From feared NHL sniper to ship captain and bellhop — with hockey’s greatest ’stache
Only 20 men in NHL history have scored 60 or more goals in a single season: Gretzky, Lemieux, and Hull all hit the magical mark. And so did an undersized, take-no-prisoners centre named Dennis Maruk. When Maruk found the back of the net 60 times in 1981–82, he was the toast of Washington — he even dined with the president. A few short years later, he was out of the game. Maruk not only left the rink, his life did a complete 180. Instead of flying up the ice and in on goal, he was behind the wheel of a service ship in the Gulf of Mexico. Instead of setting up teammates, he was setting up furniture for Goldie Hawn. He was never sent down to the farm as a rookie, but after the game he was a farmhand for John Oates. And instead of fighting in the corners, Dennis Maruk found himself fighting for his life.
Dennis Maruk scored 356 goals and added 522 assists for 878 points in 888 career NHL regular season games. He played in two NHL All-Star Games and still holds the Washington Capitals’ record for most points (136) in a single season. He lives in Toronto, Ontario. Ken Reid is co-anchor of the weeknight edition of Sportsnet Central. He is the author of the national bestseller Hockey Card Stories as well as One Night Only. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his wife and two sons.
Published: October 2017
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.
“Maruk writes honestly about his failed marriages, his battles with depression, and his difficulty finding a post-hockey life, and there’s enough insight into the business side of the game (including the bizarre merger of the Barons and North Stars), his teammates, and on-the-road hijinks to please any hardcore hockey fan.” — Publishers Weekly
“No one has a better ear for the stories of ordinary hockey players than Ken Reid. Dennis Maruk’s story is one of challenges overcome, mistakes made, marriages begun and broken, family bonds, dark times, and ultimately survival. It is great to get to know Dennis here, and it’s great that he ran into a writer whose empathy and good humour shine through every line.” — Stephen Brunt, writer/broadcaster, Rogers Sportsnet
“You don’t score 60 goals from shooting on the outside — you have to go in areas where you get banged up, and Maruk wasn’t afraid to do that. You had to pay a price to get 60 goals, and he did. He was just a phenomenal player who played with a lot of passion. That’s what stands out the most for me about him. He just loves to play.” — Denis Savard, Hockey Hall of Famer
“[Reid] allows the stories to tell themselves and in return the reader is left with no doubt about Maruk’s vulnerabilities and desires.” — London Free Press
“Maruk's story is engrossing, amusing, and full of photos of his trademark Fu Manchu.” – Scene Magazine
“Dennis ‘Pee-Wee’ Maruk was one of the toughest little bastards to play against, I can tell you that. He was tenacious and a great goal scorer. People have no idea how good he was at finding the openings and scoring goals. He was terrific.” — Phil Esposito, Hockey Hall of Famer
“It’s hard to last long in the NHL without being the best skater and the best stick handler. Dennis Maruk was never the best at anything, but he had inner toughness, grit, and he did what he had to do — and that’s a special kind of skill set.” — Wendel Clark, Toronto Maple Leafs legend
“I recommend this book to everyone! Dennis is a great guy and he has an amazing story about his life before, during, and after the NHL.“ — Abigail’s Books
“This is an exceptional book; profound and revealing.” — Between the Posts