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One of Sports Illustrated's Best Sports Books of 2017 Controversial hockey star Sean Avery's no-holds-barred memoir of high living and bad behavior in the NHL—coupled with the behind-the-scenes glitter of celebrity and media nightlife in New York and LA. As one of the NHL's most polarizing players, Sean Avery turned the rules of professional hockey on its head. For thirteen One of Sports Illustrated's Best Sports Books of 2017 Controversial hockey star Sean Avery's no-holds-barred memoir of high living and bad behavior in the NHL—coupled with the behind-the-scenes glitter of celebrity and media nightlife in New York and LA. As one of the NHL's most polarizing players, Sean Avery turned the rules of professional hockey on its head. For thirteen seasons, Avery played for some of the toughest, most storied franchises in the league, including the Detroit Red Wings, the Los Angeles Kings, and the New York Rangers, making his mark in each city as a player that was sometimes loved, often despised, but always controversial. In Ice Capades, Avery takes his trademark candidness about the world of pro hockey and does for it what Jim Bouton's game-changing Ball Four did for baseball. Avery goes deep inside the sport to reveal every aspect of an athlete's life, from what they do with their money and nights off to how they stay sharp and competitive in the league. While playing the talented villain in the NHL, Avery broke far away from his on-ice character in the off-season, and Ice Capades takes the reader inside the other unexpected and unprecedented roles that Avery inhabited—Vogue intern, fashion model, advertising executive, restauranteur, gay rights advocate, and many more. Love him or hate him, Sean Avery changed the way professional hockey is played today. Rollickingly honest and compelling throughout, Ice Capades transcends the "sports book" genre and offers a rare, unvarnished glimpse into the world of 21st century hockey through the eyes of one of its most original and memorable players.


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One of Sports Illustrated's Best Sports Books of 2017 Controversial hockey star Sean Avery's no-holds-barred memoir of high living and bad behavior in the NHL—coupled with the behind-the-scenes glitter of celebrity and media nightlife in New York and LA. As one of the NHL's most polarizing players, Sean Avery turned the rules of professional hockey on its head. For thirteen One of Sports Illustrated's Best Sports Books of 2017 Controversial hockey star Sean Avery's no-holds-barred memoir of high living and bad behavior in the NHL—coupled with the behind-the-scenes glitter of celebrity and media nightlife in New York and LA. As one of the NHL's most polarizing players, Sean Avery turned the rules of professional hockey on its head. For thirteen seasons, Avery played for some of the toughest, most storied franchises in the league, including the Detroit Red Wings, the Los Angeles Kings, and the New York Rangers, making his mark in each city as a player that was sometimes loved, often despised, but always controversial. In Ice Capades, Avery takes his trademark candidness about the world of pro hockey and does for it what Jim Bouton's game-changing Ball Four did for baseball. Avery goes deep inside the sport to reveal every aspect of an athlete's life, from what they do with their money and nights off to how they stay sharp and competitive in the league. While playing the talented villain in the NHL, Avery broke far away from his on-ice character in the off-season, and Ice Capades takes the reader inside the other unexpected and unprecedented roles that Avery inhabited—Vogue intern, fashion model, advertising executive, restauranteur, gay rights advocate, and many more. Love him or hate him, Sean Avery changed the way professional hockey is played today. Rollickingly honest and compelling throughout, Ice Capades transcends the "sports book" genre and offers a rare, unvarnished glimpse into the world of 21st century hockey through the eyes of one of its most original and memorable players.

30 review for Ice Capades: A Memoir of Fast Living and Tough Hockey

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dubi

    I was an active member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association covering the New York Rangers during Sean Avery's two highly entertaining and eventful tours of duty with the Blueshirts. I got to know Sean and talk to him during that time, strictly within the bounds of reporter interviewing subject, never on a personal level. Taking a slightly different tack than most beat writers, my focus was more on the X's and O's of the game than the "tell us about..." or "how do you feel about..." or I was an active member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association covering the New York Rangers during Sean Avery's two highly entertaining and eventful tours of duty with the Blueshirts. I got to know Sean and talk to him during that time, strictly within the bounds of reporter interviewing subject, never on a personal level. Taking a slightly different tack than most beat writers, my focus was more on the X's and O's of the game than the "tell us about..." or "how do you feel about..." or "what do you need to do..." angles that are more common. With Sean Avery, my approach still had less to do with how he played the game so successfully than with how he motivated himself to play the way he did -- unorthodox, feisty, trashy, hateful, nasty, iconoclastic, defiant, and yet still able to generate positive hockey plays while driving opponents batty. Of course, wanting to be entertaining as well as informative in my own writing, my reporting on Sean's escapades in my monthly "Sean Avery Show" recap column traded on his various and sundry antics on and off the ice. Ice Capades is Sean's memoir of his entire hockey career from his breakthrough with the Detroit Red Wings, his growth with the L.A. Kings, his stellar turn with the Rangers, and his year in hell in Dallas. His motivation takes center stage as he explains (including many juicy examples) how he used that relentless drive to shape the villainous on-ice character who could kill you with a surprisingly well researched bon mot, a not so subtle jab to a vulnerable body part, or a timely goal. Whether you believe Sean when he insists (numerous times) that he was only playing a carefully crafted character on the ice will depend on what you thought of him at the time. If you loved him, you'll buy his rationalizations. If you hated him, well, you probably will not read this review or consider buying his book, so it goes without saying you'll disbelieve him. I'm in the middle. For one thing, he did tell me on at least two occasions that his shenanigans fired him up and made him play harder and better, as opposed to just trying to throw his opponents off their game. He was motivated from the start (which goes back to age 8, he tells us repeatedly) to make up for his physical shortcomings (lack of height and size) by devoting himself slavishly to working as hard as he could and finding ways to win, no matter how much collateral damage that might cause. Yet he reminds us over and over that winning was his route to achieving his personal goals. As he tells his stories, it becomes difficult to distinguish his priority -- was it winning per se, or winning as a means of elevating himself in hockey and in life? These are not mutually exclusive objectives, but with Sean it remains difficult in the end to reconcile the two. Sean spends much of the early sections of the book on this subject. But that's not really why you're here. You want to know what he said to Marty Brodeur to make him go postal during a critical game, why he said what he did about Elisha Cuthbert to get suspended and sent to rehab, how his relationship with his second Ranger coach John Tortorella grew so toxic that Sean comes close to accusing him of homicide. You want to know what Sean thought about everyone under the sun. And you want to know what was really going on off the ice with these guys. And he will tell you. The partying is unexpected, to be honest. I thought we'd reached the point in professional sports where the level of competition for major league jobs is so intense, so highly crowded with elite players, that maximizing your performance with a clean off-ice life-style that protects your body is more important than it apparently is in real life. Silly me. Most shocking is the vitriol Sean has for Tortorella. That is already getting most of the press in the hockey world in advance of the publication of this book. I liked Sean, I despised Tortorella, I quit covering the Rangers precisely because of Tortorella, so you know which side I'm on. Even so, I never imagined it could be this bad. But based on what I know from my own interactions with Tortorella, I find myself with no skepticism at all on this topic, as I do with some of Sean's other protestations and rationalizations. I read an uncorrected proof of the book provided by NetGalley. I hope the authors and editors have since made the thousands of necessary corrections to make this book readable. What I saw was so amateurishly written that it distracted from the subject matter. The worst style crime is the mixing of tenses. Sean talks about the past in the present tense, which is fine. Except that a) since he is talking about his present day feelings about those events concurrently, it is often difficult to tell whether he's referring to now or then, and b) he often lapses back into the past tense, even within the same sentence, even multiple times within the same sentence and the same paragraph. It's tough sledding. I don't want to come off as a prescriptivist, especially in reviewing a non-professional writer (just as I hope Sean would do in critiquing my seriously deficient hockey technique), but he has a co-writer who is a professional (Michael McKinley) and there are professional editors at Blue Rider Press and Penguin working on this book. I know they want to preserve Sean's voice, but often these rules are in place to remove precisely this kind of ambiguity, to help the reader better understand the material. Trust me, Sean's voice will not be squelched if you clean up his mixed tenses. In fact, we will get to hear his actual voice speaking these words in the audio edition, which I for one intend to listen to. But again, you're not here for stellar wordcraft. You want dish. You will not be disappointed.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lance

