Cover Image: One to Remember

One to Remember

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As a girl who grew up in northwest Tennessee in the ‘80’s a solid 90 miles from the nearest non-roller rink, I didn’t even lace up a pair of ice skates until I was a sixth grader, and then I was wishing to magically become Dorothy Hamill. I had no idea Hockey was even a thing until the first Disney’s Mighty Ducks movie was released in the early 90’s. So now, all these years later, as a bit of a rabid hockey fan, people are always amazed that I can’t even stand up on the ice. I absorb all the hockey things in other ways. Like reading books like One To Remember by Ken Reid. I may still be largely ignorant of most things to do with my most favorite sport, but I’m learning something new everyday. For example, thanks to Reid, I now know that on my 12th birthday, Paul Houck scored his first and only NHL goal for the Minnesota North Stars, the team that would eventually become my most beloved Dallas Stars!! Now I can wow all the men with little bits of trivial knowledge which will only further add credence to the legitimacy of my fandom. Even if I still can’t skate.
Thank you to Ken Reid and to the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance copy of One To Remember.
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It's always interesting to be read about "the one and done" club. That is to say - stories about someone who did something worth noting once, but stopped at that point. Professional sports is the obvious group for that, since statistics and record books are kept for such purposes. But it probably could apply to some other professions. First time before the Supreme Court? First heart operation performed on a patient? First published story? You get the idea. 

Ken Reid did a book on people who had the chance to play in one National Hockey League game. It was a quick,enjoyable read. Now Reid comes back with a similar book about those who scored one goal in their NHL careers. "One to Remember" is much like its cousin, "One Night Only."

Reid talked to 39 different people - most of them from the recent past - who scored one goal but only one goal at hockey's highest level. If you have heard of more than - let's see - five of the people on the list, you watch a lot of hockey. Three of the solitary goal-scorers are goalies, and those names are more well-known. Billy Smith is a Hall of Famer, while Chris Mason and Damian Rhodes had enough time to make an impact in the league.

Otherwise, these are not household names. I do remember Mike Hurlbut turning up in a Sabre uniform in the late 1990s for a couple of games. Brad Moran was drafted by Buffalo but never played there. Scott Metcalfe was acquired by the Sabres during the 1987-88 season, and scored during his 17 games with the team. Every hockey fan knows Dave Hanson from his time in the movie "Slap Shot." So that's seven - not bad. A few others sound a little familiar, perhaps because they were high draft choices. But many others are complete unknown. 

Many of the stories are about what you'd expect. Player gets called up when a team needs a warm body for a short time - and he scores in that brief appearance. It may be on a skilled play, or it may be luck, but said player still gets a puck on a plaque and the right to say he scored an NHL goal for the rest of his life. Many played several years in the minors or in Europe, while others moved on to other things. Some played more NHL games because they were enforcers at the time, and their skills and ice time were limited.

The best stories are the unusual ones, of course. Reid wisely starts with the story of John English, who scored a goal but got stabbed a week later and needed to fight for his life before recovering. His hockey career never did recover, though. Steve Coates scored one goal for the Flyers, and wound up spending decades as part of the team's broadcast crew. Brent Tremblay faked out Gordie Howe for his only goal, but his back wouldn't let him play much longer and he wound up in the ministry. 

Reid tells the stories simply. He also comes across as sympathetic to all of his subjects. He knows that every kid that has ever laced on skates for a game of hockey wants to score in the NHL some day, and reaching that goal is worth celebrating. That makes "One to Remember" pleasant reading for anyone who picks it up.
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Scoring a goal in a game is something to celebrate but when you score a goal in the greatest league in the world, it’s extra special. It’s something to remember & treasure. Especially if you belong to a unique group of men who have only ever scored one goal.  For the players featured in One to Remember, they will never forget the plays that got their name on the scoring sheet.   Life takes surprising turns and for some players their dreams of a spectacular NHL carer were never truly fulfilled.  But a brief stint in the NHL is something to be proud of especially if you can make that red light flash. 

