So I just finished reading Jeremy Roenick’s autobiography, and I have to say that I really loved it.
The name of the book is J.R. — The Fast, Crazy Life of Hockey’s Most Outspoken and Most Colorful Personality (he probably could have come up with a shorter title). I’ve been one of the few who went life without much of an opinion on Roenick. Most people love him or hate him. I never felt this way. The former Chicago Blackhawk was a great player, but I never felt strongly about him one way or the other.
This was probably the best hockey book I’ve read in a while. I was getting ready for the opposite, as I haven’t had a lot of success with hockey reading lately, but it was humourous, enjoyable, and full of great stories.
Roenick is pretty candid. While there’s a lot of stuff we already know (his thoughts on Patrick Marleau, for example), there’s plenty of behind-the-scenes info.
He talks about his gambling, his drinking, his partying, his playing, his trouble with coaches, his trouble with teammates, etc. Of course, there’s plenty of good stories too (how he became a San Jose Shark, scoring his 500th goal, etc.). But reading his thoughts on other players is the most interesting.
He even goes as far as listing the top players he didn’t like. One that surprised me was Oleg Tverdovsky. Roenick feels as if Tverdovsky didn’t play to the best of his abilities, and actually fought him at practice — twice!
The only thing missing from the book was his thoughts on other people. Sure, we hear a lot about Marleau, Tony Amonte, Chris Chelios and Mike Modano. But I wish there was more about Ironman Steve Larmer for example. I wish Roenick had talked about Rob Ray. Near the end of the book, Roenick mentions Ray was the player he hated the most. But that was the first mention of Ray.
But overall, it was a pretty good book. I would recommend it, and give it four out of five stars.