Sunday, 23 October 2011

TBC: Double Overtime

I spoke a little bit about the newest book being posted on the Teebz's Book Club list back on October 1 as Simon & Schuster Canada began to get its publicity campaign rolling for their new hockey publication. There were contests and offers of having your pictures appear in the next possible publication, but the only guarantee in having a "next publication" would be to have a solid publication on this effort. Teebz's Book Club is proud to present Double Overtime, written by Stephen Cole and published by Simon & Schuster Canada, and I have to say that the chances of having a follow-up to this book is good considering how good this book is. Without a doubt, you'll enjoy this book if you're a hockey fan. The information contained within its covers is outstanding.

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.

At first, Double Overtime seemed like an encyclopedia of facts and stories about each team. It was less reading and more just absorbing everything presented on the pages. However, once I got used to the fact that this book is a rapid-fire succession of all sorts of information, it became easier to read and much more enjoyable.

The book is organized in team order alphabetically. The Anaheim Ducks start, and the Winnipeg Jets/Atlanta Thrashers franchise closes out the book, showing that there was at least one update made before the publication run began. The pictures found in the book were all gathered through the Flikr web service meaning that the majority of images featured in the book were taken by fans. How cool is that?

One of the coolest features in Double Overtime is the cost of a night out per team. For example, the cost of a ticket to a Flames game, parking near the Saddledome, a hot dog, and a beer will run you a bill of $86.17 - eighth-highest total price out of the thirty NHL teams. There's a total for every team like this, and it really puts things into perspective when you see who charges the most, who charges the least, and how much the difference between the two prices are.

There are a ton of stories I had never heard before reading Double Overtime. For example, in the Colorado Avalanche chapter, there's a great story about Patrick Roy and a possible reason why he was a Conn Smythe Trophy winner twice for the Avalanche.

Avs goalie Patrick Roy, winner of the Conn Smythe Trophy (playoff MVP) in both of Colorado's Cup triumphs, had boxes of VHS tapes sent to him on the road. Not film of the next team he was facing, but copies of his favorite TV show, the granny-friendly mystery series, Murder, She Wrote.
That, readers, is almost unfathomable. I always knew that Patrick Roy was a different kind of goaltender, but Murder, She Wrote? Seriously?

Overall, Double Overtime has lots of great photos and a ton of interesting facts and anecdotes. There is even coverage of most teams, but the more historic teams - the Original Six teams - do get a few more pages of information. Personally, I'm ok with that as I like hockey history. There is a great look at the late Derek Boogaard, and Stephen Cole does a really nice job in writing an excellent piece on Boogaard. Because of all of this, I fully recommend Double Overtime to all hockey fans, and I'm happy to award it the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval.

While I can't say that this is a book I'll read daily, Double Overtime will be a book I'll definitely pull out again while looking up a hockey fact.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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