Hockey’s Hot Stove: The Untold Stories of the Original Insiders

S. & S. Dec. 2020. 240p. ISBN 9781982147013. $21.99. SPORTS
In any sport that involves multiple playing periods (or quarters, halves, sets, etc.), an important part of televising those sports live is finding something entertaining to fill the gaps between periods so that viewers don’t change the channel. For the institution that is Hockey Night in Canada, the insider information and gossip from the radio segment Hot Stove did the job. The book lives up to journalist and commentator Strachan’s (99: Gretzky: His Game, His Story) introductory warning that it will read like a conversation—one that includes swear words and frequent tangents, though more specifics around the oft-mentioned controversies and anger generated by Hot Stove content would have been welcome. Even the Hot Stove’s most ardent fans might ask the question: was it really significant enough to build a book around? The answer is debatable, but luckily Strachan seems to know just about everyone there is to know in the world of hockey reporting, and the reminiscences he fills in around the story of the Hot Stove make for good reading.
VERDICT A fun and entertaining read with a multitude of insider stories. Will appeal to hockey fans and sports media enthusiasts.
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