This is a satisfying read with a true insight into the emotions of the players than had a chance to briefly shine.  Reid’s friendly style brings out the best in the ex-players that are interviewed with admiration and empathy as their dreams morphed into new lifestyles & challenges.  

I loved reading about the genuine reactions & camaraderie of the big stars on the teams that understood how important that first goal is and the plaques that the teams made as mementos.  Hockey is a purely a business to some but to most people, it’s more than a sport, it’s a way of life.
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What a phenomenal sports/hockey book!
This collection of one goal stories was so fun. I loved that Ken Reid went in depth with each story. He told the reader the lead-up to the goal, the call to the NHL, what happened after the goal, where they are now. It was amazing and I loved every second of reading this!
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Anyone who has picked up a hockey stick and taken a shot at the net dreams of that shot going into the goal in an NHL game. This book by Ken Reid tells the story of 39 players who accomplished that feat once, then never did so again.  It is a follow-up to his previous book about the stories of players who appeared in one NHL game.

Like that book, the stories are entertaining, varied and reflect the personality of the man telling the story.  The time frame is wide spread – from the 1960’s to the present and every position is covered.  There is a section devoted to goalies who scored a goal (but only one, so Ron Hextall and Martin Brodeur are not included), including the first goalie credited with a goal, Billy Smith of the New York Islanders. Other chapter subjects include first round draft choices and players whose careers were cut short by injury.

One characteristic this book has that is very good is that while reading the stories, they come across as authentic and the reader will feel like he or she is there talking to the man reliving that one goal.  Sometimes the goal brings back great memories, sometimes it really doesn’t mean that much to the man. It was interested to learn that several of these players haven’t kept the puck from that first goal. In fact, one of them used the puck unknowingly while playing pond hockey with his son and ended up losing it when it sank to the bottom when an errant shot ended up in a section of the pond that wasn’t frozen.

Something else that one might expect is that none of these players, except possibly for the goalies, are household names.  As a result, many of the stories are ones in which they remember their time in juniors, the minor leagues or overseas just as fondly as their time in the NHL and the goal he scored.  Sometimes this can be a whirlwind experience, as was the case for Damian Surma, who in just a matter of hours was called up to the NHL, scored a goal, separated his shoulder and was demoted back to the minors.  That was one of the better stories in the book to me.

That story is just one example of the type of material one should expect when reading Reid’s collection of interviews of the “one goal club.”  As is the case with most collections of stories and interviews, some are much better than others, but they all are told with the memory of an event that these men have in common – that they all scored exactly one goal during their time in the National Hockey League.

I wish to thank ECW Press for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Wayne Gretzky holds the record for most goals in the National Hockey League, scoring 894 in the regular season, and a further 122 in the playoffs. "One to Remember" however, focuses on guys who are precisely 1,015 goals behind The Great One in the record books. Ken Reid interviewed 39 players who scored a single goal in the NHL during their hockey careers, and this book tells their stories.

Reid takes care to point out that scoring even one goal in the NHL puts these guys in a rather exclusive club, something which less than 5000 people have achieved in the more than 100 years of the league’s existence, and the book covers a range of feelings about their membership of the one goal club. Some are just happy to have made it to the league at all, some were highly touted prospects who, for one reason or another, didn’t pan out, some had their career cut short by injury and some were goalies who just happened to benefit from a lucky bounce. But one thing they all seem to have in common is that they can describe their goal in almost perfect detail, knowing who they were on the ice with and which goaltender they scored on. And you can understand why!

"One to Remember" is an enjoyable, easy read, which shines a light on players who most hockey history books would overlook, but who all have interesting stories to tell.
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One To Remember by Ken Reid is a fantastic hockey book!
Though I'm not a sports fan, I love sports stories. 
I do love the Philadelphia Flyers though but am not an AVID fan. 
This book is inspiring, engaging, full of ups and downs, but mostly it's just a reminder of dreams coming true, and dreams being put to the side and picking yourself up to forge new dreams. 
A must for any hockey fan, but honestly, this book is for anyway. Written so well (like a puck floating effortlessly on the ice). 
Thanks to NetGalley and the  Publisher for this ARC. 
Publishes in Sep 2020.
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