Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New England Hockey Journal: Radio Show Review #2

In last week’s post, I told you that I’d provide a highlight of the NEHJ Radio Show, which you can hear on 890AM, ESPN Boston from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Here you go:

NHL Update:

The league is considering realignment, from six divisions to four. The new structure, which would see the Atlanta Thrashers and Columbus Blue Jackets switch conferences, would cut down on team travel and would result in fewer starting at odd times.

Not much would change for the Bruins except that we’d see more of the Columbus Blue Jackets. Boston would still be aligned with Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo, Pittsburgh (assuming the Pens remain in the Steel City), and Montreal.

On-Air Author: Stephen Brunt, Searching for Bobby Orr

Orr essentially had given the author the go-ahead to write the book as long as Brunt didn’t interview Orr himself or his immediate family. Brunt aimed to portray Orr as neither a god nor a devil, just a human being who loved to play hockey.

I had read the first few pages (at a bookstore in the mall while my wife was shopping), and found what I’ll call this “semi-authorized” biography intriguing. I knew Orr was from Parry Sound but didn’t know what his hometown was like or anything about his family life.

Brunt said his book, which is not available at Amazon.com as I publish this piece—presumably because demand has created a supply shortage—is available at book stores. It’s also is on display at the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame in Parry Sound, so the Orrs must be happy it.

I called into the show to comment on Brunt’s remarks about Orr’s on-ice creativity. You see, Orr came from an era before summer youth hockey camps were the norm and before PeeWee coaches implemented systems that stifle creativity—the same creativity that propelled Orr to greatness. I suggested coaches, players, and parents read Whose Puck Is It, Anyway?: A Season with a Minor Novice Hockey Team; Ed Arnold, an editor at the Peterborough Examiner and a youth hockey coach, documents not only the funny things that happen in a locker room full of youngsters but also asserts a refreshing philosophy by which he and his coaches (former NHL players Steve Larmer and Greg Millen) would try to abide.

If you’re tired of coaches screaming at officials and players, have had enough of parents who'll do anything to make their kid the next “Great One,” and believe in equal ice time for all players regardless of their talent level, this book is available at Amazon.com or at your local bookstore.

If you have this week off from work, you can probably finish it before the weekend is over.

As for me, I’ll be in Portland, ME with the AMHL photographer. At our bed and breakfast, I'll search for Bobby Orr and relive the glory of my second goal in two games. My wife bought the book for me as a Christmas present, and I scored another beauty (so what if was in a pick-up game).
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