    Sean Avery was a very polarizing figure when he was playing in the NHL. Fans would love him (especially if he was playing for their favorite team) or hate him. He had a few controversial moments. He loved living the high life, whether it was parties, women or fashion. He covers his hockey career both on and off the ice in this memoir written with Michael McKinley. This memoir is different than the typical sports memoir for several reasons. The biggest difference is that nearly the entire book is Sean Avery was a very polarizing figure when he was playing in the NHL. Fans would love him (especially if he was playing for their favorite team) or hate him. He had a few controversial moments. He loved living the high life, whether it was parties, women or fashion. He covers his hockey career both on and off the ice in this memoir written with Michael McKinley. This memoir is different than the typical sports memoir for several reasons. The biggest difference is that nearly the entire book is dedicated to his professional hockey career. There is very little space devoted to his childhood or teenage years and aside from his wedding to supermodel Hilary Rhoda, there is very little post-hockey life covered as well. So, if it is hockey the reader wants, the reader will get it as Avery writes about his ups and downs with the Detroit Red Wings, his experiences on and off the ice in Los Angeles playing for the Kings, his absolutely miserable brief stint with the Dallas Stars and finally his favorite part of his career – the time he played for the New York Rangers. Avery was known for a few controversial incidents and he talks about them with candor. He does defend himself for not only the well-publicized ones, such as the vulgar remark made in Dallas when trying to trash talk to another player, but for others not as well known, such as selling his complementary tickets to a ticket broker who in turn put them out on the market. He also talks about the “Avery Rule”, laughing about the fact how a non-superstar player like him can rattle a legendary goalie (Martin Brodeur) so much that a rule was made with his name prohibiting facing the goalie in order to screen him. If reading about the party life that Avery had that the reader wants, he or she will be in for a treat, as there is plenty of material on that as well. He especially writes about that during his stint in Los Angeles, where he describes many of his experiences with clarity. It was there where he first mingled with the famous and even his first serious relationship was with a celebrity – actress Rachel Hunter, who was married to Rod Stewart before dating Avery. Through the book, especially in Los Angeles and New York, he does some serious name dropping of celebrities he has encountered. Reading about a lot of these parties started to get boring, but once he got to New York, the book is a much better reading experience. While I have never been a fan of Avery or the Rangers, it is clear how much Rangers fans love Avery and in turn he loves them and the city back. He got serious about wanting to put roots down in New York and made serious plans for running a business and getting into the fashion industry once he was through with hockey. This is something many professional athletes neglect and wind up struggling with finances. Avery instead made sure this would not happen and at the same time, he settled down with a woman who he truly loved and loved him. It isn’t right to say that he matured as the book progressed, but by the end it was clear Avery was a different man than the hard playing, hard partying person he was in Detroit and Los Angeles. The aforementioned fans who love Avery will want to pick this book up as will Rangers fans. For those like me who are not big fans of him, the book is still one that is worth the time as it is entertaining, gives an inside look at life both on and off the ice. I wish to thank Blue Rider Press for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. http://sportsbookguy.blogspot.com/201...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Megan (ReadingRover)

    I’m a huge NY Rangers fan so this book was a treat for me. I have it in print and on audiobook and you are missing out if you don’t listen to it being read by Avery himself. He adds a whole new perspective to things. He’s a known instigator on and off the ice in hockey. When you hear the book actually being read by him you don’t know if being the villain is really just an act or if he’s just trying to convince you that it is because he’s so good at being a villain. You listen to him talk and he I’m a huge NY Rangers fan so this book was a treat for me. I have it in print and on audiobook and you are missing out if you don’t listen to it being read by Avery himself. He adds a whole new perspective to things. He’s a known instigator on and off the ice in hockey. When you hear the book actually being read by him you don’t know if being the villain is really just an act or if he’s just trying to convince you that it is because he’s so good at being a villain. You listen to him talk and he sounds sincere but if you know about all the things that you’ve heard have happened you begin to wonder if it’s an act. It makes the book pretty fascinating. For a hockey fan this was really one of the most fun and intriguing memoirs I’ve read. Now I’m hungry for more.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Lucas C.

