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Weekly Warmup: March 23

If you are streamed out-or need a break from the screen-we recommend some hockey books to inform and entertain

by Bob Condor & Savannah Hollis / @NHLSeattle_ /

With the hockey world on hold - the International Ice Hockey Federation officially cancelled its men's world championships Saturday along with previously announced cancellation of the women's championships - the return of Weekly Warmup will focus on becoming informed about hockey over the next weeks.

This week, my colleague Savannah Hollis joins in the fun as we tag-team this column. Please email me at if you have more recommendations. 

Let's drop the puck with a starter list of recommended hockey books:


Our Favorites:

"The Game" by Ken Dryden: There is no better book on hockey if I must say so-and, well, I do say so. Hall of Fame goalie Dryden played his college hockey at Cornell, starred as rookie in winning his first Stanley Cup with Montreal in 1971, playing six regular-season games for the Canadiens, then 20 more that spring in a triumphant playoff run that included a Game 7 road win over Chicago. But the wonder of this book is Dryden's deep, insightful writing about the sport, the ethos of team, winning five Stanley Cups in the 1970s, facing Russia's powerhouse team, taking a whole season off to be a law clerk (he finished law school at the same time while playing for the Canadiens) and lots more. Pick up the original or the 30th Anniversary Edition; Dryden reads his own audiobook too. - Bob Condor

"99: Stories of the Game" by Wayne Gretzky with Kirstie McLellan Day: Wayne "The Great One" Gretzky shares 99 hockey stories with readers, detailing his vision of the sport and those who impacted and helped shape him as a player. Among other highlights, Gretzky, the sport's greatest all-time scorer, explains what the game looks like from his wondrous point-of-view. This is a good book to read in parts while taking a break from streaming. Gretzky is credited with saying "You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take." Well, you miss on 100 percent of some wonderful hockey anecdotes if you don't read this book. - Savannah Hollis 


Kids' Books:

"Z is for Zamboni" by Matt M. Napier, illustrated by Melanie Rose: Learn the alphabet, hockey style! - S.H.

Dino-Hockey by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Barry Gott: Dinosaurs playing hockey in a Meat-Eaters vs "Veggiesaurs" matchup? Need we say more?! - S.H.

"Hockey Morning Noon & Night" by Doretta Groenendyk: Learn the ways in which you can incorporate hockey into every part of your day - whether it be eating, hanging virtually with friends or sleeping. - S.H.

"Drop the Puck!" (series) by Jayne J. Jones Beehler, Illustrated by Katrina G. Dohm: Enjoy a variety of tales about young hockey enthusiasts and their love of the game. Each book in the series shares tales of friendship, loyalty and more! - S.H.

"Winning Women in Ice Hockey" by Marlene Targ Brill: Young readers meet and learn about many of ice hockey's pioneering stars in the 1999 collection, ranging from U.S. Olympic team captain and NHL Seattle pro scout Cammi Granato to Canada's first star female goalie Manon Rheaume. - B.C. 

"Meet Willie O'Ree" by Elizabeth MacLeod, illustrated by Mike Deas: Part of the Scholastic Canada Biography series, this book for ages four to eight introduces the story of the NHL's first black player who still works for the league today as an ambassador of youth hockey and diversity. One grabber for readers or the read-to: O'Ree lived with a secret disability: he was blind in one eye - a fact he had to keep to himself or he would have never played in the NHL. - B.C. 


Other Recommended Reads:

"Behind the Bench: Inside the Minds of Hockey Greatest Coaches" by Craig Custance: One of hockey's leading writers-now at The Athletic-Custance shows his interviewing skills with compelling stuff from the likes of Mike Babcock, Joel Quenneville, Dan Bylsma, Todd McLellan, Ken Hitchcock and Claude Julien. He even sits in on some video sessions as he reports. - B.C. 

"Playing with Fire" by Theo Fleury with Kirstie McLellan Day: There is no doubt that NHL alum Theo Fleury had an impressive playing career. But what the stats don't tell is the story of his chaotic life growing up at home or the struggle with drugs and alcohol that ultimately ended his career. His candor is impressive. - S.H. 

"The Boys of Winter: The Untold Story of a Coach, a Dream and the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team" by Wayne Coffey: By all means, watch the movie "Miracle" too. But Coffey, a gifted storyteller and long-time New York Daily News reporter, unveils new material in this 2005 book. The focus is on the lunch-pail work ethic of "everyday heroes who just wanted to play hockey happily ever after." Don't miss the forward by gold-medalist USA goalie Jim Craig. - B.C.

"Pelle Lindbergh: Behind the White Mask" by Bill Meltzer and Thomas Tynander: Swedish goaltender Pelle Lindbergh grew up idolizing Philadelphia Flyers goalie and French-Canadian Bernie Parent and dreaming of playing in the NHL. When he was drafted by the Flyers in 1979, it seemed like all of his dreams were coming true until his untimely death in 1985. - S.H.

"Searching for Bobby Orr" by Stephen Brunt: Superb Canadian writer Brunt digs deep into the legend of Boston Bruins great Bobby Orr. You will get to know just how personal and consumptive hockey can get for young players plus understand Orr in ways you don't expect. This book is primer from moving beyond casual fandom. - B.C. 

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