Thunder And Lightning: A No-b.s. Hockey Memoir

by Peter Golenbock, Phil Esposito

McClelland & Stewart | October 19, 2004 | Mass Market Paperbound

Thunder And Lightning: A No-b.s. Hockey Memoir is rated 5 out of 5 by 1.
Jesus saves – but Espo puts in the rebound in this raucous, ribald memoir

At a party marking the end of his third season with the Blackhawks, Phil Esposito told coach Billy Reay and GM Tommy Ivan that they had a great team, maybe even a dynasty, but that the two of them would screw it up.

It was a classic Espo moment (and may have had something to do with his being traded to the Bruins): the big centre from the Soo who became one of hockey’s all-time leading scorers, has never been reluctant to speak his mind. In this rollicking hockey memoir, he reveals what it was like to play with other Hall of Famers like Howe and Hull and Orr. He recalls his acrimonious encounters with Allan Eagleson, the incredible intensity of the 1972 Canada-Russia series, the fabulous ride with the great Bruins teams of the early 1970s, and the tough years that followed with the New York Rangers.

From being a player, Esposito went on to be a commentator, a coach, a general manager, and then founder and part-owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He saw it all: the booze, the drugs, the women, the wheeling and dealing, the good times and the camaraderie, the bad times and the back-stabbing. In telling what it was really like, Esposito takes readers into the boardrooms, back rooms – and even the bedrooms – of the men who make their lives in the NHL.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Dimensions: 368 pages, 7.02 × 4.24 × 0.79 in

Published: October 19, 2004

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 077103086X

ISBN - 13: 9780771030864

Found in: Sports and Fitness

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book Esposito's memoir is a refreshing whiff of fresh air in the stultifying atmosphere of political correctness that has almost entirely engulfed professional sports. He certainly doesn't aspire to a role model status, for the very simple reason that he can be outspoken about his own flaws without being apologetic; I just don't see him either in anger management counseling or on a shrink's couch. For anyone intimately familiar with the locker room smells and conversation, the spicy vignettes will ring a bell. Esposoto's saga transcends geography and time zones, it is anectodal, evocative and nostalgic as well as unrestrained and occasionally crude. Of particular interest to me was the part of the book dealing with the 1972 Summit Series. Very few people realize that the NHL v USSR was the most dramatic showdown in world sports history. The confrontation had probably more political implications than what the media on both sides presented. For some reason hockey was considered the ultimate stand-off, where else would you see bone-crushing checks, cosmic speed, finesse and imagination fused into a team effort? In the 1972 Summit Series the NHL superstars and the Soviets were evenly matched in all departments of the game except for one - personality. The Soviets simply didn't have a defiant part-loudmouth-part-goon-part-maverick-part-clown individual. And with all of the above a great player, probably the greatest crease player that I have ever seen. Espo provided the essential ingredients that glued the team together, he was the most dominating, almost demonic presence especially when the going got real tough in Moscow. Without him the series would certainly have ended in infamy and that would have had pretty far-reaching repercussions. And so I can understand the hatred Espo had for Scotty Bowman who persisted in believing that he could beat the Russians with just finesse and speed (his record against the Russians is pretty dismal). One of the most hilarious parts of the Moscow adventure is certainly the players' obsession and paranoia with listening devices in their hotel rooms, the ensuing search and the denoument when the huge chandelier crashed on the floor of the banquet hall. There is however one inconsistency, even in the land of attrition, Moscow's best restaraunts offered the best gourme food available anywhere in the world. The a la carte consisting of fried crow is pure fantasy. Other than that, a wonderful read.
Date published: 2010-02-14

