Because I’m not a newspaper journalist, it’s difficult to secure interviews with current and former athletes/players. I mean, who would take me seriously? That’s why I’m proud about the fact I got the Tom Candiotti biography done after successfully reaching out to a handful of ex-players, coaches/managers, and general managers to get their insights. Likewise, I’m equally proud about this Boston-Montreal project.
Special thanks go out to coaches Larry Robinson and Rick Bowness, who took precious time out of their busy schedules to speak with me during the 2013-14 NHL season as I was writing “The End of the Montreal Jinx.” They didn’t have to do so, especially since it was late in the season when I spoke to them, and they were preparing their teams (the San Jose Sharks and Tampa Bay Lightning, respectively) for the 2014 playoffs.
(Robinson, by the way, has since come out with a newer version of his autobiography titled “Larry Robinson: The Great Defender.” He told me about it during our interview and we both wished each other luck with our book projects.)
I’ve also found that while the Toronto media simply couldn’t care less about me, the Boston media was the complete opposite. When I was working on the Candiotti book, not one of the Toronto-based journalists/media personalities bothered to respond to my requests. When I was working on this Boston-Montreal book, I again reached out to some Toronto-based media members (because they had covered former Leafs and Canadiens coach Pat Burns) and received no responses. Meanwhile, when I reached out to various Boston Globe scribes such as Kevin Paul Dupont and Nancy L. Marrapese-Burrell – and even busy veterans such as Bob Ryan – they all responded and were happy to assist me. Even those among the Boston media who felt they weren’t able to help out, they at the very least acknowledged me and responded, something that I’m grateful for. It’s certainly different compared to how various scribes from the Toronto media treated me.
Finally, thanks to all of the former players who took the time out to speak with me, including those who didn’t play for either team. Grant Fuhr, Doug Bodger, Jeff Beukeboom, and Scott Young come to mind. Thank you. It’s thanks to each and every one of you that a book about this Boston-Montreal rivalry from the late 1980s and early 1990s can be written and fans of both teams – and hockey fans in general – can get to enjoy this book, which will undoubtedly bring back lots of memories when it seemed the Bruins and Habs met in the playoffs every year – and for a while, Boston vanquished that so-called “jinx” by knocking Montreal off regularly.
The End of the Montreal Jinx: Boston’s Short-Lived Glory in the Historic Bruins-Canadiens Rivalry, 1988-1994 can be purchased here.