Very Cool Mighty Phoques Logo

Hockey Season (yes, capital H, capital S) approaches! My eldest asks every morning if it snowed outside (humidex read 35°C today) and if the city put up the boards yet! We have tickets to see the Ottawa 67s take on the Remparts de Quebec on Labour Daybour! My own season starts next Friday (We are the Mighty Phoques. Phoque, for the unaware, is the French word for seal, and we (will, by the start of the season, hopefully…MIKE) have old school Mighty Ducks uniforms (NB: link leads to Ten Worst Sports Uniforms list, oops) with a seal mask instead of a duck mask. Pretty nerdy, but cool)! This in mind, I opted this week to retrain my brain into hockey mode. I borrowed Score: A Hockey Musical from the library, and finally got around to reading They Call Me Killer, a memoir of sorts from Brian Kilrea, the celebrated coach of the 67s .

I call it a memoir of sorts because it really amounts to a series of stories told to James Duthie, TSN all-round awesome hockey dude, compiled and cross-referenced with supporting anecdotes from his teammates in Springfield and LA, his players on the 67s and the Islanders, and his family. It chronicles his life in hockey, from his own time in the juniors, to Springfield with Eddie Shore, to scoring the first ever goal of the LA Kings, to meeting his wife due to injury, to coaching the 67s. The stories are funny for the most part, but show what he wanted his kids (how he called the players he coached on the 67s) to learn from him. From their testimonials peppered throughout the book, they got the message. I never met the guy, but from his post-game interviews, he always gave the impression that he loved every minute that he could involve himself with the game; teaching his players, everything. On the bench, he looked like thunder. I had a coach like him for two years, Mr. Carette. He thundered. He’d punish a really lazy outing with a practice of nothing but suicide drills; but he always tried to make us better players, and better people.  Killer has the same attitude, and it comes through in his stories.

I recommend this book to people who like hockey, as it presents a spin-free look into the mind of one of the greats, and gives a feel of the locker room and the lives led by young hopefuls. I also recommend it to people who aren’t fans because, hey, I write fiction, and people who don’t like hockey are fictional, right?

I mentioned at the top of the post that I also watched Score. I watched it for completeness (still need to see Miracle and Mystery, Alaska. Pretty sure I’ve seen all the other hockey-based movies available). It had some laugh-out-loud funny moments, and the hockey proved kind of believable, if you assumed Major Junior goalies could be that bad. I found the music hit and miss, however. I thought it detracted from the story at critical points, and made me not care when I should.  Oh well. Strombo made me laugh every time he showed up with a “huh?” expression on his face. He didn’t even need to talk.


PS: Very parenthetical tonight. I guess I’m just practicing getting things between the pipes.