    Really neat inside look at the NHL and the life of a player.....also he doesn't write anything negative about the Red Wings and some of his closest friends are Chris Chelios and Brett Hull. Pretty cool autobiography.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    As an avid hockey fan, I am well aware of who Sean Avery is. Being awarded the title of 'the most hated player in NHL history' can definitely get you noticed. Following the entirety of Avery's career, Offside is filled with the stories you'd expect, and also the ones you wouldn't. From interning at Vogue during the offseason, to opening up his own bar in downtown New York, Avery is much more than the villain he plays on the ice. And let's not forget all the tea he spilled with other NHL players As an avid hockey fan, I am well aware of who Sean Avery is. Being awarded the title of 'the most hated player in NHL history' can definitely get you noticed. Following the entirety of Avery's career, Offside is filled with the stories you'd expect, and also the ones you wouldn't. From interning at Vogue during the offseason, to opening up his own bar in downtown New York, Avery is much more than the villain he plays on the ice. And let's not forget all the tea he spilled with other NHL players and coaches. You do you, Sean! Awesome book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Conor O'brien

    Most certainly giving this 4.5. Perhaps one of the most interesting books I’ll read this year. As a hockey fan, learning about Sean Avery was most certainly an experience. This guy has been called an evil genius, an agitator, and the most hated player in the NHL. But through Sean Avery’s tells this is only his on ice mask as a role he has to play. He makes the case for his role of bringing excitement to wherever he played. Trying to pump up the fans and crowd was his job and it worked. However, Most certainly giving this 4.5. Perhaps one of the most interesting books I’ll read this year. As a hockey fan, learning about Sean Avery was most certainly an experience. This guy has been called an evil genius, an agitator, and the most hated player in the NHL. But through Sean Avery’s tells this is only his on ice mask as a role he has to play. He makes the case for his role of bringing excitement to wherever he played. Trying to pump up the fans and crowd was his job and it worked. However, I was also intrigued by the fact that his individualism was shown through the fact by working with Vogue which is rare to say the least for hockey players. It also tells about his struggles about the hockey world and gives us an inside look of the NHL. He’s also a restauranteur. Overall, this is a seriously misunderstood guy who’s trying to bring some excitement to the game he loves and is actually a pretty hard worker who gave everything. Love him or hate him he’s definitely a character who will forever be remembered in the NHL. All I can say is wish he could have been a Bruin at some point.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Tim Baker

    I received an advanced copy of this book from Goodreads. I was beyond excited when I learned I would be receiving this since I've been dying to get my hands on it since announced. I'm excited to say that it absolutely lived up to my high expectations. As a diehard New York Rangers fan that loves Sean Avery, I was gripped from the very first page. The book doesn't waste time with boring childhood tales and coming-of-age moments – it pretty much dives right into his hockey career from the moment he I received an advanced copy of this book from Goodreads. I was beyond excited when I learned I would be receiving this since I've been dying to get my hands on it since announced. I'm excited to say that it absolutely lived up to my high expectations. As a diehard New York Rangers fan that loves Sean Avery, I was gripped from the very first page. The book doesn't waste time with boring childhood tales and coming-of-age moments – it pretty much dives right into his hockey career from the moment he entered the NHL radar until his last goal in the league. Along the way, you get the typical trash-talk that made Sean such a divisive character in the game, with a deep insight into his life off the ice. It's refreshing to see a guy that truly loved the fans in New York and embraced them the same way he was embraced by us. I also loved reading straight from Avery what he said to some of these players that got them so incensed during games. Even if you are a Sean Avery hater, any fan of hockey will find this book fascinating. Hopefully those that do not appreciate what Sean Avery bought to the game of hockey will develop a new found respect for the man.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Luke Gregoire

    I find this book to be interesting. Now I know the man and grew up with Sean right across the street in Ontario. There were times you felt he was the best 3rd liner in the NHL and other times you were afraid to say you knew him or provide some insight to his character. He was Sean Avery. An the NHL comparison was Ted Lindsay. A shit head on the ice but one you loved on your team. This book was just what the story of Sean Avery needed. A chance to clear the air and tell his side of the story. For I find this book to be interesting. Now I know the man and grew up with Sean right across the street in Ontario. There were times you felt he was the best 3rd liner in the NHL and other times you were afraid to say you knew him or provide some insight to his character. He was Sean Avery. An the NHL comparison was Ted Lindsay. A shit head on the ice but one you loved on your team. This book was just what the story of Sean Avery needed. A chance to clear the air and tell his side of the story. For all Canadians I can say you had an opinion of Sean. Good or Bad. But now you have the whole story and to his credit in a different way then most other sport books. This was honest and to the point. No grinding through the season game by game but a story of how the game Is now. No bullshit. Read this book and try not to enjoy it. Well done Sean. 👌

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I received an ARC of Ice Capades and was captivated from the very first page. I found myself not wanting to put this book down as I read about Avery's life in the NHL and life outside of the rink. I have always been a hockey fan, but over the last two years have become a huge hockey fan, following the Rangers. Honestly, until I received this book I hadn't heard of Sean Avery before and had no idea about the way people perceived him. After reading his story, I find him to be a good guy off the ic I received an ARC of Ice Capades and was captivated from the very first page. I found myself not wanting to put this book down as I read about Avery's life in the NHL and life outside of the rink. I have always been a hockey fan, but over the last two years have become a huge hockey fan, following the Rangers. Honestly, until I received this book I hadn't heard of Sean Avery before and had no idea about the way people perceived him. After reading his story, I find him to be a good guy off the ice with the intelligence and skill to create his own persona on the ice. This memoir gives the reader an insight into the life of an NHLer, showing you the good, the bad, and the ugly that goes on behind the closed rink doors. I loved every page of this book and the story it told. I would definitely recommend this book to fellow hockey fans, especially Rangers fans. It's one of my favorite books I've read in a long time and I wish there was more to read!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Blocka

    I couldn't stand Avery when he was playing in the NHL but was very interested to read this book to see what he had to say. Once I got about 25 pages in I couldn't put it down. I'm still not sure if I like Avery but I do like the honesty in his book. At times he does seem like the narcissist he was portrayed as in the media. Other times he seems really genuine and heartfelt. He also gives a look behind the scenes of the NHL. He also left me with a different on some of the things that happened durin I couldn't stand Avery when he was playing in the NHL but was very interested to read this book to see what he had to say. Once I got about 25 pages in I couldn't put it down. I'm still not sure if I like Avery but I do like the honesty in his book. At times he does seem like the narcissist he was portrayed as in the media. Other times he seems really genuine and heartfelt. He also gives a look behind the scenes of the NHL. He also left me with a different on some of the things that happened during his NHL career.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jason Weber

    First off, let me start by saying as a diehard NJ Devils fan there was a point where I hated Sean Avery! But he is the type of player who you hate when he plays your team, but respect him at the same time. The rabid hockey fan that I am wanted to hear what he had to say, and glad that I did. I really liked this book. Great read for any hockey/sports fan.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I will admit as a New York Islanders fan I didn't like Sean Avery the self admitted "character" but I appreciate what he brought to the ice. Love this book for a peek inside the locker room and I am recommending it to all my Rangers fan friends :)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jay Pal

