Don’t Call me A Goon is written by Greg Oliver & Richard Kamchen.
Like it or not, fighting is a huge part of the game of hockey and it really sets it apart from all the other major sports in the world. Don’t Call Me Goon covers some of the best fighters to ever lace the skates past and present as well as some of the biggest and best fights of all time.
This is a great book that is full of amazing stories that not only fans of fighting but for fans of the NHL in general will really enjoy. It covers basically the complete history of fighting in the NHL from the heavyweights of the past to some of the current tough guys.
Of course, one great thing about this generation is the wonders of YouTube. It was fun reading the stories of certain fights or certain players, getting the backstory and detail, then also reminiscing via video.
As one of the more controversial things in all of professional sports, fighting has helped the NHL remain relevant as even the casual fans will tune in to catch Tie Domi and Bob Probert drop the gloves for the umpteenth time.
Some of the greats covered in this book, and there are a pile of them, include:
- Sprague Cleghorn
- John Ferguson
- Don Cherry and the Big Bad Bruins
- The Broad Street Bullies
- Bob Probert
- Tiger Williams
- Tie Domi
- Georges Laraque
- Brian McGrattan
These were just some of the many that I was excited to read about when I first opened this book. The list of covered fighters in this book is just incredible.
The chapters are broken down into categories based on generation or position. The first chapter covers the Pioneers of fighting in the NHL. From there the book moves onto the heavyweights of the Original Six Era to the Expansion era right up to some of today’s best fighters. And also a great chapter is the one that covers the entertainers of fighting like Eddie Shack and even the goalie fights.
As I write this I am watching John Scott of the Sabres beat the piss out of Deryk Engelland of the Penguins, yeah I am a big fan of fighting in the NHL
Also broken down are the type of fighters the NHL has come to appreciate, the Scorers who aren’t afraid to drop the gloves, the defensemen who defended in every way possible, some of the best fights to ever happen, the Fan favourites and the state of fighting in hockey in today’s game.
It’s a great trip down memory lane to read about Probert, Domi, Dave Manson and all the other heavyweights of the time. Plus it’s also a nice history lesson to learn about some of the original fighters who paved the way for players like John Scott and Deryk Engelland.
The Authors of this book are clearly fight fans and it shows in their passionate writing. I am also a Fight fan but there is mixed reaction to fights in the NHL. Recently we have lost some of the tough guys who have developed addictions thanks to the pain and anxiety of having to go out every night and have your face and fists mashed up against another man who is in the same boat and have taken their own lives as a result. But this book does go into what needs to happen to prevent things like that from continuing to happen. Like it or not fighting is an important part of the NHL and for a league that always falls just a little short in the ratings department compared to the other major sports the NHL needs all the help it can get
But for a majority of fighters in the NHL they wouldn’t be in the NHL if not for the ability to fight. If the player isn’t fast enough or doesn’t have the hands of the goal scorers then they will do whatever is necessary to remain in the league and to fulfill their dream and if that means being a tough guy then so be it because if the player isn’t willing to fight every night then there is a player in junior just waiting for his chance to come up and do just that, fight. This book will show you that the players who do this for a living aren’t monsters or thugs but people who do what they can to earn a living.
This is a great book and a must read for fans of hockey. I still scream “Here we Go” each and every time that a couple of players drop the mitts and get at it no matter if I’m watching the game by myself or not.
This is a great addition to my hockey library and a nice easy read that I found hard to put down. It doesn’t only celebrate the fighting aspect of the game it also goes over what is needed to keep it alive in our game for years to come.
You can buy this book at Amazon. Here are the links:
Or don’t buy it and Laraque and Domi will visit your house to help you make up your mind!!