Though sports journalist Mike Brophy’s My First NHL Goal (McLelland & Stewart) is ostensibly about the goal that marked the beginning of 50 hockey player’s professional career, it’s actually about so much more. Most of this it due to Brophy who knows the game about as well as anyone can and who has, through his career, had access to the top players in the land. Well, in any land, and that’s reflected in the book, as well.
Brophy’s approach was to interview each of his subjects and tell their stories in a journalistic style. Since he’s a seasoned and well regarded writer, this works rather well in this instance, especially considering the company he kept in making this book. Bobby Orr. Wayne Gretzky. Sidney Crosby. Phil Esposito. Jordan Eberle. Dave Keon. Tiger Williams. Mark Messier. Mike Bossy. I could go on, but you get the idea: Brophy delivers on his premise with some of the very top names in the sport. Period. Tough to go wrong.
And considering the talent involved, we end up with a two-pronged book. On the one hand, we have that premise: those first NHL goals. On the other, the keen eyes of a seasoned observer, sharing details about our hockey heros, past and present. Not just on the stated single goal, but also, in many cases, on their lives and their philosophies.
Hockey fans will enjoy this one, end to end. ◊