Raising Stanley: What it Takes to Claim Hockey’s Ultimate Prize
By Ross Bernstein
Forewords by: Phil Esposito, Brett Hull &Joe Sakic
Introduction by: Scotty Bowman
Pages: 321 (Hardcover)
*A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the book proudly benefits the Herb Brooks Foundation, of which Ross Bernstein serves as the President of the Board of Directors.
About The Book
To raise the Stanley Cup means that you have reached the pinnacle of professional hockey success; it means you are a champion -- the best of the best. Each player's epic journey to get to that sacred place has a unique and meaningful story behind it, however, and those stories are at the very core of "Raising Stanley." For more than two years Ross Bernstein researched, met and interviewed more than 100 players and coaches who all share one common denominator -- they had the distinct privilege of hoisting Lord Stanley's holy grail. You see, to raise it means you have won it. Hockey players are extremely respectful as well as superstitious when it comes to the Cup. In fact, no player will ever even touch it unless he has won it. So, when he actually gets to raise it above his head for the first time, it is undoubtedly one of the proudest and most profound moments of his life. Some stories will make you laugh out loud; like the one about Shjon Podein, who was so excited about winning the Cup in 2001 with the Colorado Avalanche that he refused to take off his equipment for the next 24 hours. That's right. Wanting the moment to last forever, he kept his entire uniform on -- skates and all -- and partied like a rock star all night long throughout the streets of Denver. Some will make you cringe; like the one about Mike Modano, who, despite suffering from incredible pain, insisted upon getting his busted hand shot up with novocaine between each period of every playoff game because he didn't want to let his teammates down during Dallas' 1999 Stanley Cup run. Some will bring tears to your eyes; like the one about Phil Esposito, who talked about how tough it was for him to slip his 1970 Boston Bruins championship ring off his dad's finger at his funeral just before they had to close his casket. And some will inspire you; like the one about Brendan Shanahan, who took the Cup to his father's grave site the morning after leading his Detroit Red Wings to the title in 1997 so he could personally thank him for all the sacrifices he had made for him over the years -- from 5am practices to getting a second job -- just so he could live out his childhood dream. You will read not only about what it meant for the players to raise the Cup, but also about the deeper significance of how that achievement has effected or changed their lives. The raw emotion and personal stories of determination, courage and perseverance are woven into life lessons and practical business takeaways that can be taken back to the office and put to use immediately. The playoff beards, the dramatic game-sevens, the closed-door captain's practices, the coaching wisdom, the bench-clearing brawls, the crazy superstitions, the "playoff make-up" (the cuts, stitches and bruises on their faces), and of course their "Day with the Cup" -- it all comes to life in the ensuing pages. Inspirational, poignant and hilarious stories on the quest to claim hockey's ultimate prize, that's what this is all about.