Scotty: A Hockey Life Like No Other by Ken Dryden

This month’s book selection is for hockey fans.

As most fans know, Scotty Bowman is the winningest coach in NHL history with nine Stanley Cups under his belt. There are 29 years between his first cup win and his last. Remarkable.

He began his career in the 50s and was able to observe the great players of that era, like Rocket Richard and a 17-year old Gordie Howe. He has coached in four decades with the Canadiens, the Red Wings, the Penguins, the Sabres and the St. Louis Blues.

Ken Dryden is one of the most observant hockey writers. Not only did he play the game at the highest levels, but he has an keen eye and ear for hockey nuances that are so utterly fascinating. And he was coached by Scotty – they won five Cups together.

This book is very unusual. Here’s the concept:

Dryden asked Scotty to use his extraordinary instincts to pick the eight greatest teams of all time – from any era.

He asked Scotty to tell us not only their strengths, but their weaknesses. To tell us how he would coach them – and coach against them.

Then Dryden asked Scotty to match them up in an imaginary playoff series – then crown the best hockey team of all time.

It’s a fantastic analysis.

I couldn’t help but notice Dryden didn’t include a Table of Contents. He doesn’t let you read ahead. He wants you to discover the results as it unfolds in his writing.

Top 3 Reasons To Read This Book:

1. Scotty Bowman is not a “been there, done that” kind of coach. He is only interested in learning new information and new coaching techniques. That trait is why he won the most Stanley Cups of all time – and that trait gives the reader so many eye-opening insights.

2. His analysis of the greatest players is unrivaled – Rocket Richard, Gordie Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux, etc.

3. Most of all, Scotty’s choice for the best team of all time may surprise you. Such a fascinating read.