Dennis Maruk: The Unforgettable Story of Hockey’s Forgotten 60-Goal Man

Dennis Maruk, with Ken Reid. ECW (Legato, U.S. dist.; Jaguar, Canadian dist.), $25.95 (200p) ISBN 978-1-77041-331-3
Fast-moving and short could describe both Maruk and his memoir. At five feet eight, the Toronto native entered the NHL in the 1975–1976 season with the lowly California Seals. As an 18-year-old rookie, he wasn’t expected to make the team, but he took the advice of NHL player Dave Hutchison to “be a prick” on the ice to heart, sporting a Fu Manchu mustache to help him look and feel tougher. His entire career, aside from two stints in Minnesota, was spent playing for teams based in Oakland, Washington, D.C., and Cleveland, cities where it was hard to sell hockey. “I was a guy who played for teams that just couldn’t put fans into seats,” he laments. Written with broadcaster Reid (Hockey Card Stories), the book is cleverly divided into 60 chapters to reflect Maruk’s achievement of 60 goals in a season, though that often means that sections are brief and end abruptly. Maruk writes honestly about his failed marriages, his battles with depression, and his difficulty finding a posthockey life, and there’s enough insight into the business side of the game (including the bizarre merger of the Barons and North Stars), his teammates, and on-the-road hijinks to please any hardcore hockey fan. Agent: Brian J. Wood. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/28/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
Genre: Nonfiction
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