    I am biased because I love hockey, the NYR and him in that order. I loved reading about the behind the scenes of games I actually attended. I loved reading about what was going through his head during plays he was making. I believe every word he said about Torts, the man was vile. Just sitting at home and watching the games you could see him yelling at players.You knew immediately that he was acting like a baby when good players were healthy scratches. You KNEW he was screwing with Avery's caree I am biased because I love hockey, the NYR and him in that order. I loved reading about the behind the scenes of games I actually attended. I loved reading about what was going through his head during plays he was making. I believe every word he said about Torts, the man was vile. Just sitting at home and watching the games you could see him yelling at players.You knew immediately that he was acting like a baby when good players were healthy scratches. You KNEW he was screwing with Avery's career, it was obvious to anyone with eyes. I was at the season opener against Toronto after Avery had been sent down again by Torts. A few fans in the upper bowl made a huge Avery sign that MSG actually photoshopped out (!!!) of the 360 photo they took and published. Also, the first two minutes of the game couldnt be heard because the entire garden was chanting "AVERY! AVERY!" It was amazing and im sure Avery got a kick out of it because Torts was FUMING. Him getting fired was the best. It was very visible how relaxed the players looked after he was gone. There were a few things I wish he wouldve talked about, though. At one point, right before they moved in together, Sean and Hilary broke up for a while allegedly because of her manager mom (who she later sued for stealing her modeling money). Or how he was accused of spitting at the Hartford coach, Ken Gernander. He never mentioned being arrested right before his wedding for throwing rocks at a speeding car in the Hamptons or how he was bought out by Matt at the 3 restaurants they opened together in 2013 (and it didnt seem like it ended nicely). But i blew through the book. Loved it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Debra Sasson

    Is this a well-written book? Not really. Is it extremely entertaining if you're a hockey fan? Yes. If you're a Rangers fan? HELL yes. Take it to the beach for some entertainment and enjoy - and try to ignore Avery's extreme narcissism - as he says, he's a character.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    The most honest & engaging sports bio I've read since Theo Fleury's Playing With Fire. A must read this fall, and one that can be enjoyed by hockey fans and those who just love a good underdog story. The most honest & engaging sports bio I've read since Theo Fleury's Playing With Fire. A must read this fall, and one that can be enjoyed by hockey fans and those who just love a good underdog story.

  16. 4 out of 5

    NinjaK

    Alright, I have opinions about this book, so buckle up. Ok, this was a fairly interesting look behind the scenes of professional hockey, but I still came away from it with the thought that Sean Avery is an asshole. Also, kind of an idiot. I mean, I respect the guy for planning ahead and prepping for his life after hockey. He worked his ass off to make it to the elite of his sport, and he was thinking ahead to when his body wouldn't be able to keep up. He put in the work (although, being able to w Alright, I have opinions about this book, so buckle up. Ok, this was a fairly interesting look behind the scenes of professional hockey, but I still came away from it with the thought that Sean Avery is an asshole. Also, kind of an idiot. I mean, I respect the guy for planning ahead and prepping for his life after hockey. He worked his ass off to make it to the elite of his sport, and he was thinking ahead to when his body wouldn't be able to keep up. He put in the work (although, being able to walk into pretty much any rich-people bar in the country to meet contacts and network certainly helped) and was willing to look at unconventional avenues to pursue alternative careers. (Something to keep in mind while reading is that this entire book is from Avery's perspective, therefore everything he says is suspect. I'm only recently an NHL fan and know basically nothing about his career, but there were several episodes he describes where I feel like he was flat out lying [i.e. - multiple Hall of Famers being jealous of him and his mad skillz. Seriously? Get over yourself.]) But he describes the Olsen twins as a Hollywood success story, and that they've ended up "normal and successful." Um, going to rehab for eating disorders and drug abuse is not normal. I mean, they're not dead? I guess that's something to be proud of? At another point he talks about how the NHL has double standards because his teammates are allowed to chew tobacco on the plane, but he can't light up a joint. Look dude, if you really can't tell the difference between a chewing substance that nobody in the vicinity will be bothered by and smoking a joint that will stink up the entire small enclosed area that you are sharing with a bunch of other people, I don't really know what to tell you. He speaks positively about all of his past relationships and doesn't really trash any of his exes much, which is a point in his favor, but he also throws out this gem here: "I talked about how much I loved it here [in New York], and she listened. At no point did she say, 'Well, that wouldn't be good for us.'" ...would you have said she "listened" if she disagreed with you? If she said she wanted to stay in LA for her own career? He also refers to one of his exes as 'sloppy seconds,' which he addresses in this book. He expresses remorse and indicates he meant it to insult his exes new boyfriend (another NHL player), but c'mon dude. How the fuck did you think that was going to sound? There is no way that sentence insulted anyone but your ex, and you're an idiot if you think otherwise. Avery also sucks with money. Like, a lot. "I made $440,000 the year before. After paying taxes and agent fees and living in one city during the season and another during the summer, even a shrewd saver could only hang on to $50,000-$75,000 at most. So after only playing a couple of years in the league, it's not like I am rolling in dough" Uh, if you lived like a normal human being (not paying $3,000+ dollars per month on EACH apartment in EACH city you lived in, which is $72,000/year on rent alone), you would be rolling in dough, dumbass. Also, even assuming you only saved $50,000 per year and had played for 3-4 years, that's $200,000. Welcome to reality, jackass. That's a lot of fucking money. "When I went on vacation, I'd fly in economy class to harden myself for the real world. There was that time I flew twenty hours to New Zealand in coach, even though my salary was millions of dollars a year (though, as I've explained before, NHL players only take home a fraction of that)." You hear that guys? He's "hardening" himself by flying to NEW ZEALAND FOR VACATION. And the poor baby had to sit in economy. And not even a sentence later, he's trying to convince us that his multi-million dollar annual salary is not very much. WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK DUDE?!?! On an unrelated note, if even half of what Avery says in this book is true, than professional hockey players have my deepest sympathy. They're apparently all miserable, addicted to drugs, on the verge of divorce at any given moment, and suffering from severe anxiety all the time due to the enormous pressure they're under to perform.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Nelson

