Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway - Best of the Bruins: Boston's All-Time Great Hockey Players and Coaches by Jonathan Weeks

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Best of the Bruins: Boston's All-Time Great Hockey Players and Coaches by Jonathan Weeks. This tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a great guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Best of the Bruins: Boston's All-Time Great Hockey Players and Coaches
Author: Jonathan Weeks
Publication Date: January 19th 2021
Print Length: 203 pages
Genre: Hockey, Sports History
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Among the “original six” NHL clubs to survive the Great Depression, the Boston Bruins have a vibrant history. Entering the 2020-’21 campaign, the team ranked fourth all-time with six Stanley Cup championships. Some of the most gifted players in NHL history have skated for the Bruins over the years. Best of the Bruins: Boston’s All-Time Great Players and Coaches tells the individual stories of the players and coaches who have helped make the Bruins perennial contenders for close to a century. Profiles of current players are included in this sweeping survey.

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EXCERPT:
Bobby Orr

Orr did not invent the archetype of the offensive defenseman, but he elevated it to a new level. A masterful skater with unparalleled acceleration, he knew where the puck was at all times and could almost always be found carrying it, pursuing it or redirecting it. Teammate Phil Esposito recalled a game in which the B’s were on a penalty kill against the Oakland Seals. Orr took the puck behind the Bruins net and lost a glove in a scuffle with an opponent. Retaining possession of the puck, he skated over the blue line then back into the Bruins zone, where he picked up his glove and killed off a full minute of the penalty. Concluding one of the most astounding sequences Esposito had ever seen, Orr glided into the offensive zone and scored a short-handed goal.

Though Orr’s detractors claimed that he was soft on defense, others begged to differ. B’s goalie Eddie Johnston, who played with Orr for several seasons, remarked: “They say Bobby doesn’t play defense. Heck, he makes a forty-minute hockey game for us. He’s got the puck twenty minutes by himself. What better defense is there?” On a similar note, coach Harry Sinden crowed: “You can have all the Bobby Clarkes of the world. I’ll take one game from Orr. He’ll make thirty moves no one has seen before.”

Orr established himself as a cultural icon in the same manner as Joe DiMaggio. More than just a player—he became a hero to the New England masses and a legend to hockey fans outside his primary fan base. His greatest seasons were packed into a relatively short span, but his star burned brightly long after he retired as a player. To the present day, he receives resounding ovations at every public event he takes part in. Interestingly, Orr never basked in the spotlight during his playing days. After Bruins victories, he would often hide in the trainer’s room and avoid reporters so that his teammates could receive credit.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A lifelong sports fan, Weeks has published several non-fiction books on the topic of baseball. Additionally, he has two novels to his credit--one of them a posthumous collaboration with his father. His latest book: Best of the Bruins: Boston's All Time Great Players and Coaches, is out now.

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GUEST POST:
BOSTON’S DREAM TEAM
by Jonathan Weeks


The Bruins are among the most storied franchises in NHL history. Founded in 1924, they have won twenty-six Division Championships and six Stanley Cups—fourth most among current teams. The club has carried more than fifty Hall of Famers over the years and retired eleven jersey numbers. Considering all the talent that has passed through “The Hub” in nearly a century of play, I thought it might be fun to assemble a pair of All-Time All-Star teams. Each of the players I selected is featured in my latest book.

1ST TEAM ALL-STARS

CENTER
PHIL ESPOSITO

A popular bumper sticker in Boston during the 1970s said it best: “Jesus Saves. Esposito Scores on the Rebound!” During his nine seasons with the B’s, “Espo” collected thirty hat tricks. He led the NHL in goals for six consecutive seasons and won two Hart Trophies (given to the league’s most valuable player).

RIGHT WING
RICK MIDDLETON

Though he gathered close to 1,000 points during his NHL career, Middleton is conspicuously absent from the Hall of Fame. Many would agree that this is a grievous oversight. He generated more than a point per game with the Bruins and served as team captain for three seasons.

LEFT WING
JOHNNY BUCYK

Bucyk spent twenty-one seasons in Boston. He is among the Bruins top five in nearly every major offensive category. He had a knack for elevating his game during the postseason.

DEFENSE
RAY BOURQUE

Bourque is the Bruin’s all-time leader in games played, assists, and points. He also won five Norris Trophies for his outstanding defensive play. Whenever discussions of the greatest Bruins blue-liners are raised, Bourque’s name is invariably thrown into the mix.

DEFENSE
BOBBY ORR

Though the Bruins had some talented teams during the early-‘70s, it’s doubtful they would have won a Stanley Cup without Orr. He captured eight consecutive Norris Trophies. Legendary coach Punch Imlach once remarked comically: “When [Orr] goes by my bench, I turn away so I won’t have to watch.” A lot of opponents felt the same. More than forty years after his retirement, Orr remains one of the most beloved New England sports figures.

