April 29, 2013

Tales From The Locker Room: Montreal Canadiens

The Tales From The Locker Room series has spanned many franchises in North American pro sports, including several NHL hockey teams. Over the years the series has tired, thanks largely to hit and miss products based largely to the choice of author.

Well Skyhorse Publishing - who recently purchased the series from Sports Publishing - certainly picked the right guy when they asked Robert Lefebvre to write Tales from the Montreal Canadiens Locker Room: A Collection of the Greatest Canadiens Stories Ever Told.

Buy The Book: Amazon.ca - Chapters - Amazon.com

Lefebvre's status as a Habs historian can not be questioned. He established one of the top blogs in all of hockey - Habs Eyes On The Prize - based largely on his fascination with hockey history. He left the blog a couple of years back to pursue another Habs history related book (which I can not comment on, but I eagerly await it's release!). In his study of that subject his knowledge of the history of the Montreal Canadiens has grown even larger, and it shows in his first book release, Tales.

Lefebvre's knowledge is not his biggest contribution to this book. Nor is it a nicely refined writing style that I have watch grow over the years. Lefebvre's biggest contribution to this book was his insistence of changing the tired formate of the Tales series to better match the Habs long and lengthy history. In doing so he breathed new life into the series. Every subsequent book in Skyhorse's future line up should follow Lefebvre's blue print.

There have been a lot of books related to the Montreal Canadiens over the years. Lefebvre didn't want to write a book that has already been written. He did not want to re-tell the typical Habs history that he openly admits has been clouded by myth and embellished by legend.

So Lefebvre presents the true history of the Montreal Canadiens through a great collection of stories that Lefebvre fought for. Stories like the origins of the founding of the franchise, how Rocket Richard defied the odds to become hockey's greatest icon, how the Habs acquired stars like Toe Blake, Ken Dryden, Guy Lafleur and Patrick Roy, and how Sam Pollock built the legendary dynasty of the 1970s.

The book is a fantastic final product, and that is thanks first and foremost to Lefebvre. He actually came to the project late, as the publisher had someone else lined up to pen the book. Lefebvre came in quite late in the process, and under a very tight deadline he brought his trademark thoroughness to the project. In fact he supplied nearly 20,000 more words than he was asked to. He then fought to have much of it retained!

There are a lot of books out there on the Montreal Canadiens. Robert Lefebvre's Tales From The Montreal Canadiens Locker Room is a worthy addition.

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