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Gretzky's Tears: Hockey, America, and the Day Everything Changed Hardcover – Bargain Price, November 1, 2009


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--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Triumph Books (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160078304X
  • ASIN: B005M4K4AK
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,590,298 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stephen Brunt is a columnist at the Globe and Mail and the author of Diamond Dreams: 20 Years of Blue Jays Baseball, Facing Ali: The Opposition Weighs In, Mean Business: The Rise and Fall of Shawn O'Sullivan, Second to None: The Roberto Alomar Story, and The Way It Looks from Here: Contemporary Canadian Writing on Sports. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario, and in Winterhouse Brook, Newfoundland. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Wayne Gretzky was traded to the L.A. Kings.
Matthew Morine
Brunt does a great job in dissecting his phony facade, whisker by well groomed whisker.
Jerry Graff
No Pace of the book: Excellent as I read this book very quickly.
LSmith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Morine VINE VOICE on January 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Years ago the nation of Canada changed. As the nation changed, so did the NHL. Wayne Gretzky was traded to the L.A. Kings. This was devastating to the nation. The hero of the north was going to America. This book chronicles this trade and the effects that it had on the NHL and Canada. The book is a wonderful and easy read. One that holds the hockey attention throughout the pages. I remember this trade as a child, wondering how could you trade this man, this hero, this idol to America. In Fact, I have a Wayne Gretzky autographed 8×10 but it is in his Ranger's jersey. It is not the same though, I want one with his Oiler's jersey. This is the Gretzky that I like to remember most. This was the man who won the cup and won the Canada Cup over the Russians. This is the man of my childhood. The book traveled down memory lane, it was a nice tour.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Crowhurst on October 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is overall a well-researched book that brings a lot of new material to the table in telling the story of Gretzky, McNall, and the trade that changed hockey.

It's hard not to compare this to Brunt's previous book, Searching for Bobby Orr. This is, in most respects, a far superior book. To start with, he has chosen an ideal structure for non-fiction narrative. Take as your core an incident, one that we think we know everything about. That's the hub of the wheel, then each chapter & sub-chapter serves as a spoke in the wheel. Moving from person to person, perspective to perspective, keeps it going, keeps it interesting. He gets in the same information he would have given if the book had been structured as a straight-ahead biography, but this approach minimizes the danger that the book will be too plodding.

There was a lot of content here that I hadn't seen, or at least didn't remember seeing, before, the biggest being the call on speakerphone between McNall and Pocklington. Or, there's the anecdote that in a couple of lines completely captures Jerry Buss, at least who he was as a hockey owner: the famous comeback against Gretzky's Oilers? He missed it. Left the game, couldn't be bothered to stick around for it.

Brunt obviously did a lot of legwork, and having the co-operation of many of the key players -- Gretzky himself passed, but his family, his agent, and McNall were all interviewed. Other gems came from Nelson Skalbania and some of McNall's key employees. In addition, Brunt's passion for the game and understanding of its place in Canada's culture comes shining through. While some of his analysis seems to me to stretch things a little, it's enjoyable to read well-thought out views on a subject so close to every Canadian's heart.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Graff on December 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I thought Brunt's writing was superb throughout. His eye for details and in describing little things painted a lot of vivid pictures in my mind as I read - always the sign of good writing.
The whole episode, as painted by Brunt, seems to boil down to this: everybody involved wasn't quite honest with each other. Pocklington, McNall and, sadly, even Gretzky himself. In hindsight, it seemed like everyone was trying to fool somebody else just a little bit with the whole thing.
But Pocklington definitely comes off as the biggest jackass of the whole thing. Brunt does a great job in dissecting his phony facade, whisker by well groomed whisker.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Review:
August 9, 1988 is a date that has become famous in hockey history. It was the date that Wayne Gretzky, considered by many to be the greatest hockey player to ever lace up skates, was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings. At the time, the Oilers were a hockey dynasty, having won the Stanley Cup four of the past five seasons, while the Kings were barely a blip in Los Angeles and even in their own building, playing second fiddle to basketball’s Los Angeles Lakers.

The trade left not only Edmonton, but the entire country of Canada in shock and despair. Los Angeles suddenly became a hockey hotbed and Kings games were must-see events, complete with celebrity guests. However, the burning question remained: why was this trade made? Why was the face of an entire sport traded from a team in the country where hockey is the national sport to a franchise in a warm-weather city? This question is covered from many different angles in this excellent book by Stephen Brunt.

Having read some of Brunt’s work earlier, I was looking forward to his writing on this event that stunned the entire sports world. The title of the book came from the fact that Gretzky was shedding tears at the press conference announcing the trade, stating that he was leaving Edmonton with a heavy heart and was sad to be going. Brunt’s research reveals that there was much more to this press conference than simply Gretzky showing his emotions. There is evidence that some, Brunt included, believe that this wasn’t the case at all, but instead something that Gretzky actually wanted.

The owners of the two teams and architects of the trade, Peter Pocklington of the Oilers and Bruce McNall of the Kings, are subjects that Brunt covered quite well in both his research and writing.
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