Saturday 2 December 2017

Calling the Shots: Ups, Downs and Rebounds My Life in the Great Game of Hockey - Kelly Hrudey and Kirstie McLellan Day

Calling the Shots: Ups, Downs and Rebounds
My Life in the Great Game of Hockey
Kelly Hrudey
Kirstie McLellan Day
Wayne Gretzky (Forward)
Harper Collins
ISBN 9781443452243
eISBN 9781443452267

I was never a fan of teams that Kelly played for. I have been a lifelong Habs fan, and in the last few decades have usually picked a western expansion team to cheer for out west. But I was always a fan of his play. And to be honest he is one of my favorite hockey commentators of all time. I remember watching Hrudey with the Islanders when I was in High school, and following him in LA when I was in university. He was always an entertaining goalie to watch, and on camera either in front of the interview of behind he has consistently been engaging and entertaining. But reading his book opened my eyes up to a lot that I was completely unaware of.

His insight into his own struggles with depression. His openness about his personal struggles is tremendously encouraging. He tells it like it is. He speaks about his own struggles, struggles teams he was on have had. And He speaks about his forty plus years playing and commentating on the game of hockey.

The sections in this book are:
1 Just a Warrior
2 I Hate the Shake
3 It’s All in the DNA
4 Living Large
5 Agent Orange
6 In All His Naked Glory
7 Character
8 The Islanders Love Wayne’s Story
9 It Made My Toes Curl
10 Brown-Eyed Girl
11 I’m Not Doing This by Myself Again
12 Grace Under Fire
13 Tunes
14 Q-tips in His Ears
15 The Worst Goalie in the League
16 Right to the Point
17 The Gretzky High Stick on Gilmour
18 Crushed
19 Delivering Newspapers
20 The Adventures of Bruce McNall
21 I Was Petrified
22 A Fun Night Turned Ugly
23 One Point
24 An A-Hole Move
25 It Killed Me
26 Can You Read Effin’ Minds?
27 Oh, Woe Is Me—Our Goaltender Isn’t Doing His Job
28 An Absolute Stud
29 I Knew I Was Going to Be in Trouble
30 The Goalie Who Cried Wolf
Photo Section

Kelly speaks from the heart in this book. He defends a lot of players, coaches, and management personnel that he worked with in his career. But there are a few people he is very open about his disdain, dislike, or disgust with. Though for at least one of those, he tells a story about years later where his opinion radically changed, because of a different event. He shares a story about his family taking in a young player and having him live with them through his rookie season. He speaks about some of the true gentlemen in the sport and a few of the nobs. But for the most part he focuses on the positive in others and the negatives in his own character or personal struggles.

Over the last few years I have read a few other hockey memoirs, specifically Domi and Clark. And though I enjoyed both of those books, I really believe this is by far a better read. Kelly’s being open about his struggles in many ways makes this book more real, more touching. I Appreciate Hrudey even more than I did before reading this book. This book is an excellent read, for fans of Kelly’s or just people who grew up watching Hockey in that era. Or fr fans of him as a commentator on hockey Night in Canada!

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