Gretzky to Lemieux
The Story of the 1987 Canada Cup
By Ed Willes
(Emblem Editions, Paperback, 9780771088490, 256pp.)
Publication Date: October 7, 2008
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Gretzky, Lemieux, Messier, Coffey, Fuhr, all on the same team — in their prime. The greatest collection of hockey talent ever assembled, playing the games of their lives.
Three epic 6-5 contests between Canada and the Soviet Union decided the ’87 Canada Cup.
Canada evened the series, after the Soviets won Game 1, when Gretzky’s fifth assist of the game set up Lemieux’s hat trick, ending Game 2 in double overtime. Game 2 is widely considered one of the greatest hockey games ever played.
With time running out in Game 3, after Canada battled back from a 3-0 deficit, Team Canada coach Mike Keenan sent the Gretzky / Lemieux / Hawerchuk line on the ice for a faceoff in Canada’s end. The rest is history as Gretzky, Lemieux, and Larry Murphy rushed up the ice, Gretzky skating on the left wing, setting up Lemieux’s game-winner in the slot with 1:26 left in the game. Gretzky’s pass to Lemieux, followed by Lemieux’s goal, is one of the most memorable plays in hockey history.
Gretzky to Lemieux captures the on-ice drama that led to the historic three-game final, and the stories behind it. Ed Willes adds depth and weight to the games by revealing the rebellion among Soviet hockey stars in the early days of Glasnost and a crumbling Soviet Union; the trouble brewing for Alan Eagleson; the ascendancy of Mario Lemieux; and the end of the glorious Gretzky era in Edmonton.
Packed with interviews of players and coaches, Gretzky to Lemieux tells the full story of the greatest hockey ever played.
Ed Willes started his journalism career in 1982 at The Medicine Hat News. After four years there, he moved to the Regina Leader Post, then to the Winnipeg Sun, where he was the hockey writer for eight years. In 1997—98, he worked as a freelancer out of Montreal and ended up writing for the New York Times. That summer he was offered the sports columnist job at the Vancouver Province, where he’s been ever since. He is the author of one critically acclaimed book, The Rebel League. He lives in North Vancouver, B.C.
“Hockey fans should congratulate Willes on bringing it all back. He uses his reporter's thoroughness and his particular eye for the colourful angle to make it a great read.” —Neil Stevens, Canadian Press
Praise for The Rebel League:
“A book fuelled by the fumes of the WHA’s audacity, reckless hope, violence, and economic hilarity.”
— Globe and Mail