Wednesday, 7 November 2012

TBC: Triple Overtime

With the lockout continuing, I have found myself turning to the one place where I can find great hockey stories. There are a number of a excellent hockey books being published while the NHL is on hiatus, and I recommend you stopping by your local library or book store to check out some of the titles. Today, HBIC and Teebz's Book Club is proud to present Triple Overtime, written by Stephen Cole and published by Simon & Schuster. Following up his efforts in Double Overtime, Mr. Cole has produced another top-quality book filled with all sorts of facts, stories, pictures, and statistics of which you may not be aware.

Stephen Cole started his career in books with McClelland & Stewart as a copywriter in the mid-1980s. He found a treasure trove of old hockey books that he proceeded to read through, compiling all sort of information and stories about various NHL teams. Stephen's wife, Jacquie, and his two sons, Harry and Lewis, offered up their support as Stephen began the process of writing this book. The life-long Leafs fan still lives in Toronto.

Triple Overtime is broken down into 30 sections representing each of the thirty NHL teams. There are a pile of stats to open each team's section, some fun with the nicknames given to lines, and a "Stump the Schwab" feature where somewhat difficult trivia questions are posed. Honestly, these pieces alone would be suitable for most trivia and stats lovers, but we get more as Mr. Cole also digs into some of the legends of each team.

For example, there are great pieces on players like Devin Setoguchi, Carey Price, and PK Subban. There's a fantastic piece on Gordie Howe hat tricks by Detroit players, a an excellent review of hockey movies throughout the years, and a great piece on Philly's legendary goaltender, Pelle Lindbergh. Needless to say, there are enough great articles in this book to keep one glued to the pages!

One of the longest entries in Triple Overtime is actually about former Blues goaltender Glenn Hall. Hall, of course, led the Blues to the Stanley Cup Final. Hall was instrumental in the Blues becoming a solid team early on in their history, and some of the stories told in this piece are downright hysterical.
"One time, Hall came into the St. Louis dressing room with bad news: wolves had killed half his cattle back home. That's terrible, teammates murmured. Then one remembered Hall had a grain farm. "Hey, how many cattle are there on your ranch?" he asked Glenn.

"Two," he said.
Glenn Hall is a goaltender for the ages. The man insisted on puking before every game, and he went out and played lights-out after throwing up whatever it was in his stomach. It takes a special breed to tend nets, as they say, and Glenn Hall was truly one in a million.

I truly believe that Triple Overtime will be a book that hockey fans enjoy. There are enough tidbits of information wrapped inside great stories that every hockey fan - young and old - will find interesting. From the songs played for each team to career hat trick leaders for teams, from the overtime recaps in each team's biggest games to the weird things that players, coaches and GMs have done, Triple Overtime is a great way to spend a couple of hours learning about hockey facts you may never have known!

The 224 pages of Triple Overtime are an easy read, and there are a ton of photographs to keep the visually-inclined happy. There were some stories that I lost interest in as I read them, but, for the most part, Mr. Cole has done an excellent job in adding another period to his Overtime series of books. Because of the great writing, the in-depth stats and stories, and the many pictures in the book, Triple Overtime absolutely deserves the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval!

MO' BRO: Mike Gartner, Wendel Clark, Dirk Graham, Grant Fuhr, Dennis Maruk, Larry Robinson, and...? Today, we add another defenceman whose moustachioed ways helped him bring home some impressive hardware.

Mike Ramsey is one of the more underrated defencemen when it comes to playing solid defensive hockey, but his contributions cannot be overlooked. Ramsey won a gold medal in 1980 as part of the "Miracle On Ice" USA team that defeated the Soviets in the semi-final. He was sans-moustache at that time, but his play there prompted the Sabres to put him in the lineup once the Olympics ended. He played in four NHL All-Star Games, played against the Soviets in Rendez-Vous '87, and played in a number of international tournaments, but the accolades eluded him in his career. Ramsey played 1070 NHL games, suiting up for the Sabres, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the Detroit Red Wings - all moustachioed!

Ramsey was a steady, stay-at-home defenceman who was relied upon for solid play in his own zone. Every single team needs a guy like that, and Ramsey's moustache is a welcomed addition to the Mo' Bro All-Stars! If you want to get in on the action, head over to the Movember page and get registered so your 'stache can stand amongst these great 'staches!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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