GOALIE
TINY THOMPSON

Though his name has faded into relative obscurity, Thompson was arguably the greatest goalie of the 1920s and ‘30s. A four-time Vezina Trophy winner, he posted the best GAA in Bruins history (1.99) and is the team’s all-time leader in shutouts (74).

2nd TEAM ALL-STARS

CENTER
PATRICE BERGERON

A four-time Selke Trophy winner, Bergeron is known for his stellar defense and faceoff skill. Entering the 2021 campaign, he has six 30-goal seasons to his credit. A clutch performer, 9 of his playoff goals have been game-winners.

RIGHT WING
CAM NEELY

Neely was a stereotypical power forward. A fierce competitor, he hit opponents hard and took a lot of punishment in return. During his ten years in Boston, he reached the 50 goal mark on three occasions. He generated more than a point per game in playoff action.

LEFT WING
BRAD MARCHAND

In spite of his enduring reputation as a “bad boy,” Marchand has an impressive skill set. In ten full seasons with the B’s, he has secured a spot among the all-time franchise scoring leaders. His 27 short-handed goals are an all-time Bruins’ record.

DEFENSE
ZDENO CHARA
Known affectionately to teammates and fans as “Big Z,” Chara is a seven-time All-Star. He has served as team captain for the past fourteen seasons and averaged more than twenty-one minutes of ice time per game in twenty consecutive campaigns. His plus-240 rating is among the top Bruins’ marks of all-time.

DEFENSE
EDDIE SHORE

Shore was the first NHL defenseman to establish a dominant offensive presence. His relentlessly physical (and at times brutal) play made him one of the most despised players outside of Boston. Describing his reckless style, teammate Milt Schmidt said: “Most people of the day would skate down the side, but Eddie always went down the middle of the ice. People bounced off him like tenpins." During his fourteen seasons in the NHL, Shore averaged 78 minutes of penalties per year. That may not seem like much by today’s standards, but schedules consisted of only 48 games when Shore was in his prime.
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GIVEAWAY:
Jonathan Weeks will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the tour each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

57 comments:

  1. My brother would love this book.
    Thanks for the contest.

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  2. Thanks so much for hosting my tour! I'll be checking in periodically throughout the day to answer questions and reply to comments.

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  3. Congratulations Jonathon! Hope it does really well for you!

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  4. My oldest son would love this book.

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  5. I love reading Jonathan Weeks books, but I think my husband likes them more than I do.

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    1. So glad to hear that! Always nice to know that people enjoy your work. Thanks!

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  6. I'm not really into sports such as hockey (which is strange as I'm from Minnesota which is known for their hockey) but it looks like it would be a good book to read anyways.

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  7. Yes, Minnesota is steeped in hockey tradition. I try hard to gear my books toward both passionate and casual fans. There's a little something in this book for everyone.

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  8. My FIL would love this book. He is a big fan.

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    1. Well, he obviously has good tastes in hockey teams. LOL

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  9. congrats on the release this sounds like an interesting book

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  10. thank you for a chance to win

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  11. This book would make a great gift for my husband.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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    1. I'd be the first one to tell you to buy him a copy! LOL

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  12. This sounds like a very good book.

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  13. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  14. I live in Ireland and as such, I'm afraid, know absolutely nothing about ice hockey!

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  15. David HollingsworthJune 2, 2021 at 1:41 AM

    I hope this book leads even greater things for you!

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  16. My husband loved hockey. He grew up in New York and went to games.

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  17. How long was the writing process?

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  18. Sounds like an interesting story.

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  19. This sounds like a book that would be fascinating.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  20. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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  21. Hope everyone's having a good week so far.

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  22. It sounds like an interesting book.

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  23. I have only watched the Stingrays play in Charleston, SC.

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  24. Best of luck looks like a great book

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  25. I am not a sports person but I have a nephew who would love this read.
    Thank you for sharing it.

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  26. sounds like a fun one

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  27. This seems like a fun book for a sports lover.

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  28. Sounds so entertaining! Thanks for sharing this 🤗

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  29. Hoorah, it's Friday! Well, it is here anyway :)

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  30. My friend would love this book. He's a hockey nut.

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  31. Thank you for writing such an outstanding book.

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  32. Congratulations on the release, this sounds like an interesting book!

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  33. Love the amazing cover it looks awesome

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  34. Looking forward to reading this book

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  35. Looks like a wonderful book to read.

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  36. Thank you so much! I received the gift card this morning!

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