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Split personality. Liking the arts, especially opera, and hockey and Los Toros. I know, I know THAT one is non pc currently. But I can't help it saw some in Spain and got hooked, but good. But on the other hand right now opera and hockey are in the forefront!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Lone Star Skate

"The Lone Star Skate" by Glenn Hart and Rusty Burson with an insightful foreword by former NHL Hall of Famer Bob Gainey, is a brand new book,
just published by BridgewayBooks of Austin.
An interesting read for any serious, or just curious, hockey fan.

Glenn Hart brings to it his personal experience as hockey club owner. Hart, President and Co-Founder of Laredo Energy, first got involved with Hockey in 1995 by bringing an IHL franchise to Houston, 1999 he brought Hockey to Laredo, by creating a venue and a solid fan base for Laredo's CHL's
Laredo Bucks.

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.

The 10 chapters of the book start with  the success of the Howe family and Aeros in Houston. And end with the story about  Glenn Hart's personal involvement with hockey - the Houston Aeros and the Laredo Bucks.

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.

But it also presents personal recollections that make us smile.
It brings back memories to older fans, especially if we were THERE when..
There, could be in Houston, the Coliseum, the Summit!
There, could be in San Antonio, the Freeman Coliseum, the ATT Center!
There, could be in Dallas, the Reunion Arena, the AA Center!
And others, all engraved in loyal hockey fans' hearts! 

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.

Texas, a hotbed for Hockey?
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)


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