Sunday, December 09, 2007

Keith Jones wrote a book

The Mirtle book club rolls on.

I have a mini-stack of hockey books on my coffee table right now, and so far I've plowed through about half the titles. There's one about the WHA, one from a Finnish writer, one about scouts...

And there's even a Keith Jones biography.

Jones does commentary now on television, and to be perfectly honest, he's got one of those larger-than-life, lots-of-shouting on-air personalities that can be a little off putting. He always had that reputation on the ice — a yammering superpest that you didn't like to play against — so perhaps that's no surprise.

The book's written in his voice (by way of John Buccigross) and it's a breezy account of what's actually a pretty unlikely success story. Jones wasn't really an NHL prospect until his late teens, as he played Junior C relatively late into his development years. After one year of Junior B, the Capitals made him a seventh-round pick at 19, sent him off to college, and after showing up out of shape and overwhelmed, he gradually became a solid scorer at that level.

Maybe the most amazing part of Jones's brief NHL career is the fact he spent so little time in the minors: just 24 games, all told. A crippling knee injury really limited his effectiveness late in his career (he describes how he couldn't pass a physical, or even run or ride a bike, but that he was playing on the Flyers top line with Eric Lindros).

I frankly didn't know all that much about Jones's career going in, and hadn't really had the urge to bone up on the details, but the book's entertaining enough and you get the sense he's 100-per-cent honest about absolutely everything in there. (Especially given he's rather self-deprecating about a lot of things. There are bits about him blowing his entire signing bonus on a fancy car that he didn't know how to drive, and how he was back at the dealer, with only one gear left, 20,000 miles later.)

A thumbs up from me.

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1 Comments:

At 11:20 AM, December 10, 2007, Anonymous Max Power said...

(he describes how he couldn't pass a physical, or even run or ride a bike, but that he was playing on the Flyers top line with Eric Lindros).

Good 'ole Flyers' medical staff.....

 

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