    When I hear the name Sean Avery, I think giant jerk (or preferably, insert your favorite obscene word for jerk), and sloppy seconds. Perhaps that's unfair, that I associate him mainly with probably the worst thing he's ever done - he referred to his ex-girlfriend dating another NHL star with a vulgar quip, at a press conference. Not funny at all, vile actually. To his credit, he addresses it head on, and with remorse, not shying away from defining what it cost him. That offhand comment was the t When I hear the name Sean Avery, I think giant jerk (or preferably, insert your favorite obscene word for jerk), and sloppy seconds. Perhaps that's unfair, that I associate him mainly with probably the worst thing he's ever done - he referred to his ex-girlfriend dating another NHL star with a vulgar quip, at a press conference. Not funny at all, vile actually. To his credit, he addresses it head on, and with remorse, not shying away from defining what it cost him. That offhand comment was the tipping point of his hockey career, which never fully recovered from the fallout. However, that incident was far from the first or the only time he was in the news. Early in his pro career, Avery determined that his best role on the ice would be agitator. The pot stirrer, the guy always chirping at the other team's best player, trying to draw a penalty, often drawing a fight. The shit-starter. In this role, he excelled, became the self-described most hated man in hockey, led the league in penalty minutes. Not solely an enforcer, Avery had offensive skill as well and often played on the top line. He claims his on-ice persona was an act, playing the villain, a character of himself. He goes to great lengths to detail his off-ice persona, his desires to learn about music and art and fashion and to travel and see more of the world away from small town Canada. As a young kid with looks, freedom, and money, he saw a lot. And boy, does he have a lot of stories to tell about it. This book is delightfully dishy. Often celeb memoirs give you the stories, but not the dirt. No real names and vague references. Not this book, and Avery's dirt is glorious. He hero-worships some (Hull, Chelios, Shanahan), and trolls others (Brodeur, LA Kings coach Andy Murray, and especially John Tortorella) with particular vitriol. Highly entertaining for this hockey fan. Several times Avery discusses his frustrations with the conformity of the NHL, and how personality and individuality is frowned upon and squashed within the league. He felt like an outsider if he chose to speak up or act differently from the herd, and also felt he was punished for doing so. I believe his concerns in this area are valid, true, and a large part of why the NHL continues to be seen as a lowly stepsister to the other major professional sports leagues. Go to ESPN.com right now, and the quick tabs on the top banner read NFL (season over 2 weeks ago), NBA, MLB (not in season as I write this), NCAAM, Soccer, Olympics. No NHL in site on the face page - you have to dig to find the coverage. The NHL has no idea how to effectively market its brand. It caters to the current fan base only. I'm not a fan of the NBA, but I could easily name off several current star players and why? Because they know how to market and embrace personality. Avery has other criticisms of the league that are concerning as well, such as drug testing (if it's not steroids, no one cares), agent representation (if you aren't a superstar, no one returns your call but they'll still take a huge % of your salary), and the lack of league or NHLPA planning for life after hockey. Every NHL player, especially ones who play an ultra-aggressive game like Avery, are one hit away from forced retirement, and they deserve the support of the league. Technically this book has some issues. Tense usage is a nightmare throughout. The sentence structure is often too long, rendering it clunky. With a ghostwriter and a professional publishing house behind this, I feel the editing should have been tighter. I feel Avery wants the reader to see him as a man with varied interests off the ice and a beloved (by Rangers fans only I think) and valuable team player on the ice. All of which is true to a point, but issues still remain. To this day, several years out of the NHL, a quick google search shows Avery still in the news, and usually not in a good way. I think he was his own worst enemy when in the NHL, and likely that's still the case. Maybe impulse control is his real issue. I must say I enjoyed this book more than expected, largely due to his candid and juicy stories.

  18. 4 out of 5

    John Amory

    I'm the rarest of hockey fans: a Philly fan who actually liked Sean Avery. He was a ridiculous player, in every sense of the word: over-the-top in every way, from his talent to his antics to his hobbies (he interned at Vogue one off-season, for crying out loud). But he was fun to watch, fun to love, and fun to hate. So if you're a fan of Avery, the hockey-player, you'll find a lot to like here. There are sections of this memoir that are game-for-game recollections of entire seasons. There's a lot I'm the rarest of hockey fans: a Philly fan who actually liked Sean Avery. He was a ridiculous player, in every sense of the word: over-the-top in every way, from his talent to his antics to his hobbies (he interned at Vogue one off-season, for crying out loud). But he was fun to watch, fun to love, and fun to hate. So if you're a fan of Avery, the hockey-player, you'll find a lot to like here. There are sections of this memoir that are game-for-game recollections of entire seasons. There's a lot about his on-ice time, how many goals he scored, and his teams' stats. There are also long sections about how often he partied with shit-faced teammates, which celebrities he hung out with at which bars or music festivals, and what kind of apartments or houses he lived in. Avery doesn't hold back in painting an occasionally deeply disturbing portrait of what life as a professional athlete is like, from the casual sex to the booze and drugs to the stresses and dangers of being part of the sporting elite. There are a lot of things in this book that will piss off a lot of people; Avery exposes the trade and negotiation processes and the money-hungry ways of the league, not to mention their seemingly total lack of respect or care for athletes, as individuals. He talks a lot of shit about fellow players and coaches. In short, most of this memoir is fucking awesome. It's exactly the kind of book you would expect a guy like Sean Avery to write about his time in the NHL. He tells it like he remembers it (even when he ends up looking terrible, like in an incident with Paris Hilton), and he gives zero fucks. On the other hand, this is an odd piece of writing. The constant shifts in tense are awkward, and I'm confused by why they exist as they do. Did the editor simply give up in trying to keep Avery in a consistent voice? It does make the book feel more conversational, but it also makes it feel messy. He switches from present to past and back again, sometimes within the same sentence ("The breakfast buffet at the hotel offers boiled eggs, pickled herring, caviar in a squeeze tin, and a ton of bread, and by my fourth day in the country I actually liked it.") There are also instances when Avery's memory can't be entirely trusted, such as when he distinctly recalls celebrating his first NHL goal by dancing to a Madonna song that wouldn't exist for another eight years, and other times when he omits parts of his career and life entirely (no mentions of his 2009 clothing line or of his 2007 fine for allegedly mocking a fellow player's battle with cancer). Additionally, there's a sometimes-uncomfortable tone of misogyny to the way Avery describes women, as "puck bunnies" and "groupies" or synecdochal reductions of hair color or body types. Overall though, this is a great sports memoir, one that exposes more than these types of books typically do. It's not exactly a tell-all, but it feels pretty close to one.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    Why this book: My current boss with whom I’m in a reading group at work, strongly recommended it. He said it has a lot of relevance to some of the character and culture issues we are having in the SEAL Teams, and that it is a fun and provocative read, so we took it on. Summary in 3 sentences. Sean Avery was one of the “bad boys” in the NHL from 2001 – 2015, known as an intimidator, brawler, and master “agitator” – an unofficial hockey term for a trash talker whose job it is to anger and get into Why this book: My current boss with whom I’m in a reading group at work, strongly recommended it. He said it has a lot of relevance to some of the character and culture issues we are having in the SEAL Teams, and that it is a fun and provocative read, so we took it on. Summary in 3 sentences. Sean Avery was one of the “bad boys” in the NHL from 2001 – 2015, known as an intimidator, brawler, and master “agitator” – an unofficial hockey term for a trash talker whose job it is to anger and get into the heads and upset the games of the opposing team. He describes his life from growing up in a small town in Canada to his debut in the NHL, how he built his reputation as an aggressive player, agitator and someone who some loved, but many hated, through his trades from the Detroit Red Wings to the LA Kings to the New York Rangers, to the Dallas Stars, and finally back to the Rangers. Much of his story is about his personal life, his “escapades” in various celebrity circles, heavy drinking, partying, his women, his fun and successes, but also his disappointments both on and off the ice, ending in his love affair and marriage, and the beginning of his post-hockey career. My impressions: I liked the book, and with some reservations, I liked Sean Avery as he presents himself in this book. Several of my friends who read it couldn’t stand him. I’m always a bit skeptical of self-promotional memoirs (aren’t all memoirs to one degree or another self promotional?) since I’ve read a couple whereby I walked away with a very positive impression of the author, but people who knew the author screamed BULLSHIT! Matt Bissonette and Eric Greitens are two who come to mind. That said, I did enjoy getting into the head of a clearly high-energy young professional athlete living the dream or many young men – being a professional sports star and celebrity, the fame, the money, the jet set, the women. Opportunities for a lot of fun and adventure, as well opportunities for excess and self-destruction. Avery took advantage of both. The period of his memoir is between approximately his 18th and 32nd years of age, so a lot of energy, passion, ambition, a fair amount of immaturity and a lot of wild and crazy guy stuff. Read the rest of my review at: https://bobsbeenreading.wordpress.com...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Lavallee

