Anybody here read this book?
Highly, highly recommend it (I mean, it's a book solely about the Blackhawks so hard not to get into it). Some great stories, most notably about the 2010 team, and great insight on how the team dynamic has changed over the last decade not only for the Hawks but league-wide.
Some of my favourite excerpts below: On the culture change when McDonough took over as President:
For Blackhawks players, after years of being told "no," of being told to shut up and keep your head down and be grateful you're in the NHL at all, it was jarring to be told "yes" over and over and over again. It was motivating, too. It was also kind of terrifying. That's part of the genius of McDonough. "All of the sudden, as players, we're all thinking the same thing," Burish recalls. "Holy ****. We've got to play good now."
Burish on his time in San Jose:
"When I got to San Jose, it was just a boring culture, a boring team," Burish says. "I liked nothing about it. I remember guys saying, 'Well, we don't do team parties and we don't do stuff in the playoffs, we don't go for team dinners, blah blah blah, good teams don't do that.' I said, 'Yeah? Well, this little Stanley Cup team I was on a couple years ago? After we swept you guys in four games? It was an afternoon game. We were done by 6:00. The entire team - the wives, girlfriends - we went to a bar until 4:00 in the morning. Everybody. Every single one of us. With the Stanley Cup Final coming up, everybody was there until at least 1:00 or 2:00, and half the team stayed till 4:00 in the morning. And you know what? We wound up doing okay."
Brouwer on the mentality of the young 2010 team:
"Everyone always wonders how we did so well that first year," Brouwer says. "It was sheer dumb confidence. We didn't know any better. Us young guys, I don't think we knew the magnitude of what was going on at the time. We're just going out there having fun, playing hockey. I remember after we got through [the Nashville series], Kris Versteeg and his girlfriend, and Colin Fraser and his girlfriend, came over to my house. We were sitting there around the dinner table - I'm 24, Fraz is 25, Steeger is 23 - and we're just openly talking about how there's nobody that's going to beat us. You're not supposed to think things like that, let alone say them out loud. But that was the feeling throughout the entire team. Nobody was going to beat us. It was that dumb confidence. We knew early on that we were going to win the Stanley Cup."
Duncan Keith after losing three teeth and severely damaging four others in Game 4 of the 2010 Western Conference final: "It's just missing teeth," Keith said. "It's a long way from the heart." Sharp on the dedication, camaraderie, and preparation of the 2013 Blackhawks team during the lockout:
"It was kind of scary," Sharp says. "Because if you just disappear for a little while, then you might be losing ground on other teams. I remember calling around to other guys on other teams to try to get an idea of what they were doing during the lockout. They were just going to the ice by themselves, or with two, three, or four guys, just passing pucks around. We would have eight to 15 guys every time we were on the ice, and we're doing drills and conditioning. When you look back at how we started the season, with that 24-game streak, I think there's a reason we were able to do that. We must have been training harder, we must have been preparing harder than other teams, right? I mean, who knows, but it felt that way."
What Jamal Mayers told the team before Game 5 in 2013 against Detroit, down 3-1 in the series:
Mayers went around and looked at his teammates - young guys chasing their first Cup like Brandon Saad and Andrew Shaw, guys in their prime chasing a legacy like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, guys in the twilight of their careers chasing a dying dream like Michal Handzus and Michal Rozsival - square in the eyes. "You think they're going to keep this team together if we don't win?" Mayers asked. "No. They're going to change it." He started poking his finger in everyone's faces. "And you're going to be in Nashville. And you're going to be in Minnesota. And you're going to be in Columbus. And they'll wipe their hands of it. The people that are going to lose are you guys, because you're going to be somewhere else. We can do it. It's one game at a time, but we can do it. We have an unbelievable chance to win, and we shouldn't let that go to waste."
So, I ask:
Have any of you read the book?
If so, what are some of your favourite stories?
If not, what are some of your own favourite memories from the 2010, 2013, and 2015 teams?
Any other Blackhawk/hockey-related book recommendations? I could go for some more reading about the past in these trying times...