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Wendel and The Great One by Mike Leonetti
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Wendel and The Great One

by Mike Leonetti

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I rarely read children's books. And by rarely, I mean never. I don't really have a reason due to the fact that I do not have kids. However, a friend of mine gave me this for my birthday and whenever my wife and I have a son/daughter, I will no doubt force upon them a life of depression by becoming hockey's equivalent of a pre-2004 Boston Red Sox fan.

The story basically is about this kid who is voted team captain of his hockey team. At the same time, the 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs are taking place and he's unable to decide who to root for - either the LA Kings or the Toronto Maple Leafs. Granted, he is at heart, a Leafs fan, he still has great respect for Wayne Gretzky. Who wouldn't respect The Great One? He's the greatest player to ever play the game.

I my opinion, he's just trying to play both sides. He doesn't want to pick a team because he doesn't want to feel the immense disappointment he was bound to feel as the Leafs were ROBBED of the chance to play the Montreal Canadiens for the Stanley Cup that year.

The book paints a broad stroke of the series without going into too much detail (i.e. the Kerry Fraser incident) or the fact that Wendel Clark nearly caused Marty McSorley's skull to implode after Marty nailed Doug Gilmour with a dirty hit. He also fails to mention the fact that Gretzky cut Gilmour with his stick towards the end of game 6.

Pfft..this kid seems to have a selective memory. I can certainly understand his drive to become a great leader for his team, and Gretzky, for the rest of his career before and after Game 6 of the 1993 Stanley Cup playoffs was nothing less than a class act, but why use this game as your inspiration?

I hate Kerry Fraser. This book made me rage. However, it's about the Leafs so it still gets at least 3 stars. ( )
  branimal | Apr 1, 2014 |
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When David is chosen to be the captain of his hockey team, he looks to his favourite players, Wayne Gretzky and Wendel Clark, as well as other great Canadian leaders for inspiration.

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