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Whether wearing his Edmonton oil-drop, the black and silver colours of L.A., or the famous Rangers sweater from New York, all hockey fans agree that Wayne Gretzky was the best hockey player of all time. His point totals, his puck control, and the manner in which he conducted himself both on and off the ice reflected the very best of the game. You can't talk about Gretzky without talking about his records and achievements: 50 goals in just 39 games, 9 Hart Trophies, 10 Art Ross Trophies, 4 Stanley Cups, 215 points in a single season, and, of course, retiring with 2856 points. Each record is a remarkable achievement by the game's most remarkable player, and each will be broken down in this book. Published with Wayne Gretzky's approval and written with his cooperation, this is the Gretzky biography that his fans have so anxiously awaited. Veteran sports journalist Al Strachan has enjoyed an extremely close friendship with Gretzky for well over 25 years, and during this time Strachan has reported on every aspect of his professional career. The two have spent thousands of hours talking about the game and such details as Wayne's move to L.A., managing the 2002 Canadian Olympic team and coaching in Phoenix. Their close friendship has offered each man the opportunity to discuss the game that they both love, and in this book Strachan takes readers on a most remarkable journey and details the life of Wayne Gretzky like it has never been told.
Players and coaches of genius come along; rules and tactics and strategies evolve; careers ebb and flow. And the best way to see how the game changes is to look at the goals, the events that led up to them, and the way they change hockey history. From Canada's ultimate hockey insider comes the lowdown on the personalities, the dressing-room banter, the chalk-talk, the sweat-stained passion behind eight of the goals that changed the game.There are moments in hockey history that matter even more than the question of who won or lost, when a single goal can tell us about the game itself.Among the most famous and stirring in hockey lore was Paul Coffey's dramatic counter-attack in the 1984 Canada Cup against the USSR. Canadian fans were terrified of the dazzling Soviets, and were nervous about another drubbing like the 8-1 loss Canada had suffered the last time the two teams had played. Coffey's pass interception and rush up-ice is now the stuff of legend, but it was not only the defenceman's skill that won the day.Glen Sather was as mindful of the vaunted Soviet attack as any Canadian fan, and he put together a game plan with one objective: to keep the puck away from the Russians. Once Coffey got the puck into the Soviet zone, it was Tonelli's spadework along the boards and Bossy's refusal to budge from the crease that allowed Coffey's point shot to eventually find its way to the net. That goal beat the Soviets and changed the way the game was played forever.Other goals were equally shaped by their time. Think of Guy Lafleur's notorious "too- many- men- on- the- ice" goal in 1979, which effectively ended Don Cherry's career as a coach. Or Wayne Gretzky's overtime goal in Game Two of the Smythe Division finals in 1988 against the Calgary Flames, arguably the goal that marked the pinnacle of his career. Or Mario Lemieux's 1987 Canada Cup-winning goal. Or Brett Hull's disputed 1999 Stanley Cup-winner.Al Strachan, whose insider hockey connections are second to none, was witness to all these goals. He has been writing about the game we love for more than three decades. Chummy with the players, respected by coaches, and friends with the broadcasters and journalists, he knows what is going on in the dressing rooms and the board rooms, and he understands what is evolving on the ice. He has talked to the men who made the decisions, as well as to those who made the plays. In Go to the Net, he passes on, in the trenchant style of his famous columns, insights into the goals that tell us not only about the way the game has changed but also about the gritty soul of hockey that will never change.From the Hardcover edition.
Bestselling author and Toronto Sun sportswriter Al Strachan shares more insider stories from his more-than-forty-year career covering pro hockey. Bestselling author and Toronto Sun sportswriter Al Strachan is a permanent fixture in the illustrious world of professional ice hockey. His opinion, backed by an extensive knowledge of the game and his sharp sense of humour, is read and enjoyed by millions of fans internationally. He has established unique and personal relationships with the biggest names in hockey from every generation and era and it is through these contacts that Strachan can step Over the Line to obtain exclusive access to information. Strachan has been writing about hockey for over forty years. He has experienced first-hand all that the game has to offer. From Stanley Cup victories, miraculous saves, and incredible goals to devastating hits and world class bouts, Strachan has been there to report on the most exciting, controversial, devastating, frustrating, humorous and talked-about episodes in the history of the game, whether it's Stanley Cup victories, miraculous saves, and incredible goals or devastating hits and world class bouts. In his latest adventure, he relives tales from the rink that will fascinate, amuse, shock, and entertain all fans of the game -- from dressing-room banter between player and coach to insider information on the League's revenue sharing program. It's all here, glorious page after glorious page of stuff that any fan of hockey must read.From the Trade Paperback edition.
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