Calling all hockey fans! Love ’em or hate ’em, the Boston Bruins have quite the history. Check out an excerpt from The Best of the Bruins and then get to know author Jonathan Weeks in this interview. Download your own copy and then visit the rest of the tour for even more fun. Leave more questions along the way. Best of luck in the giveaway!
Among the “original six” NHL clubs to survive the Great Depression, the Boston Bruins have a vibrant history. Entering the 2020-’21 campaign, the team ranked fourth all-time with six Stanley Cup championships. Some of the most gifted players in NHL history have skated for the Bruins over the years. Best of the Bruins: Boston’s All-Time Great Players and Coaches tells the individual stories of the players and coaches who have helped make the Bruins perennial contenders for close to a century. Profiles of current players are included in this sweeping survey.
Read an excerpt:
BOBBY ORR EXCERPT Orr did not invent the archetype of the offensive defenseman, but he elevated it to a new level. A masterful skater with unparalleled acceleration, he knew where the puck was at all times and could almost always be found carrying it, pursuing it or redirecting it. Teammate Phil Esposito recalled a game in which the B’s were on a penalty kill against the Oakland Seals. Orr took the puck behind the Bruins net and lost a glove in a scuffle with an opponent. Retaining possession of the puck, he skated over the blue line then back into the Bruins zone, where he picked up his glove and killed off a full minute of the penalty. Concluding one of the most astounding sequences Esposito had ever seen, Orr glided into the offensive zone and scored a short-handed goal. Though Orr’s detractors claimed that he was soft on defense, others begged to differ. B’s goalie Eddie Johnston, who played with Orr for several seasons, remarked: “They say Bobby doesn’t play defense. Heck, he makes a forty-minute hockey game for us. He’s got the puck twenty minutes by himself. What better defense is there?” On a similar note, coach Harry Sinden crowed: “You can have all the Bobby Clarkes of the world. I’ll take one game from Orr. He’ll make thirty moves no one has seen before.” Orr established himself as a cultural icon in the same manner as Joe DiMaggio. More than just a player—he became a hero to the New England masses and a legend to hockey fans outside his primary fan base. His greatest seasons were packed into a relatively short span, but his star burned brightly long after he retired as a player. To the present day, he receives resounding ovations at every public event he takes part in. Interestingly, Orr never basked in the spotlight during his playing days. After Bruins victories, he would often hide in the trainer’s room and avoid reporters so that his teammates could receive credit.
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What is the inspiration behind this book?
I grew up in the Capital District region of New York State. My father used to take me to college hockey games when I was young and I have some very fond memories of our visits to Achilles Rink, which is located on the Union College campus in Schenectady. I’ve been a fan of the Boston Bruins for over forty years now. This book was definitely a bucket list item for me.
On what are you currently working?
The Bruins book was my first jaunt into hockey writing. Most of my books are about baseball. I am currently finishing up a project about the golden age of New York baseball, when the Yankees, Giants and Dodgers were all located in the Big Apple. It’s a two-part series.
What is your writing routine?
I’ve been asked about this in many interviews. I don’t really know why, but I do my best work early in the morning. I wake up around 5 a.m. with lots of ideas and my writing goes much smoother during the first part of my day. By noon, things start to get a little foggy for me. I’ve never really understood it.
What is the best writing advice you ever received?
One of my high school teachers used to say: “Write what you know.” It’s a solid concept. Whenever I stray beyond the realm of my personal knowledge, I’m just hacking blindly away.
What is your least favorite part of writing?
Editing of course! By the time you have produced a publishable work, you have been staring at the same set of pages for months. It’s exhausting. Most of my books are non-fiction and the editing process requires fact-checking. That entails going back to the original sources and making sure you got your facts straight. It’s a very tedious process.
When not writing, what can we find you doing?
I love attending sporting events and rock concerts. I also enjoy hiking and trying out new restaurants. I do quite a bit of reading in my spare time and watch a fair amount of television. I’m hoping that Covid restrictions will be lifted soon so I can get back to some of those activities.
What is one skill you wish you had?
I really wish I could skate well enough to play hockey. I can skate pretty fast moving forward or backward, but the stopping part has always been difficult for me. My tendency to crash headlong into the boards has kept me out of organized hockey leagues throughout my lifetime.
If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?
This is a tough question and I almost avoided it, but somehow I felt compelled to answer. I would like to meet Leonardo DaVinci. Not only was he a gifted artist, but he envisioned helicopters, parachutes, armored cars, and Scuba gear (among other innovations) centuries before they came into existence. Where did he get his ideas from? I would love to talk to him and find out firsthand.
A lifelong sports fan, Weeks has published several non-fiction books on the topic of baseball. Additionally, he has two novels to his credit–one of them a posthumous collaboration with his father. His latest project: Best of the Bruins: Boston’s All Time Great Players and Coaches, is due out in 2021.
Jonathan Weeks will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway