My book publishing career was a natural extension from my history
articles that I had researched, written, and published with various newspapers
and magazines. The topics that I have researched written about cover a broad range of subjects from sports history, to Georgian Bay history, to sports card collecting and much more.
Hockey’s Royal Family: The Conachers
My recent book publishing effort is Hockey’s
Royal Family: The Conachers (2015) which details the lives of members of one
family, three of whom are honoured members of the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Lionel, Charlie and Roy Conacher are the
only three brothers to be enshrined as players in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Lionel is also a member of several Halls of Fame in many different sports. He was
honoured as Canada’s Athlete of the First Half Century of the twentieth
Charlie led the NHL in goal scoring on
several occasions and was member of the famous “Kid Line” (with Joe Primeau and
“Busher” Jackson) which skated with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1930s.
Roy Conacher, the third Conacher to be inducted in the Hockey Hall of Fame, led the NHL in scoring in his rookie season with the Boston Bruins. After serving in the Second World War, Roy skated with Boston, Detroit and Chicago, where he captured another scoring title.
Other members of Hockey’s Royal Family represented in this book include Roy’s twin brother Bert, who by all accounts would have made the NHL as a star defenseman had it not been for an eye injury which left him blind in one eye.
Lionel’s son Brian, who skated on Toronto’s last Stanley Cup championship team, Charlie’s son Pete who skated with Chicago, New York and Toronto, and their cousin Murray Henderson who toiled on the blueline of the Bruins are the other featured in Hockey’s Royal Family: The Conachers.
Owen Sound: The Port City
The next book publishing effort on my
agenda was Owen Sound: The Port City published in
2000 by Natural Heritage Press (now owned by Dundurn Press).
This book starts with the October 1840
meeting of surveyor Charles Ranking and land agent John Telfer in a clearing
where the current Owen Sound City Hall now sits.
A brief history of the Native
Peoples of the area is the focus of the first chapter. Owen Sound: The Port
City then details the growth of the small clearing in the Bruce Peninsula
wilderness to a bustling Great Lakes shipping and fishing port. Topics such as
Owen Sound’s reputation as the “Corkscrew Town”, the smallest community in the
world to host a United States Trade Consulate; and many other interesting
people, events and stories.
Shooting For The Moon: The Bill Beagan Story
Foreword by Bobby Orr
Shooting for the Moon: The Bill Beagan Story (2011) details the
improbable life of a high school dropout who rose to the very heights of the
world of hockey.
Sixteen-year-old Bill Beagan left school
and his home in Parry Sound Ontario to join the Canadian Army apprentice
program in the mid-1950s.
By the mid-1960s he had received his high school
diploma, served in a Middle East peace-keeping detail, and been stationed in
the American Mid-West with the Canadian military contingent of NORAD.
While still in the Armed Forces, Beagan refereed college hockey in the United States. He was noticed by NHL referee scouting and with the expansion of the NHL Bill became an NHL linesman. (He worked the lines in the tragic game which saw Bill Masterton become the only player to ever die on the ice in an NHL game.)
After a season on the ice with the NHL, Clarence Campbell, the league president recommended Beagan for the position of Commissioner of the IHL. During the next three decades, Bill served as the commissioner of four different hockey leagues and also co-owned a minor league hockey team.
Shooting For The Moon: The Bill Beagan Story is a great book for anyone who wants to learn about the power of positive thinking, and how to create a career in the world of hockey.
Hockey Scrapbook: Hockey Memories of the Bruce County & Owen Sound Regions
My first book publishing effort was entitled The Hockey
Scrapbook: Hockey Memories of the Bruce County & Owen Sound Regions. I
researched and wrote it for the Bruce County Museum & Archives, who
published it in conjunction with a major exhibit, called Hockey Dreams at that
heritage facility in 1997.
The Hockey Scrapbook: Hockey Memories of
the Bruce County & Owen Sound Regions has a brief section outlining
interesting moments in hockey history in that region on Ontario. There are some
interesting stories about early women’s hockey, rivalries, and unique events.
The rest of the book contains short biographies of local hockey stars including Hockey Hall of Fame stars “Cyclone” Taylor and legendary goalie, Harry Lumley; the hero of the 1972 Canada – Russia series, Paul Henderson; former Pittsburgh Penguins goaltending star, Les Binkley; former NHL player and now owner of the Owen Sound Attack, Paul MacDermid; and many other NHL and minor league players.
The Hockey Scrapbook is out of print now but can be found on the Amazon website.
Stars of Hockey’s Golden Age
Great Centremen: Stars of Hockey’s Golden
Age published by Altitude Publishing (2006) features biographical sketches of
several Hall of Fame centremen whose career ended in the early 1970s.
Featured centremen in this book include Detroit
Red Wing legends Sid Abel, and my
favorite hockey player Alex Delvecchio;
Montreal Canadiens superstars Henri Richard and hockey’s all-time gentlemen
Jean Beliveau. Toronto Maple Leafs are well-represented in this book with
stories about “Teeder” Kennedy, Syl Apps, and Max Bentley. Boston Bruins legends
Milt Schmidt and “Cooney” Weiland; as well as Frank Boucher and the
incomparable “Cyclone” Taylor.
East Coast NHLers:
The stories of the lives and careers of players from the Maritimes and Newfoundland
East Coast NHLers by Formac book publishing (2011) provides biographical sketches of several hockey players from Canada’s
Maritime Provinces. Among the players featured are Sidney Crosby, Brad Richards,
Boston’s super pest Brad Marchand, Alex Faulkner who was the first
Newfoundlander to play in the NHL; and Hall of Fame defenseman Al McInnis.
One of my favorite chapters details the
life of Willie O’Ree the pioneering legend who broke the color barrier in the
National Hockey League and in 2018 became an honoured member of the Hockey
Hall of Fame.
More Of My Published Books
Hockey’s Royal Family: The Conachers Hockey’s Royal Family is a title that rightly belongs to the Conacher family. In fact this clan could claim the title as the first family of sports in Canada, not just the first family of hockey!
Owen Sound: The Port City
Shooting For The Moon: The Bill Beagan Story The significance of Bill Beagan’s contribution to the world hockey is in some ways confirmed by the fact that Bobby Orr, perhaps the greatest hockey player of all time wrote the foreword to this book.
East Coast NHLers
My Book Publishing Peruse my books, as a natural extension of my career, from my history articles that I had researched, written, and published with various newspapers and magazines.