Category Archives: Sports
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.
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?
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:
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:
- 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.
- 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?
- Here’s another one: “sophomoric book….told like a 6 yr old..no 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.
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.
“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.
Here’s a story about John Cangelosi on the Herd Chronicles, a website dedicated to the history of the Buffalo Bisons.
John played for the Triple-A franchise in 1985, 1988, and 1990.
Interestingly, he was a member of two separate organizations during those stints.
You see, the Buffalo franchise was a Chicago White Sox affiliate when he first played for the Bisons as a 22-year-old.
In the next two stints, the Bisons were the Triple-A club of the Pittsburgh Pirates. John played for the Pirates organization from 1987 to 1990.
Of course, my book on John’s career can be found here.
Here is the final segment of John Cangelosi’s interview with Craig Mish of the “Swings and Mishes” podcast where he talks about the book I wrote on his career: