It was a cold day a few weeks ago when I went out to the mailbox and there was a package in there. Being Christmastime, I figured that my roommate must have ordered a present for his dad, but the package wasn't for him and it had a return address of Simon & Schuster's office in Tennesee. You can probably guess that it contained an advance copy of John Scott's new book A Guy Like Me.
It's by no means a long book, weighing in at just over 200 easy-reading pages, but it tells the story of the All-Star MVP from his childhood playing junior hockey in Canada all the way up through his All-Star experience and finding out that Mitch Albom wanted to turn his story into a movie. Anybody who has appreciated his articles in The Players Tribune will appreciate that a similar style of prose shows through in this volume. It's readable by just about anyone, even if you've been in one too many hockey fights yourself.
While we normally think of the enforcer as a rough-and-tumble character with no skill, no brains and no regard for the rules, Scott does his best to dispel those illusions. He paints a picture of the enforcer as just like any other player: a generally well-rounded individual who just happens to play hockey for a living. In between discussions of the unwritten rules of hockey fights, he even makes a point about enjoying doing the New York Times crossword and playing other word games. Scott even goes so far as to include his own username to a particular mobile-based word game and invite challengers—for the record, he not only destroyed me, but responded to my compliment about the book with, "Glad you like it. You need some practice in the game, though."
Tech fans especially will appreciate that he spends several chapters discussing his time in Houghton, including his early interactions with his now-wife, Danielle, and an entire chapter devoted to his well-known run-in with the law. It's clear that ghost-writer Brian Cazeneuve talked to a number of players and coaches from that time to help flesh out the details of his college career.
Readers with no connection to Tech hockey will probably also find that section interesting, but the meat of the book looks at his time in the NHL and features a number of anecdotes about players he encountered in both the NHL and AHL over his career, including well-known players Patrick Kane, Shane Doan, Joe Pavelski and the late Derek Boogaard. These anecdotes cover everything from locker-room habits and superstitions, to spontaneous weekend trips to Vegas, to card games and beers on the plane.
My only complaint about the book is that it ended after just 212 pages. What's in those pages is definitely worth the price of admission for any fan of Michigan Tech or anyone who got swept up in the story of last season's NHL All-Star game (don't forget to cast your ballot before voting closes on Monday night). I'd definitely recommend picking up a copy to read over through the New Year's weekend next weekend or to get through the dearth of games during the 2017 All-Star weekend at the end of January.
If you want to order a copy through Amazon, you can click this link to order and a small portion of the cost will help support Tech Hockey Guide. I can guarantee that, if you're on this site and reading this review, you will absolutely love it.
The author would like to thank Simon & Schuster, Inc. for taking a chance on a small hockey blog by providing an advance review copy to Tech Hockey Guide and Mr. Scott for the entertaining match of [READ IT YOURSELF AND FIND OUT].
All photos in this article courtesy of Michigan Technological University.