Author Archives: alifeofknuckleballs

My “1992-93 Montreal Canadiens” book to be released in late January 2020

Here’s some news about my new book, The 1992-93 Canadiens, which is expected to be released later this month in late January.

I was asked to draft a jacket copy for the book, and here’s what I submitted to the publisher. I have to admit… it’s pretty exciting have the book come out soon!

The 1993 Canadiens: Seven Magical Weeks, Many More Unlikely Heroes, and Canada’s Last Stanley Cup Champions 

Never to be confused with any previous Montreal Canadien “Flying Frenchmen” juggernauts who dominated the National Hockey League between the 1950s and 1970s, the 1992-93 Canadiens, whose lone superstar was future Hall-of-Fame goaltender Patrick Roy, were essentially a nondescript team coming off an embarrassing second-round playoff series sweep against the Boston Bruins the previous spring. 

Yet these Habs, led by the superb goaltending of Roy and with timely goals from various unlikely heroes, stunned the hockey world by winning a record 10 consecutive playoff overtime games over a magical seven-week run during the spring of 1993. Montreal ultimately captured hockey’s ultimate prize that June—the 24th championship in franchise history—in the last Stanley Cup Finals series ever played at the venerable Montreal Forum. 

While the Canadiens had proven scorers in Kirk Muller, Vincent Damphousse and Brian Bellows—and had veteran presence in Hall-of-Famers-to-be Denis Savard and Guy Carbonneau—Montreal might not have won the Cup without the heroics of a host of others who weren’t exactly household names. There were Gilbert Dionne, John LeClair (before he blossomed into a three-time 50-goal scorer in Philadelphia) and the undersized Stephan Lebeau (while playing on one good leg) notching overtime winners. There was little-known Paul DiPietro scoring goals in series clinchers. Gary Leeman and Rob Ramage, despite being near the end of their NHL careers, contributed in ways that didn’t necessarily show up on the scoresheet. And behind the bench, while Jacques Demers made all the right moves that spring, he isn’t even considered today among the top 50 coaches of all-time. 

More than a quarter century later, these Habs remain the last Canadian team to win the Cup—not the Montreal Canadiens but the last Canadian team—and in The 1993 Canadiens: Seven Magical Weeks, Many More Unlikely Heroes, and Canada’s Last Stanley Cup Champions, K. P. Wee relives the story of this incredible season



There will always, inevitably, be jerks who post impractical, insensitive comments like this:

The context here is that there is a threat of transit workers going on strike in the coming week – and, of course, we get people posting insensitive comments taking shots at transit users. Brilliant.

One week ago…

It was a week ago when I went to Staples to pick up supplies for my classroom.

I was looking for a crate as well, but on that particular night the Staples store didn’t have it on the shelves accessible for customers… 1) those crates were up on the upper, upper shelves, where you’d need an employee to grab a ladder and bring them down.

That proved to be the first misstep.

I asked one of the shop assistants to get me one of those crates, and she did.

Now, it should have been a warning sign for me in terms of foreshadowing, but as she came down the ladder, that ladder for some reason started to move – even though she’d locked it down before climbing up.

I reached over to hold on to the ladder as she came down, but I actually didn’t need to.

2) I went to pay for the crate, and I was first in line as the cashier was helping a customer. Inexplicably, an African American customer came around to the end of an unmanned cash till, and a male shop assistant came to that till to ring up his order – while I was clearly in line.

Whatever. It was my turn soon, and I paid.

3) I walked out of the store carrying the crate (with some other supplies that I’d gotten at Dollarama earlier that day in that crate), and went down the stairs, and tripped and fell on (I think) the second-last step. A teenager who was going up asked me if I was okay. I wasn’t, but I thought I was.

Soon, I realized I was bleeding and the crate was broken.

I took it back into the store and explained to the first employee I saw that I had tripped and was bleeding, and if they had a band-aid. Three employees came to me but it seemed nobody knew what to do.

Finally, one of them gave me some band-aids and offered to let me use the washroom. I took the key and went to use the washroom and fix myself up.

4) When I came out, a different employee saw me and sarcastically said that if I needed to use the restroom, I needed to put my backpack at the front. Since I was still in pain and in shock of tripping, I let that comment go.

Why did I choose to come on this night? It was my own mistake. I’d always thought that this store closes at 8pm daily, but earlier in the day I checked its store hours on my phone and found that it closes at 10pm on Thursdays (that particular day).

And I went to that store at around 9pm, when it was dark. And I fell down the stairs. My fault. What upsets me is that I watch where I’m going, and I did watch my step. And I still tripped.

