November 22, 2008

Which Habs Book Is For You?

It comes as no surprise that there are several high quality books out this year on the Montreal Canadiens. Hockey's greatest team is celebrating it's centennial, after all, and authors, publishers and book sellers are playing a big role in giving fans a taste of Montreal history to take home with them.

There are four main titles for you to consider, plus a DVD:

Habs Heroes: The Definitive List of the 100 Greatest Canadiens Ever By Ken Campbell/The Hockey News: THN senior writer Ken Campbell polled a panel of experts to come up with a definitve 1-through-100 ranking of the top Montreal Canadiens players of all time. Campbell then goes about writing brief biographies for this action packed book. There's plenty of colour photography to compliment the great writing. Published by The Hockey News/Transcontinental Books.

Honoured Canadiens by Andrew Podnieks: When the Montreal Canadiens and the Hockey Hall of Fame got together to work on this joint project, they instantly sought the services of hockey super author Andrew Podnieks. With Podnieks' great research and writing abilities, and the Hall's amazing and exclusive photography, this book looks at each of the 54 Montreal Canadiens players, coaches and builders who have been enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame. The design and layout are spectacular, with the imagery unmatchable. And Podnieks does a good job of covering each enshrinee with great detail. The only thing more noticeable than the striking cover is the shrink wrap around it that prevents you from peeking inside. Publisher HB Fenn authorized a sneak peek inside here at HockeyBookReviews.com

The Montreal Canadiens: 100 Years of Glory by D'Arcy Jenish: This book appears to be the early popular favorite, appearing on the Globe And Mail's best seller list earlier this season, one of only two hockey books to do so this fall. Jenish retraces Montreal's long history through the words of Montreal's sports writers over the years. He must have spent countless hours researching and compiling this work, but it pays off big time. He offers a unique, thorough, and honest history of the Canadiens, warts and all. It is not a history written through nostalgia-coloured glasses like every other Habs history title.

Patrick Roy: Winning, Nothing Else by Michel Roy: This Patrick Roy biography, written by his father Michel Roy, is the English release of the 2007 French mega hit Le Guerrier. Roy remains in the news despite retiring from NHL competition, so this book will be of great interest to many fans, and not just Montreal fans. The book is a little long-winded, but you get an honest look into one of hockey's leading personalities. Roy was at times mysterious and at other times down right controversial. This book looks into it all.

So which is the best? Here's the HockeyBookReviews.com ranking:

1. The Montreal Canadiens: 100 Years of Glory by D'Arcy Jenish
2. Honoured Canadiens by Andrew Podnieks
3. Habs Heroes by Ken Campbell/The Hockey News
4. Patrick Roy: Winning, Nothing Else by Michel Roy

There is another book coming in January 15th, 2009. Wiley is reproducing the classic Lions in Winter by Chrys Goyens and Alan Turowetz. It's actually the third edition of this blast from the past.

Oh yes, about that DVD. It's called Montreal Canadiens Greatest Games. Here's the disk lineup:

1. 2/19/08 vs. Rangers (Habs come back from 5-0 down)
2. 11/23/03 vs. Oilers (Heritage Classic)
3. 3/11/96 vs. Stars (Last game at the Forum)
4. 6/9/93 vs. Kings (Habs win 23rd and last Stanley Cup)
5. 5/24/86 vs. Flames (Habs win 22nd Cup)
6. 4/20/84 vs. Nordiques (Adams Division Final, Game 6)
7. 5/10/79 vs. Bruins (Too many men on the ice. Semi-final Game 7)
8. 5/14/77 vs. Bruins (Habs win 2nd of Four Cups in a row)
9. 12/31/75 vs. Red Army (Tretiek puts on a show vs Habs on New Year's Eve)
10. 4/14/60 vs. Maple Leafs (Habs win 5th consecutive Stanley Cup)

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