- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: ECW Press (September 1, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1770410384
- ISBN-13: 978-1770410381
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #633,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Don't Call Me Goon: Hockey's Greatest Enforcers, Gunslingers, and Bad Boys Paperback – September 1, 2013
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For many years, the casual fan associated professional hockey with endless, bench-clearing brawls between guys with missing teeth. Recently, though, the National Hockey League, seeing the success of no-fight Olympic hockey in attracting new fans to the sport, has minimized fighting among its players. But many of the hockey’s legends and best-known personalities through the years have been its enforcers. Oliver and Kamchen did the research and the interviews, leading to such descriptions as, “He had huge balls: he’d fight anybody, anytime.” One theme that recurs time and again is that of the less-talented player who makes the team and eventually has a career because he was willing to “mix it up.” For example, John Wensink was such a terrible skater that his coach, the legendary Don Cherry, joked that he considered buying him a pair of double-runners. One memorable fight landed Wensink’s victim in the hospital and earned Wensink a visit from the police. Some of the anecdotes are funny; others, like the beating Wensink administered, not so much. But hockey’s tough guys are part of the sport’s history, and the authors tell it well. --Wes Lukowsky
About the Author
Greg Oliver is the author of Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: Heroes and Icons, Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: Tag Teams, and Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: The Heels. He lives in Toronto. Richard Kamchen is a freelance writer living in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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Top customer reviews
I thought the book had some very interesting anecdotes, and for someone who wants to learn how the fight game has evolved, I would recommend this book. I am not sure if there was any methodology used in putting this book together, because the book read like hundreds of individual short stories. Bottom line, you don't have to read this book in any type of order, you can just look at the table of contents, and pick and choose who you want to read about.
I am curious how the author came up with who he was going to write about in the book? How can you devote time to Arron Asham, Derek Dorsett and Steve MacIntyre, but not to Craig Berube, Rob Ray, Marty McSorely, Sandy McCarthy, Chris Simon, Gino Odjick, Donald Brashear, Peter Worrell etc? I would have also looked at the fighters whose careers were short-lived in the NHL like Link Gaetz, Brantt Myhhres, Ken Belanger, etc....
I did thoroughly enjoy the many quotes that the players had about each other. The author quoted many different players throughout the book, and it helped paint the pictures of the Enforcers.....
I would read this in conjunction with other books like Bob Probert's "Tough Guy" and Duff's book "The Bruise Brothers."
The authors cover early fighters such as Joe Hall, Red Horner, and Sprague Cleghorn before moving on to heavyweights from the original six era. It was fascinating to read about. Things really got bad, though, during the expansion era, circa 1967. When the Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues, Pittsburgh Penguins, and other teams came into existence, doors opened for players who previously couldn’t get on with the original six teams. A lot of these were fighters. And so Philly’s Broadstreet Bullies were born, and they terrorized the NHL throughout the ‘70s. I was disappointed the authors didn’t cover someone I consider to be perhaps the most famous enforcer of all time, Dave “The Hammer” Schulz, nor did they cover Bob “The Battleship” Kelly, other than just brief mentions. Still, the fights were tremendous. And tremendous to read about.
The authors then go into pairings of fighters, such as the infamous Bob Probert and Joey Concur, as well as Tiger Williams and Dan Maloney, among others. They then go on to highlight fighters who could score and defend too. They try to cover issues like concussions, but I don’t think they go quite far enough with that. It’s a growing concern and one that shouldn’t be swept under the rug.
It was interesting to read the former enforcer’s take on the current state of the game. They think it’s been ruined by a newish interference rule that has resulted in cheap shots and gone a long way to eliminating the role of enforcer. They think enforcers policed the game and the refs shouldn’t be the ones having to do it themselves and aren’t in a position to do it right either. They think today’s game is watered down with pansy players skating around doing whatever they want. As noted big time enforcer Tiger Williams said in the book, “Some snot-nosed little [punk] that isn’t going to break a nail is going to score 50 goals and he’s never driven to the net in his life. He’s never stood in front of the net with Moose Dupont giving him 89 cross-checks in the back of his head,…. To have today’s play’s players score 400 goals in a no-punch pond hockey league is garbage. Getting in another guy’s face is part of the character of the game.” Well said, Tiger, well said.