Cornered, Ron MacLean & Kirstie McLellan Day

While I hate to admit it, I’ve grown to love hockey. I’m not particularly talented in sports myself, unfortunately, but both my younger brothers are. When I was little, I used to get dragged to hockey rinks every day for their practices; I would sit in the bleachers with a tote bag full of books beside me and doggedly plow through them, ignoring everyone on the ice. The first time I read Lord of the Rings was in a rink (I had a copy of the Two Towers that the pages were falling out of).

Now, my house has a giant Oilers flag in the front window, and I wish that my brothers were playing hockey in Alberta still so I could see their games on occasion. I don’t know a lot about the current arguments between the NHL and NHLPA, but I am so tired of the lockout. Reading Cornered has just made this feeling stronger.

As a book, Cornered could stand some improvement. I felt that it was unfocused in cases, and perhaps too edited. MacLean has opinions – he wrote a chapter arguing against the salary cap, very passionately – but a lot of the colour in the book comes from Don Cherry. Which, sure. Don Cherry is one of the most ridiculous people ever, and I’m sure some people do read this for stories about him, but I think that kept MacLean out of the picture he deserved to be in.

I really enjoyed a couple pages about MacLean’s first schnauzer, largely because I am totally puppy-crazy at the moment, and it’s definitely fun to see behind the scenes. MacLean tried to cover a lot of ground; it reads like he had too many thoughts that he didn’t want to sacrifice, which ultimately just weakens his work. Overall, it was a good read, but not nearly as illuminating or in-depth as I had hoped. 

Now, if only there were a game on to watch…

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