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Rebel League de Ed Willes
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Rebel League (edició 2004)

de Ed Willes

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512397,287 (4.32)No n'hi ha cap
The wildest seven years in the history of hockey The Rebel League celebrates the good, the bad, and the ugly of the fabled WHA. It is filled with hilarious anecdotes, behind the scenes dealing, and simply great hockey. It tells the story of Bobby Hull's astonishing million-dollar signing, which helped launch the league, and how he lost his toupee in an on-ice scrap.It explains how a team of naked Birmingham Bulls ended up in an arena concourse spoiling for a brawl. How the Oilers had to smuggle fugitive forward Frankie "Seldom" Beaton out of their dressing room in an equipment bag. And how Mark Howe sometimes forgot not to yell "Dad!" when he called for his teammate father, Gordie, to pass. There's the making of Slap Shot, that classic of modern cinema, and the making of the virtuoso line of Hull, Anders Hedberg, and Ulf Nilsson. It began as the moneymaking scheme of two California lawyers. They didn't know much about hockey, but they sure knew how to shake things up. The upstart WHA introduced to the world 27 new hockey franchises, a trail of bounced cheques, fractious lawsuits, and folded teams. It introduced the crackpots, goons, and crazies that are so well remembered as the league's bizarre legacy. But the hit-and-miss league was much more than a travelling circus of the weird and wonderful. It was the vanguard that drove hockey into the modern age. It ended the NHL's monopoly, freed players from the reserve clause, ushered in the 18-year-old draft, moved the game into the Sun Belt, and put European players on the ice in numbers previously unimagined. The rebel league of the WHA gave shining stars their big-league debut and others their swan song, and provided high-octane fuel for some spectacular flameouts. By the end of its seven years, there were just six teams left standing, four of which - the Winnipeg Jets, Quebec Nordiques, Edmonton Oilers, and Hartford Whalers - would wind up in the expanded NHL.… (més)
Membre:hockeyangel
Títol:Rebel League
Autors:Ed Willes
Informació:McClelland & Stewart
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:hockey history

Detalls de l'obra

The Rebel League: The Short and Unruly Life of the World Hockey Association de Ed Willes

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fascinating insight into the world of hockey in the 70's, and written in a way that's delightfully entertaining ( )
  cybercarotte | Nov 23, 2016 |
As the NHL tries to revive interest following a lock out and lacking a contract with a significant television network, this isn't the first time there was an effort to shake up the world of professional hockey. Taking cues from the American Football League and the American Basketball Association, the World Hockey Association was born. The Rebel League, by Ed Willes, makes a worthy but not always successful effort to document the history of the WHA.

Although in existence only from October 1972 through March 1979, the impact the WHA on professional hockey in North American is unquestionable. As a renegade league of sorts, the founders and owners knew the only chance of success was to have top-name players. As a result, they lured superstar Bobby Hull with a million dollar bonus at a time when most NHL stars were lucky to make six figures.

Large contracts and bonuses allowed the WHA to land other quality NHL players and top quality draft picks. The WHA's actions not only increased player salaries in the NHL, they cracked the reserve clause in the NHL. Whether that ultimately has been good or bad for hockey is a matter of opinion.

Yet the WHA also got Gordie Howe to come out of retirement and play -- and quite effectively -- with his sons. It delved heavily into European players, opening the door much wider for those players in the NHL. It also was the starting ground for many future NHL superstars, such as Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier.

Still, the WHA remains perhaps more renowned for its characters. There was, for example, the night a referee was somewhat stumped on what penalty to call when two teammates on the Minnesota Fighting Saints got in a fight on the ice. Seems the rules don't specifically cover teammates fighting each other. Then there was goalie Gilles Gratton. A believer in reincarnation, among other things, Gratton begged off starting a game because of sore ribs he said were the result of a spear wound he suffered 300 years before. In another game, he simply left after two periods because he felt he'd faced enough shots.

Thanks to Hollywood, though, perhaps the most famous were the Carlson brothers of Minnesota. Not only did they serve as the inspiration for the bespectacled Hanson brothers of Slap Shot fame, two of the three actually played themselves in the movie.

The problem with The Rebel League is there is just too much ground and too many people to cover. Business and financial details compete with personalities and historical developments for both the writer's and the reader's attention. Willes also makes an effort to give each team equal time and its due but that is at time disruptive to the flow of the material. Still, it is a worthwhile excursion into a rebel league that would change the face of professional hockey.

Anyone who might question the impact of the WHA need only look at the 2006 Stanley Cup finals, the first after the rule changes bringing about the so-called "new NHL." The ultimate winners -- the Carolina Hurricanes -- actually began as the New England Whalers in the WHA. Their opponent? The only original WHA team that remains from the WHA's merger with the NHL 1979 -- the Edmonton Oilers.

Originally posted at http://prairieprogressive.com/2006/06/14/book-reviews-the-game-and-the-rebel-lea...
  PrairieProgressive | Jun 8, 2007 |
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The wildest seven years in the history of hockey The Rebel League celebrates the good, the bad, and the ugly of the fabled WHA. It is filled with hilarious anecdotes, behind the scenes dealing, and simply great hockey. It tells the story of Bobby Hull's astonishing million-dollar signing, which helped launch the league, and how he lost his toupee in an on-ice scrap.It explains how a team of naked Birmingham Bulls ended up in an arena concourse spoiling for a brawl. How the Oilers had to smuggle fugitive forward Frankie "Seldom" Beaton out of their dressing room in an equipment bag. And how Mark Howe sometimes forgot not to yell "Dad!" when he called for his teammate father, Gordie, to pass. There's the making of Slap Shot, that classic of modern cinema, and the making of the virtuoso line of Hull, Anders Hedberg, and Ulf Nilsson. It began as the moneymaking scheme of two California lawyers. They didn't know much about hockey, but they sure knew how to shake things up. The upstart WHA introduced to the world 27 new hockey franchises, a trail of bounced cheques, fractious lawsuits, and folded teams. It introduced the crackpots, goons, and crazies that are so well remembered as the league's bizarre legacy. But the hit-and-miss league was much more than a travelling circus of the weird and wonderful. It was the vanguard that drove hockey into the modern age. It ended the NHL's monopoly, freed players from the reserve clause, ushered in the 18-year-old draft, moved the game into the Sun Belt, and put European players on the ice in numbers previously unimagined. The rebel league of the WHA gave shining stars their big-league debut and others their swan song, and provided high-octane fuel for some spectacular flameouts. By the end of its seven years, there were just six teams left standing, four of which - the Winnipeg Jets, Quebec Nordiques, Edmonton Oilers, and Hartford Whalers - would wind up in the expanded NHL.

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