FromSportsnet Centralhost and broadcaster Ken Reid comes an inspiring and entertaining new collection of hockey stories about local legends who define the game and its values.
In many communities across Canada, hockey lives in the nearby arenas and leagues that forge both decades-long rivalries and unbreakable friendships. Fans show up to cheer not for distant NHL superstars, but for the homegrown heroes who define their town. These players don’t always make it to the big leagues, but they inevitably become legends.
In this entertaining collection, Canadian broadcaster and Sportsnet Central host Ken Reid tells their uplifting stories, from Pictou, Nova Scotia, to Kimberley, British Columbia—and everywhere in between.
There’s Robbie Forbes, who arrived in Newfoundland in the mid-eighties still dreaming of the pros and ended up giving the town a dream of its own when he led the Corner Brook Royals to a Canadian Senior Hockey title. He also happens to be Sidney Crosby’s uncle. In a legendary Ontario community, the name Paul Polillo is spoken in the same reverential breath as Wayne Gretzky in their shared hometown of Brantford. There’s also the tragic story of George Pelawa, who may have been the inspiration for Tom Cochrane & Red Rider’s famous song “Big League.” And Tyson Wuttunee, an Indigenous player in Saskatchewan who, through hockey, found the family and home he’d always longed for.
Featuring heartwarming stories of grit, leadership, and lifelong bonds, Ken Reid’s Hometown Hockey Heroes celebrates how hockey, and the values the game teaches, can shape our communities for the better.
Ken Reid has been adding his unique brand of humour and style to Sportsnet Central since joining Sportsnet in 2011. Throughout his more than twenty years in sportscasting, he has covered the Olympics, the Stanley Cup Finals, Grey Cups, and the Super Bowl. He is the bestselling author of Hockey Card Stories: True Tales from Your Favourite Players, as well as five other books. A proud native of Pictou, Nova Scotia, Ken now lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his family.
"The way Ken talks about his hometown hero, T-Pot, makes me feel like I missed out on something in my childhood. How incredible to grow up and watch your hero in your own backyard. That's what this book highlights for me. All across the country there are kids who will never forget their local hero.” — EVANKA OSMAK, Sportsnet Central anchor
“I love Ken Reid’s books and Hometown Hockey Heroes is his best one yet. These are larger-than-life figures in smaller places. The size of the stage doesn’t matter—the spotlight is still plenty bright. The purest form of sports fandom is rooting for someone you know, with the name of your hometown scrawled across his or her chest. Ken has also shown tremendous restraint in this book. He makes it through four whole words on page one before mentioning his hometown of Pictou . . .” — STEPHEN BRUNT, bestselling author of Burke's Law and Searching for Bobby Orr
“Ken has a way of telling stories to make you feel like a kid again. This book made me remember how much I loved hockey as a kid and looking up to my local Saskatoon Blades like they were the NHL. Ken is such a great storyteller. He makes it so easy and fun to read about these guys.” — COLBY ARMSTRONG, NHL analyst on TNT, Sportsnet, and the Spittin’ Chiclets Game Notes podcast
“Ken Reid’s writing style feels like shooting the breeze with a good friend. In his new book, we find out where Reid’s unmatched passion for the game comes from. Take the trip from Pictou County, NS, all the way to Kimberley, BC, and discover the legends that dotted every corner of this country, the kind of stories that helped elevate the game from sport to religion in many parts of Canada.” — TIM MICALLEF,Sportsnet Central anchor
“I enjoyed this book immensely. It was beautifully written and researched. Readers in every small town in Canada will be able to read and enjoy the book. Why? Because we all can relate to Hometown Heroes. Every town has them.” — The Miramichi Reader
“Not just their communities, Reid said some of these hometown heroes influenced NHL players as well.” — The Pictou Advovate
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