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Roenick goes deeper into career, life in book sequel

by Dan Rosen

NEW YORK -- Retired NHL all-star Jeremy Roenick dives deeper into his controversial and successful career in hockey as a player and celebrity now turned broadcaster in his latest autobiography, "Shoot First, Pass Later: My Life, No Filter."

The book comes on the heels of his first autobiography, released in 2012, "J.R.: My Life as the Most Outspoken, Fearless, and Hard-Hitting Man in Hockey."

Roenick said he wrote the second book because there so much of his story was left out of the first book.

"The first book was such a hit from people loving the stories, loving the interaction, loving the candidness, that publishers were like, 'There is enough that we didn't put in the first book that we can put in the second,'" Roenick told "But, also my transition from playing the game to now covering the game, now my opinion has become different so it's almost like I've become a big boy. You can tell that in the text because it's not locker room talk, it's more professionalism."

Roenick, who has co-authored both books with USA Today hockey writer Kevin Allen, said he feels his new book humanizes him in the eyes of his fans.

"My life is so white watery in that you don't know where it's going to take you from one second to the next. It's still that way," he said. "I'm on the road 300 days this year and the amount of people I meet and the relationships that I've been able to build, the arguments I get in, the confrontations I get in, the charity stuff that I do, people like to read about that. If I was just sitting home and doing nothing, just golfing and waiting to leave the planet, not only would it be boring but I think people would lose respect for me."

Roenick opens the book with his feelings on Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin, the player he has arguably been the most critical of in the NHL since becoming a broadcaster for NBC. He also tells a story about golfing with Wayne Gretzky as a way to change the public perception that he and "The Great One" are at odds because of critical comments Roenick has made about him.

"It's important that your relationships with the people that have built the game are strong," Roenick said. "I have always respected [Gretzky] and he has always respected me, but we've always had that mentality in the media that we butted heads and didn't like each other. That wasn't the case. It was really important for me, especially moving forward, because you never know where life is going to go, to make people understand that we do have a great relationship and we are friends."

There is plenty more too, including how he ranks the top players in the League today and his feelings on being a former player whose job it is to be critical of current players on a national television forum.

It's also not the end for Roenick as an author. He said he is planning another book.

"The next one I think might be more constructive, more motivational, more for kids and parents raising their kids," Roenick said. "But I think it's important to be able to talk about your faults, the things you've done wrong, to let people know you're human.

"The book gave you enough to where you still want a little bit more, but you're like, 'Wow, this guy, his opinions are obviously really strong and some of things he's done are pretty crazy.' "


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