So last week I read what I now consider to be one of the greatest hockey autobiographies I’ve ever read.
Derek Sanderson’s book Crossing the Line is full of stories, and he doesn’t hold anything back.
Wait a minute, you ask, who is Derek Sanderson? Wasn’t he a third-line centre with the Boston Bruins in the late 60s/early 70s? Why should I read a book written by a guy in the bottom six of the lineup?
Because Sanderson has led one of the most colourful lives you will ever read about, that’s why.
A quick bit of background: Sanderson was a third-line centre with the Bruins, but was part of the team that won two Stanley Cups with Boston in the early 70s. He was a great personality, always giving the media a good quote. He opened successful bars, and was friends with guys such as Joe Namath.
The WHA wanted him in the league, and was so desperate to get him, they made him the highest-paid athlete in the world. Not just hockey player, but athlete.
But he lost most of the money through drinking and drugs, and some because of his lawyer. He talks about how he became an alcoholic, how he used drugs, and how he ended up becoming homeless in New York City.
Now, he’s a successful businessman, teaching athletes how to save and invest their money so they don’t wind up broke like he did.
All this is talked about in the books, and there are plenty of stories. At times, it feels like he’s name-dropping, but all the stories just show the lifestyle he had.
Anyways, the book was great. I highly recommend you read it. I’m a Habs fan, but this was easily one of the best books I’ve read.
I give the book five out of five stars.