Wayne Gretzky's Ghost
Wayne Gretzky's Ghost
And Other Tales from a Lifetime in Hockey
Random House Canada, Hardcover, 9780307357410, 400pp.
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
The gift book of the year for hockey fans: Roy MacGregor has been called "the best hockey writer in the country," and we finally have a collection of his very best hockey writing, revised and updated.
For nearly 40 years Roy MacGregor has brought hockey, our national sport, alive on the page. From tales of the game's greats (Guy Lafleur, Jean Beliveau, Marcel Dionne) to today's stars (Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Daniel and Henrik Sedin), his magazine and newspaper coverage has revealed so much about these and so many other personalities, in moments of promise, victory and defeat. While many of these stories play out on the ice, some of the most compelling take place on the home front (Mario Lemieux's battle against cancer, the many tribulations of Bob Gainey), and MacGregor's prose shines especially when focused on the human side of a sport defined by superhuman feats of speed, aggression and power.
Wayne Gretzky's Ghost will be a personal book, and also a book of challenging ideas: that Wayne Gretzky, through no fault of his own, was the worst thing to happen to hockey; that CBC's Hockey Night in Canada has lost sight of what it is; that goaltending has become a position out of all proportion to what was intended. And who could offer a better perspective on the game than a writer who, playing as a youngster, had to face an onrushing phenom from Parry Sound named Bobby Orr, or who spent a year ghostwriting a national newspaper column for the Great One himself? When it comes to hockey, Roy MacGregor has seen (and in some cases, done) it all.
“The Harper government should just go ahead and designate Roy MacGregor a national treasure and be done with it…. He’s the best writer around whose subject happens to be hockey…. MacGregor shows why he’s the best at chronicling Canada’s game.”
“The nation’s most incisive and interesting writer on the game and its hold on us.”
—The Globe and Mail
“The closest thing there is to a poet laureate of Canadian hockey.”
—The Washington Post
“He brings a rare—and trust me, admirable—touch to his work.”
“MacGregor has a unique ability to balance objective reportage with a keen, emotional core; he has a good eye for the human interest angle, which intensifies his editorial thrust, rather than distracting from it.”
“Roy MacGregor’s friendly wit, acute observations, sympathy for people, innate curiosity, delightful modesty, and love of country have made him the reader of our national soul and diviner of our foibles, par excellence.”
“Peter Gzowski’s gone and both Douglas Coupland and Will Ferguson are a bit too young yet, so that should probably hand the print title of Captain Canada to Roy MacGregor—if he weren’t so deserving of it anyways, for both craft and heart.”