Toe Blake: Winning Is Everything

ECW. Mar. 2020. 288p. ISBN 9781770414907. $19.95. SPORTS
With 24 Stanley Cup championships, the Montreal Canadiens represent the winningest franchise in the National Hockey League—and no Canadien represents this winning tradition more than Hector “Toe” Blake (1912—95). In this first-ever biography of Blake, sportswriter Logothetis provides a detailed account of his subject’s life and career as a player and coach, most of which was with the Canadiens. Blake had a Hall of Fame career as an NHL player for 12 seasons, though his legacy as a player is often overshadowed by Maurice “Rocket” Richard, his line mate on the famous “Punch” line of the 1940s. But Blake’s true legacy was as a coach, including winning the Stanley Cup in his first five seasons as head coach and eight Cup victories when he retired, an NHL record at the time. His hockey career was personified by Blake’s zealous and unwavering desire to win every game, every championship, even every puck battle in the corner.
VERDICT Logothetis presents Blake’s story ably and thoroughly, though a lack of bibliography may be problematic for some. The appeal will be to hockey fans as well as filling a gap of coverage of one of the NHL’s top coaches and players.
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