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Gabby: Confessions of a Hockey Lifer Hardcover – October, 2009
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"An old-time straight-shooting coach who has won everywhere, Boudreau is one of sport's most honest, blunt, and entertaining coaches. Yet, despite his accomplishments, never too big for his britches. Except for the night you'll read about in Bridgeport." --Mike "Doc" Emrick, NHL play-by-play commentator, NBC, New Jersey Devils TV, and Versus
"When Bruce Boudreau was a scoring star for the junior Toronto Marlboros, I was in the stands at Maple Leaf Gardens cheering him on and now that he's an NHL coach he's still one of my favorite hockey people. Gabby is one of the great people in the game and his story is one of a love affair with the game of hockey; all levels of hockey, not just the NHL. Gabby's story is a must-read, because it's every bit as funny and quirky and nice as the man himself." --Bob McKenzie, TSN Hockey Insider
"Bruce Boudreau is hockey's Everyman, a droll and loquacious fellow who has been everywhere there is ice and who knows everyone who ever has strapped on a pair of skates. Now the Washington Capitals coach takes you on the rollicking, inspiring ride with him. Make sure you demand frequent Greyhound points." --Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated
"As Don Cherry, who wrote a foreword for this book, said: `I know you'll enjoy it.'" --www.hockeyjournal.com, December 5, 2009
"A great tale of perseverance and positive thinking. After reading it, you can't help but root for the `Columbo' of the NHL." --www.faceoff.com, December 10, 2009
About the Author
Bruce Boudreau is head coach of the Washington Capitals. The former head coach of numerous championship teams, Boudreau is the eleventh all-time scorer in the American Hockey League. Boudreau played parts of eight seasons for the Toronto Maple Leafs and Chicago Blackhawks, recording 70 points in 141 career NHL games. He won two Memorial Cups with the Toronto Marlboros and set a Canadian Hockey League single-season scoring record that stood until Wayne Gretzky broke it.
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er since I have been a fan of hockey. It's a great book about all the details of how much work it is to be successful in hockey. Bruce is a great coach and person.
Gabby is a light, pleasant read -- no heavy hockey philosophy here. But it reveals genius through simplicity and passion. Bruce Boudreau's success is spelled out beautifully in this book through a series of stories about his less-than-stellar playing career, lessons learned from minor league coaching, and becoming one of the NHL's most successful coaches.
This book is an idea read for the following: A rabid Washington Capitals fan; a youth hockey coach; high school and up hockey players; and young business professionals looking to glean secrets and tips for being a successful leader. I see a lot of my own company's president (highly successful and a joy to work for) in Bruce Boudreau.
Gabby talks about his experiences, both on and off the ice, in an entertaining way, but if you're not careful, you'll miss the many life-lessons he's trying to convey, such as the one trait, evident on almost every page, that underlies his strength and success -- genuine humility.
There's a few things I thought he glossed over a bit much, such as his divorce from his first wife (but it took some courage to even talk about it), a bit more about some of the players he's coached for, especially some of today's stars on his and other NHL teams, and perhaps a bit more about his own personal background and how he developed his passion for hockey. Then again, I'm not quite done with the book yet.
I suggest this book as a Christmas or birthday present, or a gift, for the young hockey player or coach in your life. But don't forget a copy for yourself, too.
The book is a lot lower-key than I thought it might be - not that much humor or controversy - but I still had no trouble reading it. It's an easy read, which is a compliment. I wish it had more on last season and a detailed report on the exciting playoff series against the Penguins. Instead, it's kind of an afterthought at the end of the book. I assume most of this was written before the 2008-2009 season. The book, however, gives you a good feel of what it's like to coach in the minors.
You just have to be a fan of hockey and you'll enjoy reading this autobiography about an underdog who made good.