Karl Subban has proved to be a leader with the gift of inspiring others. He has dedicated his life to helping young people grow their potential--to be better at what they do, and to be better people.

Originally from Jamaica, Karl Subban, along with his wife, Maria, have raised five accomplished children. Their oldest son is P.K. Subban, who won the Norris trophy for top defenceman in the NHL and whose trade from the Canadiens to the Nashville Predators shocked the hockey world. Their two daughters are teachers, one a university basketball star and the other a talented visual artist. Their two youngest sons, Malcolm and Jordan, have been drafted and signed by the Bruins and the Canucks.

As a child, Karl dreamed of being a star cricket player--but when he moved to Canada at age 12, hockey and basketball became his new passions. At university, when he realized his NBA hoop dreams would not come to be, Subban found his true destiny as an educator, devoting his life to bringing out the best in his students and his children.

From the backyard hockey rink to the nail-biting suspense of draft days, Karl Subban shares tales of his family's unique hockey journey. Mixing personal stories with lessons he learned as a coach and principal--lessons about goal-setting, perseverance and accomplishment--How We Did It will allow other parents, teachers, coaches and mentors to apply the same principles as they help the young people in their lives to identify, develop and live their dreams.

Game Change by Ken Dryden

From the bestselling author and Hall of Famer Ken Dryden, this is the story of NHLer Steve Montador—who was diagnosed with CTE after his death in 2015—the remarkable evolution of hockey itself, and a passionate prescriptive to counter its greatest risk in the future: head injuries.
 
Ken Dryden’s The Game is acknowledged as the best book about hockey, and one of the best books about sports ever written.  Then came Home Game (with Roy MacGregor), also a major TV-series, in which he explored hockey’s significance and what it means to Canada and Canadians. Now, in his most powerful and important book yet, Game Change, Ken Dryden tells the riveting story of one player’s life, examines the intersection between science and sport, and expertly documents the progression of the game of hockey—where it began, how it got to where it is, where it can go from here and, just as exciting to play and watch, how it can get there.

Offside by Sean Avery

Hockey's most polarizing figure takes us inside the game, shedding light not only on what goes on behind closed doors, but also what makes professional athletes tick.

As one of the NHL's most polarizing players, Sean Avery turned the rules of professional hockey on their head. For thirteen seasons, he played for some of the most storied franchises in the league, including the Detroit Red Wings, the Los Angeles Kings, and the New York Rangers, making his mark in each city as a player who was sometimes loved, sometimes despised, and always controversial.

In Offside, Avery displays his trademark candor about the world of pro hockey and does for it what Jim Bouton's game-changing Ball Four did for baseball. Avery goes deep inside the sport to reveal every aspect of pro athletes' lives, from how they spend their money and their nights off to how they stay sharp and conditioned and employed. Avery also examines his singular career path–while playing the talented villain on ice, he skated out of character in the off-season, taking on unexpected and unprecedented roles: Vogue intern, fashion model, advertising executive, restaurateur, gay rights advocate, and many more.

Rollickingly honest and compelling throughout, Offside transcends the sports book genre and offers a rare, unvarnished glimpse into the world of twenty-first-century hockey through the eyes of one of its most original and memorable players.


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