Breakaway: From Behind the Iron Curtain to the NHL--The Untold Story of Hockeys Great Escapes

by Tal Pinchevsky

Wiley | August 7, 2012 | Hardcover

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From behind the Iron Curtain onto hockey''s biggest stage

The incredible true story of the trailblazing men who risked everything to pass through the Iron Curtain and become NHL superstars, Breakaway is a thrilling look at the untold stories that changed hockey forever. From midnight meetings in secluded forests, to evading capture by military and police forces, this is the story of the brave players whose passion of the game trumped all.

Featuring exclusive interviews with the legends of the ice who put everything on the line just for the chance to play on the world''s greatest stage, many of them speaking about their experiences for the very first time, the book looks at how Peter Stastny, Igor Larionov, Petr Klima, Petr Nedved, Sergei Fedorov, Slava Fetisov, Alexander Mogilny, and other hockey superstars captured the imaginations of fans around the world.

  • The remarkable true story of some of the true pioneers of hockey, told for the very first time, often in the players'' own words
  • A fascinating look behind the Iron Curtain and the trials these brave men endured for a taste of freedom, through their love of the game
  • Looks at how some of the NHL''s greatest players made it onto North American ice

As much a tale of espionage and social history as a gripping hockey chronicle, Breakaway sheds light on the untold stories of some of the sports'' most inspiring heroes.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 288 pages, 9.33 × 6.3 × 0.94 in

Published: August 7, 2012

Publisher: Wiley

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1118095006

ISBN - 13: 9781118095003

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– More About This Product –

Breakaway: From Behind the Iron Curtain to the NHL--The Untold Story of Hockeys Great Escapes

by Tal Pinchevsky

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 288 pages, 9.33 × 6.3 × 0.94 in

Published: August 7, 2012

Publisher: Wiley

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1118095006

ISBN - 13: 9781118095003

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Preface xi

1. The Prague Spring 1

2. The European Project 29

3. The Beginning of the Czech-sodus 67

4. The Juniors 111

5. The Russians Are Coming 145

6. The Young Ones 200

7. The Last Defector 239

Index 265

From the Publisher

From behind the Iron Curtain onto hockey''s biggest stage

The incredible true story of the trailblazing men who risked everything to pass through the Iron Curtain and become NHL superstars, Breakaway is a thrilling look at the untold stories that changed hockey forever. From midnight meetings in secluded forests, to evading capture by military and police forces, this is the story of the brave players whose passion of the game trumped all.

Featuring exclusive interviews with the legends of the ice who put everything on the line just for the chance to play on the world''s greatest stage, many of them speaking about their experiences for the very first time, the book looks at how Peter Stastny, Igor Larionov, Petr Klima, Petr Nedved, Sergei Fedorov, Slava Fetisov, Alexander Mogilny, and other hockey superstars captured the imaginations of fans around the world.

  • The remarkable true story of some of the true pioneers of hockey, told for the very first time, often in the players'' own words
  • A fascinating look behind the Iron Curtain and the trials these brave men endured for a taste of freedom, through their love of the game
  • Looks at how some of the NHL''s greatest players made it onto North American ice

As much a tale of espionage and social history as a gripping hockey chronicle, Breakaway sheds light on the untold stories of some of the sports'' most inspiring heroes.

From the Jacket

"Breakaway reads like an international political spy thriller. A must-read for fans who want to know about the history of the game, who some of the great European players were, and the development of the global game as we know it today."
-Mike Smith, former General Manager, Chicago Blackhawks, Winnipeg Jets, and USA Hockey

Until the fall of the Iron Curtain and the collapse of the Soviet Union, athletes in Eastern Europe were prized as national heroes and afforded relative luxuries compared to other citizens. Better food, nicer apartments, the ability to travel, possibly even a car. But they still lived under the heel of a system that punished even the slightest transgressions or resistance to authority. Many accepted the conditions at home, but some sought a good life-not just a relatively better one. Risking imprisonment, retaliation against their families, or worse, a slow trickle of extremely talented hockey players defected to the West, seeking a life in North America with the NHL that they couldn''t achieve elsewhere. Tal Pinchevsky traces their lives and the paths and dangers they faced, based on interviews he conducted with the players, their families, and the many people who helped them to break away.

About the Author

Tal Pinchevsky was born and raised in Montreal. Since moving to New York in 2001, Tal has written primarily about sports and popular culture for a variety of print and online publications, including the New York Times, ESPN the Magazine, Rolling Stone, the New York Post, Spin, the Source, Men''s Fitness, Time Out New York, The Hockey News, and Madison Square Garden''s web site, MSG.com. He is currently a staff writer and producer for NHL.com.
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