Their relationship, on and off the ice, is at the core of the book.
Thankfully, Willes goes further than just covering team Canada. Their main opponents the Russians were a team undergoing a similar experience their country was. Willes relates how Tikhanov invited Larionov to join his Red Army team:.
1987 Canada Cup
In general, Igor, think it over we are talking, you know, about your future. So why read Gretzky to Lemieux , especially if you already know what happened? After all, even the most casual hockey fans know Canada won the best of three series hell, the cover image of the book is Lemieux scoring the series-winning goal.
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The same problems that dog hockey now too many teams, not enough talent; the cost of players; waning media interest south of the border are nothing new and all resonate in the book. His coverage of what happened behind closed doors and away from the rink pushes his book from a by-the-numbers account into a history of hockey.
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Eagleson, the egotistical, mastermind behind Hockey Canada whose own ego and greed would be his downfall. Mike Keenan, known for being distant and tough on players, but whose coaching smarts kept a short-benched Canadian team in close games.
But most compelling are the stories behind the Russians. That first meeting with Gretzky created such an impression that Lemieux asked to wear No.
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The two did not always maintain their early friendship during a year NHL rivalry that prompted numerous debates over which truly deserved to be called the Great One. And for players so similar in production, with 16 NHL scoring titles between them, they were strikingly dissimilar as people.
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Lemieux was tall and physically dominating; Gretzky was smaller and more resourceful. Gretzky was popular with sponsors, corporate types and the media; Lemieux was private and preferred playing golf to filming commercials or giving interviews. All told, there were a mind-boggling 12 Hall of Famers on the Canadian team. The two teams tied in the round-robin portion of the tournament and were separated by one goal in the final.
Retro Diary: Canada Cup Final - Game 3 | Five Minutes For Fighting
I remember seeing that and I had never seen that sort of speed and creativity. Want more in-depth features and expert analysis on the game you love?
Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine. Ken Campbell, The Hockey News' senior writer, is in his second tour with the brand after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star.
October 14, 2007
The Sudbury native once tried out for the Ontario League's Wolves as a year-old. Needless to say, it didn't work out. Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to primary sidebar Skip to footer Get the latest from The Hockey News right in your inbox your email address.