    I don't tend to be a large biography person, though I have been reading more hockey books as of late. Of course when this book came out I was certainly going to at least give it a go. It's certainly got some interesting parts. The descriptions of how players were parying in the late 90s was interesting, as well as dealing with the league when it came down to the infractions handed down. The view behind the scenes in NHL dressing rooms provided some interesting colour, especially the shots taken a I don't tend to be a large biography person, though I have been reading more hockey books as of late. Of course when this book came out I was certainly going to at least give it a go. It's certainly got some interesting parts. The descriptions of how players were parying in the late 90s was interesting, as well as dealing with the league when it came down to the infractions handed down. The view behind the scenes in NHL dressing rooms provided some interesting colour, especially the shots taken at some management level NHL execs (Not that Sean is wrong, per say, I mean I'm surprised there wasn't a Colin Campbell is looking out for his son with the refs line). There's a certain level of respect and remorse shown that I didn't expect from a Sean Avery book. I expected self-reflection for sure, I remember his interview with George Strombolopolous that changed my perspective of Avery, but in a self-congratulatory book it was interesting to whom that respect was paid. However, the writing is a little plodding at times, especially when we get into the description of what's happening during a season. The self-aggrandizing is interesting when the story is interesting, but when it's boring it feels just kind of out of touch. Mixed in with the fact that Avery admits that he was performing, which leads you to wonder how much of the truth is under the performance of the book. That said, I'm glad I read it. If you like hockey, then you should read it particularly because you're going to know the players and management involved and it will have a lot of meaning for you. It's going to be less interesting if you don't know them, but there are still some interesting bits to read for you.

  21. 4 out of 5

    C

    Took a lot of heat from people for reading this one. "Sean Avery is a d-bag, he's the dirtiest player that's been in the NHL, etc." but it was actually quite interesting. The information/behind the scenes value of this book is great! Things made clear from reading his account: * NHL hockey teams are comprised of straight, white dudes who've been playing hockey since they could walk (and not going to school/graduating high school). * good coaching makes a great team, but there are many players on a Took a lot of heat from people for reading this one. "Sean Avery is a d-bag, he's the dirtiest player that's been in the NHL, etc." but it was actually quite interesting. The information/behind the scenes value of this book is great! Things made clear from reading his account: * NHL hockey teams are comprised of straight, white dudes who've been playing hockey since they could walk (and not going to school/graduating high school). * good coaching makes a great team, but there are many players on a team and not everyone feels the same way. * working hard and passion for something can take you to the top of your field. * being on a professional sports team / being famous can open many doors and gets you access to a lot of clubs/parties/other rich, well known people - by the sole fact that like attracts like. * hockey players (by extension - all professional athletes) make THE WORST life partners (evidenced by the description of hordes of groupies at all times - the mistresses - all night parties/drugs/alcohol - being away half the time, etc.), but are (mostly) rich! I was ambivalent to Mr.Avery before I read this book and feel the same now. What I do love is the "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" attitude throughout the book. He seemed to work hard to make things happen and applies the "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take" attitude in all aspects of his life. Interesting and behind the curtain look at the players and coaches that Sean Avery interacted with during his time in the NHL. Pretty decent read overall.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Carla Sherman

    Sean Avery has been described as polarizing throughout his career. You either loved him or hated him. This review is not about my opinion of him as a player. I do remember him well and the chaos that caused headline sports news. Yes, he was frequently out of line and in some trouble, one way or another. That's why I was interested in reading Ice Capades. I wanted to know his version. I really enjoyed the book. I was pleasantly surprised by his honesty and his assessment of the teams he played for Sean Avery has been described as polarizing throughout his career. You either loved him or hated him. This review is not about my opinion of him as a player. I do remember him well and the chaos that caused headline sports news. Yes, he was frequently out of line and in some trouble, one way or another. That's why I was interested in reading Ice Capades. I wanted to know his version. I really enjoyed the book. I was pleasantly surprised by his honesty and his assessment of the teams he played for, the strike, the coaches, his teammates and his overall perspective during his time in the NHL. He does name drop throughout the book. He also is very complimentary to his very talented, legendary teammates and coaches. Then again he takes swipes at other legends and coaches. His brutal honesty doesn't go unnoticed. He does talk about himself.....but it's his memoir, so that's absolutely acceptable. If you've ever wondered what goes on from a player's point of view (what we don't get to see in the news) this book is worth the read. You don't have to like the guy to enjoy the book. He takes the time to explain his strategy to survive the NHL and his post career. He explains the ridiculous salaries, the strike issues, and personality flaws, both his and others . In the end, I've learned something, and that's what I was hoping for.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Pam Koenig

