Paul Henderson’s The Goal of My Life book review

Celebrating the 40th anniversary of when he scored the famous Summit Series-winning goal, Paul Henderson released a new book this fall, called The Goal of My Life.

In it, he speaks about the goal, his NHL career, cancer and his Christianity.

While it’s interesting to read about his life, the book doesn’t flow very well.

First, there’s no real stories. The best part of the book is when he starts remembering certain aspects. For example, when he thought he could slip around a veteran defenceman as a rookie, or the time he levelled John Ferguson with a clean bodycheck. Those are interesting to read.

The majority of the book, however, isn’t like that. It’s more like “During this season, I injured my groin, but still scored XX goals and XX assists for XX points.” It makes for a duller read.

It also feels like Henderson had trouble filling up the book. It’s only about 200 pages. But there’s a chapter where other people talk about a Christian group Henderson set up, a chapter highlighting Henderson’s life, a chapter that highlights other members of the 1972 Summit Series, and part of another chapter where other people talk about Henderson’s goal in 1972.

In fact, the most interesting stories come from Henderson recounting other people telling him where they where and what they were doing when the goal was scored. That would make for an interesting book on its own.

Because of these, the book doesn’t really flow. The story-telling is a little of whack (he’ll tell a story about 1982 while still talking about 1974).

The most interesting tidbit: Henderson doesn’t believe he belongs in the Hockey Hall of Fame. He writes that he had a great month, but not a great career.

I found the book bogged down a little when talking about his faith. It just went on a little too much for my liking. But for Henderson, it’s very important. The goal of his life isn’t the one that happened in 1972, it’s his own personal goal to help others and spread the word of God. I can respect that, and I enjoyed reading how he became a man of faith and the stories surrounding it. I just think it was a little too lengthy.

The book had its moments. I wish there were more stories. While a lot of the great hockey players are mentioned, there’s no real connection with them because there’s no stories about them.

I give The Goal of My Life three out of five stars.


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