A follow-up to One Night Only, a book about hockey players who had only played one game in the NHL, One To Remember throws a spotlight on athletes who had the misfortune (or fortune depending on how you look at it) of only scoring a single goal in their entire NHL career.
One To Remember profiles thirty-nine men who lit the lamp just once in the National Hockey League. The lone tally could be for any number of reasons. Maybe they suffered an injury shortly after their moment in the sun? Or maybe they themselves were called up to replace an injured player and were only given a handful of games to attempt to add to that single stat? Or they had career aspirations outside of the game? Reid was able to get into the heads of the men profiled here to examine their big moment on the score sheet.
Rather than just go person by person, author Ken Reid divides the thirty-nine into a few different categories. You had men who had been destined for greatness by being selected in the first round of the draft, tough guys whose job it was to use their hands for fighting rather than putting the puck in the net, men who found their way to the NHL undrafted and career minor leaguers who got their shot at the big leagues. Reid even discusses the select few goalies who got one in the opposing net.
One of my favorite stories surrounded Dave Hanson (of the famed Hanson Brothers showcased in the film Slap Shot!) almost making his way to Nova Scotia to play for the AHL’s Nova Scotia Voyageurs in an effort to continue playing under coach John Brophy. Another involved noted bruiser Dennis Bonvie – a man who played for my hometown Cape Breton Oilers when I was just a kid. He still holds the record for penalty minutes in a professional hockey career. There’s even one about two-sport athlete Hank Lammens; a man who found himself on the men’s sailing team at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
This was a quick, fun book that entertained me for the two days it took me to fly through it. It does tend to get a bit repetitive because really, you’re talking about one subject here but it was interesting nonetheless. Although you won’t see it land near the top of my hockey hall of fame reads, it’s a breezy read about the underdog and the loveable charm that goes along with being one.
I received an advanced copy from the publisher in exchange for a review.
Release date: September 22nd, 2020