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New Hockey Book - - Mine!


Hi Friends,
I am pleased and proud to announce the pending release of "Black Ice: The Val James Story," a book I wrote with and about Valmore James, the first black American to play in the NHL. Val was the son of migrant farm workers from the Deep South who moved to Long Island during the JFK years to work on the farms that then filled large swaths of Long Island. Val was introduced to ice hockey at the late age of 13 when his father was hired as a night watchman at the Long Island Arena, home rink of John Brophy and the Long Island Ducks of the old Eastern Hockey League. From these humble roots, Val worked his way up through the lowest minor leagues to a place in hockey history as the first American-born black player to skate in the NHL as a member of Scotty Bowman's Buffalo Sabres. He would also become the first black player of any nationality to play for the Maple Leafs in the hockey mecca of Toronto.
Val is remembered as a legendary enforcer and beloved teammate but the untold story of the abuse he had to endure and overcome on the way to his impossible dream is shocking and inspiring. Val's own recollections are joined by those of Scotty Bowman, Mike Keenan, John Muckler, John Brophy, Lou Vairo, Nick Fotiu, Kevin Lowe, Paul Stewart, Ted Nolan, and many others on whom Val made an impression over the years.
"Black Ice" is being published by ECW Press of Toronto. The hardcover release date is February 1, 2015, however, Amazon has already started shipping the preorders.
This link to the publisher's webpage for the book contains an internal link that will get you to an excerpt of the first 30 pages of the book:
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Thanks and best wishes to everyone for a happy and healthy 2015!
John
1/3/2015, 12:46 pm Link to this post Send Email to NY Rangers   Send PM to NY Rangers
 
robb bromley1 Profile
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Re: New Hockey Book - - Mine!


Congratulations John. Coming from you its got to be good. Have to pick one up as these true behind the scenes books are the best
    Robb Bromley

Last edited by robb bromley1, 1/4/2015, 8:47 am
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Re: New Hockey Book - - Mine!


A must read for anyone interested in ice hockey. This is a great story.
Congratulations John, I can't wait to read it.
Have you written other books ?
Thanks
Neal
1/4/2015, 9:27 am Link to this post Send Email to nsimo   Send PM to nsimo
 
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Re: New Hockey Book - - Mine!


Thanks a bunch, Robb and Neal.
It was fun and fascinating to write this book with Val James. In many ways, his dream of playing in the NHL was impossible: An American? A black American? A Long Islander? Who grew up as a kid working on farms and living in a home without electricity or indoor water? And he didn't get his first pair of skates until age 13? Can't happen. Except it did.
Val's role models were John Brophy and the other members of the LI Ducks. And he made it primarily as an enforcer. But most incredible is the abuse he endured because he was black. A tough road indeed.
Thanks again, friends. John G
1/4/2015, 3:29 pm Link to this post Send Email to NY Rangers   Send PM to NY Rangers
 
Guardian 1 Profile
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Re: New Hockey Book - - Mine!


I lived through some of the abuse 1st hand that Big Val went through.
I remember the game in Springfield Mass like it was yesterday.
The things that were said and the way the fans in Springfield Mass treated Val made me sick to my stomach. I can't repeat some of the things that Val has gone through.
Big Val was as honest a hockey player as I have ever known. I have nothing but my utmost respect for Big Val as a pro athlete and as a kind human being. I will always have time for Big Val.
Please say hello to Big Val for me?
           emoticon


Skoro
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1/4/2015, 10:47 pm Link to this post Send Email to Guardian 1   Send PM to Guardian 1
 
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Re: New Hockey Book - - Mine!


Hi Skoro - I passed along your kind message to Val. His response is coming to you via email. Much obliged!
John
1/5/2015, 3:26 pm Link to this post Send Email to NY Rangers   Send PM to NY Rangers
 
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Re: New Hockey Book - - Mine!


Thanks John,
           emoticon

Skoro
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goalie21 Profile
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Re: New Hockey Book - - Mine!


Beautiful - I remember Val very well from both my hockey school days and the Met league where Paul Skidmore and him were teammates on the Suffolk Royals. I also recall the day when I was moved up into the advanced group and Val walked over to welcome me - his first words to me were "I'm going to hurt you goalie!!!" That was Val!!!
1/7/2015, 5:32 pm Link to this post Send Email to goalie21   Send PM to goalie21
 
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Re: New Hockey Book - - Mine!


John
I just received the book and can't put it down.
Great read, bringing back some great LI memories.
Thanks
1/11/2015, 10:24 am Link to this post Send Email to nsimo   Send PM to nsimo
 
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Re: New Hockey Book - - Mine!


Neal,
I just saw your post this evening.
I wish I saw it first this morning because it made my day!
Thank you, my friend.
Best, John
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