Jeff Rud stole my idea.
Okay, he didn't really, he just beat me to it, and I'm glad he wrote Canucks Legends: Vancouver's Hockey Heroes. He did a far better job than I ever could have.
After penning the books World Cup of Hockey and Legends of Team Canada, I had two new ideas for books I wanted to write, one of them being Canucks Legends. And even though I approached every publisher in Canada about my idea, realistically I only wanted to work with one publisher: Raincoast Books.
Raincoast produces some of the highest quality books on the market, in many genres including hockey. Two of their earlier releases were the first two installments of the hockey legends series, Canadiens Legends: Montreal's Hockey Heroes and Maple Leaf Legends: 75 Years of Toronto's Hockey Heroes, both written by Mike Leonetti.
Unbeknownst to me, by the time I received Raincoast's form letter rejection about my Canucks Legends idea they had already had Canucks Legends in the works. And they wisely opted to break away from Leonetti and go with a more local scribe, selecting Jeff Rud.
Leonetti is a prolific writer and I've enjoyed most of his works, but Jeff Rud takes the Legends series to a new high. With the rich history of the Montreal and Toronto franchises, I felt Leonetti too often resorted to regurgitating stories that avid readers like myself had heard a few times before. Rud, with very few true legends to write about, had to dig deeper. So while many of the featured players are questionable legends outside of BC's Lower Mainland, Rud makes the book tremendously interesting with his great research. As a life long Canucks fan, I found myself learning quite a bit out the team and the players who wore all those ugly uniforms.
There have not been a lot of books about the Canucks over the years, and certainly none that have truly captured the heart of this team. The Canucks traditionally have been sad sacks, making any historical book on the team almost unwarranted. The story of the Canucks doesn't lie within on ice success, but rather with the heroes and characters who skated for the team and with the fans who loved them through thick and thin, and thinner.
Therefore, Canucks Legends is, in my opinion, the best book on the Canucks yet.
Be sure to check out future hockey book reviews at hockeybooks.blogspot.com.