Sunday, January 11, 2009

On the Shelf, Part VII: Hockey Player for Life

I’m no Patrice Bergeron, but when yesterday I read about how he’s dealing with his slow-healing injury, I tapped into the recovery process, from frustration to acceptance. The prevailing coping mechanism seems to be patience. So while my ailing groin, which is responding to physical therapy, keeps me on the shelf, I submit another book report.

Hockey Player for Life won me over early on when author Howard Shapiro references Vic Hadfield (one of my dad’s favorite players), Lucien Deblois (I played pond hockey with one of his throwaway sticks), and Bruce Springsteen (need I say more?). What kept me reading this fictional account of a “can’t miss” future NHLer is how the protagonist’s relationship with hockey, his teammates, and his family develop. Teenager Tom Leonard, a puck-lugging defenseman for the Magic Rats, overcomes obstacles—some of his own making—and remains loyal to the game he—and I—love most. Shapiro’s deft maneuvering from scene to scene, in which he infuses forgiveness and redemption, is akin to Bobby Orr’s grace from goal line to goal line. Order the book from Amazon, here.
Post a Comment