Tuesday, March 15, 2011
The Lone Star Skate
just published by BridgewayBooks of Austin.
An interesting read for any serious, or just curious, hockey fan.
Rusty Burson, whose career spans reporting for Galveston newspaper, editor of several publications in Dallas/Ft Worth, and currently associate editor of "12th Man Magazine", brings his expertise to bear on the composition and lay out of the book. He has also written and published seven books.
It speaks frankly of management, financial, and other difficulties.
Of fans versus owners.
Of players versus coaches.
Of coaches versus owners.
And of many other hurdles that faced hockey in Texas then, and still does now.
And we read about NHL, AHL, ECHL, WHL, WHA, IHL- a quick look at hockey history.
On the way, it covers owner Norm Green, beloved of Minnesota fans,
until he moved the team to Dallas.
Mike Modano, a Dallas Star, who frankly admits, that flip flops and shorts is what he likes!
Jim Lites, Dallas Star advertising guru who succeeded to bring hockey into baseball and football country -with 'big specials, big hair and big assets'.
The Dineen family, who made Houston a hockey town, even if only at the AHL level.
Terry Ruskowski, Canadian farm boy, player and coach adds his personal anecdotes and photos.
Who, not too long ago, signed a life time contract with the Laredo Bucks.
Rick Kozuback, involved with hockey as co-founder of the WHL, currently CEO and President of the parent company of the CHL, yes, he too has many funny stories to tell about hockey's toddling steps in the South.
And such stories abound in this lavishly illustrated book, a worthy addition to any hockey fan's library!
Brett Hull, two Stanley Cups winner, NHL and American hall of Famer and a true professional talks about his career and the influences coaches have on players. As a Dallas Star he won the 1999 Stanley Cup.
We read about his life as the son of a Hockey legend and a figure skating mother.
And how he found his way in Dallas.
John Torchetti, former player and coach of many teams, who ended up in San Antonio with the Iguanas.
And later came back to coach the Rampage. Along the way, we learn about the fate of Iguanas, Dragons and assorted reptiles, till the Rampage made their appearance to stay.
Who would think so.
"The Lone Star Skate" certainly informs us, yes, there are more teams here than you'd think.
And the number of rinks, amateur leagues and youth leagues are almost equal to those in the North.
These personal stories, exaggerated or not, sure make for an amusing read for hard core fans and curious first timers alike.
(All photos from the book, taken by artandhockey, for reviewing purposes only)