It didn’t help, though, that there were three missteps by the store. 1) no crates accessible for customers, 2) the male employee inexplicably helping a guy who wasn’t lining up, and 3) it was dark and there wasn’t any lighting.

If those first two things didn’t happen, I might have gotten out of the store a few minutes earlier, and perhaps I wouldn’t have tripped? (ie. maybe I would have taken a different step or walked down in a different way…) It’s just one of those things where you second-guess things and wonder if things might have been different if…

PS – Oh yeah, that crate broke when I fell. When I was in the store after the mishap, I showed them the crate and I offered to buy a new one. Yup, they charged me. Meanwhile, even as I was bleeding and limping around, not one customer or anybody not in uniform (other than that teenager outside the store) asked me if I was okay. Nobody gives a damn.

Another night at the ballpark

Another interesting night in the press box at Nat Bailey Stadium in Vancouver…

It was a night of predictions, extra innings, and … trying new snacks.

For starters, the local Vancouver Canadians were ahead of Boise 2-0 entering the sixth inning.

I looked over at the official scorer, Mike, and told him that the sixth inning seemed to be the C’s “trouble inning” as the team had just lost the previous night in Spokane by giving up back-to-back homers in a 2-1 loss. Plus, the week before, they’d lost a pair of games in Tri-City by giving up the lead in the sixth.

Sure enough, Boise scored twice in the sixth – thanks in part to an error – to tie the game.

As the night progressed, you could tell the pitching was dominant on both sides, and it might take some luck to get the tie-breaking run across.

So I told the scorer that the winning run – or go-ahead run – might come home on a wild pitch with a runner on third.

Fast forward to the bottom of the 12th, and that’s exactly what happened as a wild pitch allowed the winning run to come home. C’s won, 3-2.

And snacks… here’s what I ended up munching on as the game went into extras. I ended up opening the second bag after the game moved into the 10th.

Onion rings and cheesy garlic bread! What was it that Mark Messier said during those commercials from the 1990s? Something about how you can’t just stop at one?

So, who the heck is “Budd B.”?

There’s this retired journalist from a Buffalo newspaper by the name of Budd, who spends time reviewing sports books on his personal blog.

He proudly gave my book on John Cangelosi #twostars on Twitter, and his Tweet provides a link to his blog, where he criticized the book.

Two stars? Here’s an excerpt:

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Okay, let me get this straight. A professional athlete who’s been retired for more than 10 years shouldn’t be sharing his stories…. got it. That got me thinking: Did he ever rate the autobiographies on Grant Fuhr and Doug Gilmour, a pair of Sabres hockey stars? But more on that later.

(Regarding the all-time team comment, I’ll have to say that I recall reading parts of Felipe Alou’s book, in which he lists his all-time team in the middle of a chapter. I believe Mickey Lolich did the same in his book. So… what’s Budd’s point?)

First of all, shame on this fella Budd for suggesting that a guy who hit .250 doesn’t deserve a book. Excuse me, Budd, how many years did you play in the big leagues and what’s YOUR average? Your bio says you’ve written 11 books. How many of them were best sellers? So, should more than half of your books not have been written in the first place?

A search on Amazon revealed the following:

  1. Budd wrote books on non-superstars himself! One player he wrote about scored 41 goals and 91 points…. in his entire career! So, don’t pick on another writer and another athlete who didn’t measure up according to you.
  2. From a reviewer on Budd’s hockey book: “…there are multiple errors in text that should have been caught.” Well, I guess someone needs more editing himself, huh?
  3. Here’s another one: “sophomoric book….told like a 6 yr great stories…..after bob probert and dave Schultz books this really stunk..very good admired player..awful storyteller” – So, it looks like Budd’s own books aren’t that great, either, then.

Okay, moving on to the aforementioned ex-Sabres. So, if a book shouldn’t be written about a former athlete who’s been retired more than 10 years, I assumed he didn’t have good things to say about the books of Gilmour and Fuhr… and I was right.

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I mean, I can’t speak for the intentions of Gilmour and Fuhr along with their co-authors, but my intentions with John Cangelosi are pure: Inspire young kids through John’s stories. Anyone who’s been told “You can’t do this” should read this book and be inspired.

I hate to think that this Budd has any kids. Think about the message he’s sending. Well, you know, Babe Ruth was last relevant in the 1930s, so kid shouldn’t read about him, right? Or, some pro athlete who made it despite challenges hits “only” .250 and that’s not good enough. Okay. Good to know.

Like, for a “writer” to rip a fellow writer? That’s harsh.

Of course, when you read the following, you’ll know the kind of person we’re dealing with here.

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“no one cares”? Tell that to former Flames players, who all have very positive things to say about Harley Hotchkiss and the “family” culture he brought to the organization.

Budd B…? Gutless.