    First let me say I was given a copy by NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. I grew to love hockey back when The Broad Street Bullies, The Big Bad Bruins, Canadians, Rangers and others ruled the game. I saw some of the best hockey had to offer and was lucky enough to meet many of the stars of the game. Some of the greatest were the nicest, most down to earth and some of the newbies were the rudest and ego filled. The older more established players would look at the young players and shake the First let me say I was given a copy by NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. I grew to love hockey back when The Broad Street Bullies, The Big Bad Bruins, Canadians, Rangers and others ruled the game. I saw some of the best hockey had to offer and was lucky enough to meet many of the stars of the game. Some of the greatest were the nicest, most down to earth and some of the newbies were the rudest and ego filled. The older more established players would look at the young players and shake their heads, and say they will never learn to enjoy the camaraderie. Players, trainers, broadcasters and even some referees and linesman put aside egos and differences after games and found common grounds. The great ones had egos, but most never lost the ability to relate to the fans. Mr. Avery's story isn't a new one, nor is it the best or the worst I have ever read. I imagine his ego proceeded him wherever he went, the way it did a lot of players. He fills his story with a lot of information on the life of a player and the work they have to do to succeed. I think my major problem with the book was that no matter where he went or what he did he seemed to believe that he knew better and more than anyone else. He constantly tells you what a wonderful fashionista he was, which made me laugh. He would have been the butt of a lot jokes with his short pantsuit back in the 60's & 70's. While his story was interesting, his I'm great attitude overpowered a story, that could have been a positive effect on young players, but instead became a primer on what not to do. The one thing that I wish he would of elaborated on was the struggle and death of a young teammate. That section was heartfelt and sincere and is something that young players should have drilled into their heads, not the cavalier attitude of drinking and drugs that is prevalent in this sport and many others.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Scott Mooney

    Overall it is a decent read and Mckinley does a good job of moving the story along to keep it interesting. However, Avery comes off as so petty and bitter it makes some parts, especially the further you get into the story, really tough to read. You want to root for an undrafted, undersized, underdog that Avery very much is but he is so unlikable (and this is his own story not an enemy telling it) that you can't root for him at all. He spends almost as much time whining about others not respecting Overall it is a decent read and Mckinley does a good job of moving the story along to keep it interesting. However, Avery comes off as so petty and bitter it makes some parts, especially the further you get into the story, really tough to read. You want to root for an undrafted, undersized, underdog that Avery very much is but he is so unlikable (and this is his own story not an enemy telling it) that you can't root for him at all. He spends almost as much time whining about others not respecting his opinions/interests as he does shitting on their opinions/interests. I came into the book thinking that overall Avery got a bad rap and wasn't as bad as people said (even being a huge Phaneuf fan that thought the "sloppy seconds" comment was completely offside and made by a jackass) but leave thinking he likely deserved every bad thing said about him and probably a little more. It may sound like this is a real negative about the book but it is more so a negative about Avery himself as the book is still worth reading and provides some interesting insight into the life of a NHL hockey, you just have to put up with Avery's off-putting personality and persecution complex.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Ben Finchem

    DISCLAIMER--I am a lifelong Detroit Red Wings fan and I acknowledge this review is likely to have some level of bias. I'll try to be objective. "Most folk heroes start out as criminals."--Reg Dunlop When I picked up this book, I already had a rough idea of it's content...or so I thought. I was drawn to this book by its author. To me, Sean Avery was a likeable tough guy if he was in your team (as I allude to above, he was) and spawn of Satan if he was your opponent. I was pleasantly surprised that DISCLAIMER--I am a lifelong Detroit Red Wings fan and I acknowledge this review is likely to have some level of bias. I'll try to be objective. "Most folk heroes start out as criminals."--Reg Dunlop When I picked up this book, I already had a rough idea of it's content...or so I thought. I was drawn to this book by its author. To me, Sean Avery was a likeable tough guy if he was in your team (as I allude to above, he was) and spawn of Satan if he was your opponent. I was pleasantly surprised that I only knew part of the story and it turns out Avery is one interesting dude. Ice Capades effectively spans Sean Avery's career from cracking the lineup with the Wings, his experience with the hallowed Cup teams of 1997-98, and his trek through Los Angeles, New York, Dallas and back to New York. He prefaced the story by saying if you want a warm fuzzy book about making the NHL, go somewhere else. I found this take to be accurate since it dealt with a mix of the professional and personal, triumphs and setbacks, and it was by no means all pretty. This book's strength was in the storytelling and how surreal certain situations were in Avery's career. Hearing about his minor league days training with Kris Draper and training with each other (and taunting about how old Drapes was), his being coached by none other than Mike Babcock in the hockey backwater of Cincinnati, and making the team out of camp gave what may have been a trite picture of hard work paying off. But then he talked about the guys who didn't make it with reverence, and how a guy makes or misses the NHL by a numbers game usually. He was fortunate and staying around as long as he could. If you know anything about the player in question, there was always going to be shinanigans... like Avery and Joe Kocur ducking out of a strip club before the cops raided it, or trashing Brett Hull's pad and drinking an unopened bottle of champagne from the 97 cup and refilling it with water, or getting under the skin of many well known NHL guys (my personal favorite was Marty Brodeur... I'll forever call him "homewrecker" after reading this). There were also a fair few personal stories... club hopping in LA and NY and building friendships, even going to Coachella and getting booze stolen by a known musician (I won't spoil everything). What made this book for me was two things: First, while the book was a lot of fun it also was a lot of growing up for Avery. How he struggled with the lockout year he did not play, the infamous "Sloppy Seconds" situation and the ensuing fall out, the death of teammate Derek Boogard and ultimately how his career ended based on politics (Hint: not a fan of John Tortarella) humanized him a great deal and was part of the story you don't see from sports books. Secondly, for Avery, hockey was something he did for a career but it wasn't what he was. How he was able to see past his career and forge an identity not by exclusively playing hockey but through life experience was showed a depth of ambition that I would say is atypical. Seeing Sean Avery go and get an internship at Vogue, become a successful businessman and be an LGBT advocate was something I knew about but this book filled in the blanks. I liked what I saw all told. Technically speaking, this book had some flaws but they were not fatal by any stretch. The editing had some issues as far as typos go and the prose wasn't exactly award winning for content. However, despite this piece being ghostwritten, I read the book as being in Avery's voice and that counts for something. I would easily recommend this to any hockey fan and enjoyed it thoroughly.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    First of all, I am not a hockey fan, but even I had heard about his "sloppy seconds" remark. I initially picked up this book because I heard Avery had supported same sex marriage and was going out on a limb to support gay athletes. A large character on and off the ice, he worked really hard to get into the NHL and made himself into a unique and loveable character, at least to New York Rangers fans. He was despised and hated by every other hockey fan. Clearly he did his job very well. His outside First of all, I am not a hockey fan, but even I had heard about his "sloppy seconds" remark. I initially picked up this book because I heard Avery had supported same sex marriage and was going out on a limb to support gay athletes. A large character on and off the ice, he worked really hard to get into the NHL and made himself into a unique and loveable character, at least to New York Rangers fans. He was despised and hated by every other hockey fan. Clearly he did his job very well. His outside of hockey life is fascinating too, too many athletes have financial difficulties after life in the NHL. He planned and found a way to keep his life and income going after hockey. It is a well written and eye opening account of the NHL especially for someone like me who is not a hockey fan. I know, I know, how do you live in Canada and not love hockey? I strongly recommend reading this great book. I hope Avery writes more about his life after hockey.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I received this an advanced copy of this book from net galley in exchange for a review. I first became familiar with Sean Avery during his time in New York thanks to a friend. There was always something about him and his playing that drew me in. That says a lot about me seeing as back then I wasn't a hockey fan nor did I really understand the game. When it came to reading this book, I discovered just how little I really knew about Sean and his story. I vented to a friend how much detail there was I received this an advanced copy of this book from net galley in exchange for a review. I first became familiar with Sean Avery during his time in New York thanks to a friend. There was always something about him and his playing that drew me in. That says a lot about me seeing as back then I wasn't a hockey fan nor did I really understand the game. When it came to reading this book, I discovered just how little I really knew about Sean and his story. I vented to a friend how much detail there was especially in the first 25% of the book. It just felt like so much and I dragged my feet on reading it. Once I got through Detroit and the first little bit of LA it really took off for me. I'd definitely suggest this book to hockey fans or people that appreciate game or Sean as a person on or off the ice.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jesse

    Somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars for this memoir from Sean Avery. (I just love hockey - if I try to remove that bias, I'd score this 3 stars). Sean Avery made his name as a world class pest in the NHL, and perhaps even more so for things he said off the ice. He also had legit skills. The picture most people including myself had of him is one-dimensional, as a villain. But there's something to learn from everyone and I was interested to hear his telling of his own story. It makes for a swift rea Somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars for this memoir from Sean Avery. (I just love hockey - if I try to remove that bias, I'd score this 3 stars). Sean Avery made his name as a world class pest in the NHL, and perhaps even more so for things he said off the ice. He also had legit skills. The picture most people including myself had of him is one-dimensional, as a villain. But there's something to learn from everyone and I was interested to hear his telling of his own story. It makes for a swift read, at times amusing, honest, and sometimes insightful. At other times you contend with stretches where he's venting about being treated unfairly and it comes off mostly as sour grapes, even though there's surely some truth in it. This book is unlikely to change the opinions that many hold about him, but no one can fairly say he's a one-dimensional guy. And he's got the respect and friendship of world class players Brett Hull, Chris Chelios, and Brendan Shanahan, so he obviously did plenty right. He took heat for working as an intern for Vogue magazine while still in the NHL, but it's more absurd that we would take issue with a professional athlete for having interests and passions outside of his sport. He hustled his way into it, showed real humility and resourcefulness, so he could learn more about something he loves. In my book, that's admirable and awesome. He also correctly calls out the NHL for being its own worst enemy when it comes to promoting and growing the sport of hockey. They stifle the personality of players aside from a chosen few, and there's plenty that coaches and GMs can do to exclude you if you're not liked. It was also interesting to learn about the NHL lockout negotiations in 2004. Yes, the book goes into lowbrow territory occasionally, which isn't surprising if you know much about the author. And while I believe there's truth in his claim that being the villain was him just playing a character, he's not a chill, polite guy either. All in all, if you're into hockey or want to know more about what it's like as a pro, I'd recommend it. Otherwise, I wouldn't necessarily. I didn't take away any deep insights about life, but I did enjoy learning about elements of being a professional athlete that you're unlikely to find told in such an honest way elsewhere.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is one of the better "as told to" hockey memoirs I've read (and I've read a lot of them). The prose won't win any awards - the constant shifts in tense are really distracting, for one thing. But Avery has a lot of interesting insight into the life of a professional hockey player, and how the game treats players who don't conform to the "we've just got to work hard and take it one game at a time" clichés. Going in, I thought of Avery as kind of a jerk. I'm not sure I would totally renounce t This is one of the better "as told to" hockey memoirs I've read (and I've read a lot of them). The prose won't win any awards - the constant shifts in tense are really distracting, for one thing. But Avery has a lot of interesting insight into the life of a professional hockey player, and how the game treats players who don't conform to the "we've just got to work hard and take it one game at a time" clichés. Going in, I thought of Avery as kind of a jerk. I'm not sure I would totally renounce that, but I'm far more sympathetic toward him after reading his memoir. And for Jackets fans, there's some pretty interesting (and concerning) stuff about Torts in here. Obviously, Avery isn't an unbiased narrator, since he sees Tortorella as the person who ended his NHL career, but some of the stuff about the head games, the temper, the shuffling players around in the lineup, it fits.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Geoffrey

    All I can remember is this guy facing Brodeur and screening him. I admit, as a former goalie, I took serious offense to his idiocy. I played minor pro hockey and I get there is some heavy monotony, and to be fair I only last 2 years because I was ready to move on. However...I was not making millions a year and seriously believe that he should have signed one more 3-5 year contract and just sucked it up while socking away another $3M - $5M in investments before retiring. He could have lived in NY All I can remember is this guy facing Brodeur and screening him. I admit, as a former goalie, I took serious offense to his idiocy. I played minor pro hockey and I get there is some heavy monotony, and to be fair I only last 2 years because I was ready to move on. However...I was not making millions a year and seriously believe that he should have signed one more 3-5 year contract and just sucked it up while socking away another $3M - $5M in investments before retiring. He could have lived in NYC in the off season and just stopped being such a baby when he played out of town. I mean, this guy suffered through like 5 years of major junior in some garbage small city in Canada. However, I loved the book and will get to one of his restaurants next time I am in NYC - just think this guy left too much money on the table after he worked his whole life for it.

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