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The Instigator: How Gary Bettman Remade the NHL and Changed the Game Forever Hardcover – October 1, 2012
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About the Author
Jonathon Gatehouse is a senior correspondent for Maclean’s weekly magazine and was formerly a reporter for the National Post and Montreal’s Gazette. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Top Customer Reviews
However, this book fails to really capture Bettman. Instead, there are sporadic quotes from the Commissioner and little insight into Bettman himself. The meat of the book is simply a statement of facts and situations that the NHL has found itself in during Bettman's tenure. Most of it you can find on the Internet or in other books. I give the author a lot of credit for a well-researched book, but by the middle of the book, I was skimming and skipping many sections filled with generic information that I already knew.
For a casual hockey fan that does not know a lot about the game, I recommend this book, but if you're a diehard familiar with the nuances of the game, I'd take a pass.
NOTE: I give the author a great deal of credit for uncovering little tidbits about Bettman such as the fact that he wrote his Masters Thesis on the branches of power within a Mafia organization. Draw your own conclusion!
If you are a huge hockey fan and follow the business side of it, it's worth a skim. Otherwise, skip it.
The author of this book realizes that in order to understand the game of professional hockey as it exists today, you must understand where it was before the current commissioner took over. In order to understand how Gary Bettman pushed through the things he wanted done, you must understand the man's personality and history. And in order to comprehend the difficulty of doing so, you must understand the former and current structure of NHL ownership, as well as the personalities who did and do make up that exclusive circle. Mr. Gatehouse accomplishes these goals in a book that cannot be “just one type” in order to do its job.
Highly recommended for hockey fans, both the ones who are enjoying the game played today and the ones who lament for “the good old days”.
RATING: 5 stars.
But it's slow in parts, and I kept having to look back to earlier in the book to figure out who was who. At one point Gatehouse mentions a person briefly in an early chapter, then brings him up again over a hundred pages later and expects you to remember who he was.