Chris Robinson

Hall of Fame NHL defenceman Doug Harvey was the leader of the perennial Stanley Cup Champion Montreal Canadiens. Author Chris Robinson is a perennial hockey fan, card collector, and street player.

Both subject and biographer were known to be undisciplined, temperamental nonconformists, and both confronted life's challenges outside hockey with the help of alcohol. Robinson endured life in a dysfunctional home, and engaged in numerous clashes with authority figures at school and at work. Harvey's impulsive ways, on and off the ice, ensured trouble of a different kind.

Robinson characterizes professional hockey as a "cold business" with a focus on winning at all costs and ensuring that players conform to the whims of team owners and coaches. He does not pull his punches as he recounts how NHL owners ruthlessly crushed an attempt by Harvey and other players to form a players' union in the late 1950s.

In the end, both Harvey and Robinson managed to overcome their addictions and maintain their integrity. Readers can't help but be inspired by their respective stories.

Reviewer: Bob Forsey