– More About This Product –

Thunder And Lightning: A No-b.s. Hockey Memoir

by Peter Golenbock, Phil Esposito

Format: Mass Market Paperbound

Dimensions: 368 pages, 7.02 × 4.24 × 0.79 in

Published: October 19, 2004

Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 077103086X

ISBN - 13: 9780771030864

Read from the Book

After I suffered a severe knee injury during the first playoffgame against the Rangers in 1972-73, I was taken by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. I had medial-collateral ligament damage. The next morning I was operated on. The surgeons transplanted ligaments from my elbow. I remember coming out of the operation looking at the TV to learn we had lost the series to the Rangers and were eliminated. The next day at about eleven in the morning Bobby Orr and a couple other of my Boston Bruin teammates came to see me. They said they were going to come back that night and take me to a party. I was game. My wife at the time, Donna, said to me, “How are you going to do that? You can’t walk.” I said, “Don’t worry. These guys just had a few drinks. They aren’t going to do anything.” But I was very wrong about that. That night, around seven-thirty, the door to my room flew open, and there in a hospital gown, mask, and cap stood Bobby Orr. With him were Wayne Cashman, Kenny Hodge, Dallas Smith, Freddie O’Donnell and our trainer, Johnny “Frosty” Forristall. Bobby said, “Wappo, we’re taking you to a party.” “Whaaaaaat?” I said. “How are you going to do that?” He said, “Don’t worry about it. We’re taking you.” I was in a full cast from my groin to my toes. My leg was in traction, up in the air in a sling. I was wearing only a hospital johnny and
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From the Publisher

Jesus saves – but Espo puts in the rebound in this raucous, ribald memoir

At a party marking the end of his third season with the Blackhawks, Phil Esposito told coach Billy Reay and GM Tommy Ivan that they had a great team, maybe even a dynasty, but that the two of them would screw it up.

It was a classic Espo moment (and may have had something to do with his being traded to the Bruins): the big centre from the Soo who became one of hockey’s all-time leading scorers, has never been reluctant to speak his mind. In this rollicking hockey memoir, he reveals what it was like to play with other Hall of Famers like Howe and Hull and Orr. He recalls his acrimonious encounters with Allan Eagleson, the incredible intensity of the 1972 Canada-Russia series, the fabulous ride with the great Bruins teams of the early 1970s, and the tough years that followed with the New York Rangers.

From being a player, Esposito went on to be a commentator, a coach, a general manager, and then founder and part-owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He saw it all: the booze, the drugs, the women, the wheeling and dealing, the good times and the camaraderie, the bad times and the back-stabbing. In telling what it was really like, Esposito takes readers into the boardrooms, back rooms – and even the bedrooms – of the men who make their lives in the NHL.


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Phil Esposito played with the Chicago Blackhawks, the Boston Bruins, and the New York Rangers. After his retirement as a player, he did colour commentary for Rangers games and then became the Rangers’ general manager. He was a founder and a part owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He lives in Florida.

Peter Golenbock has written some of sports’ most important books, including Dynasty: The New York Yankees 1949-64, The Bronx Zoo, which he wrote in 1979 with New York Yankee pitcher Sparky Lyle; BUMS: An Oral History of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Personal Fouls, a look at corruption in college basketball; American Zoom, a history of NASCAR; and Wild, High and Tight, his biography of Yankee manager Billy Martin. Peter Golenbock lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

“Colourful characters and crazy capers spill out of the pages – totally uncensored. The drinking, the skirt chasing and profanity remain.” –Canadian Press (Vancouver Province, Kingston Whig-Standard , Ottawa Sun, Windsor Star, and more) “Thunder and Lightning, written with sports author Peter Golenbock, better portrays Esposito’s warts and his lust for life, revealing an R-rated, quick-witted, fiercely loyal competitor, a longshoreman on skates who packed his lunch pail with an unquenchable will to win. “Esposito’s candour and storytelling are terrific.…” –Montreal Gazette , October 11, 2003 “Just like Esposito, the book is opinionated and to the point. This is the way he sees it and if that offends you, then too bad.” –The Windsor Star , November 11, 2003 “Funny and rollicking. Honest.” – Toronto Star , October 5, 2003 “Above all else, Espo is a talker. That makes for a good read. “This is just a bunch of stories strung together that tell the story of a famous life – stories you’d love to sit around and listen to and laugh to, along with a cigar, a beverage, and big ol’ Espo himself.” – Edmonton Sun , October 29, 2003 “Its saltiness makes this one of the more honest sporting memoirs.” –Victoria Times-Colonist , December 14, 2003 “Esposito, noted for the intensity of his emotions as well as his ability to score
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