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Hockey, Heroes & Me

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Few writers know professional sports, especially hockey and especially the Montreal Canadiens, better than Red Fisher. Starting with the now-defunct Montreal Star, then moving to the Gazette, Fisher has covered the many ups and occasional downs of the mighty Habs for close to forty of his sixty-eight years. In fact, his first major assignment in hockey occurred on St. Patrick's Day, 1955 - the night of the infamous "Richard Riot" at the Montreal Forum. That story, among many others, is vividly rendered on the pages of Hockey, Heroes, and Me, Red Fisher's long-awaited memoirs. It's an affectionate, sometimes irreverent, occasionally angry, often hilarious remembrance of days past from someone who seems to have known everyone and seen everything. Rich in anecdote, shrewd in observation, this book is studded with the names and the exploits of the famous, from Bobby Orr, Guy Lafleur, and "Boom-Boom" Geoffrion to Don Cherry, Glen Sather, Scotty Bowman, and Wayne Gretzky. At the same time, these memoirs aren't exclusively about hockey. Here you'll find stories about Red's encounters with boxing stars Archie Moore and Floyd Patterson, and the Expos' first manager, baseball's Gene Mauch. There's also a tribute to Montreal's highflying wrestling and boxing promoter, the outrageous Eddie Quinn, as well as a loving remembrance of Miss Hecht, Red's grade seven teacher. There are poignant moments as well. A salute to the late, illustrious broadcaster Danny Gallivan, famous across Canada as "the voice of the Canadiens." A visit to an extended-care home to see Toe Blake, the man who coached the Canadiens to a record eight Stanley Cups in thirteen seasons but who now lives "locked in the terrible visethat is Alzheimer's." Scoops and "inside" stories abound, of course. There's the revelation that Fisher knew of the famous Wayne Gretzky trade of 1988 months before it occurred but was put off the trail by the adroit stickhandling of Oilers coach Glen Sather and team owner Peter Hide synopsis

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