Sheldon Kannegiesser with the Los Angeles Kings — 1975.

What readers are saying

When I heard your book was poetry, I said, “no thanks—real hockey players don't write poetry!” But then a friend gave me your ‘Hock and McKey’ poem to read about the roots of ice hockey, and I laughed so hard it made my sides ache! I would never have believed I could have so much fun reading this stuff! I went out immediately and bought several copies of your book for friends who love it!

Dave M., Ontario, Canada

As a woman who's never had an interest in sports and knows absolutely nothing about hockey, it's hard to believe I could enjoy this book so much! It made me laugh out loud and it made me cry (especially your poem “Donuts!” about Tim Horton). I love the rhyme and rhythm of these poems—it's addictive and what's more, you've turned me into a hockey fan!

Leslie B., Santa Barbara, California

I'm a long-time hockey fan and have to admit I've always enjoyed the fights. The way you describe them so vividly and colorfully in your poems ‘The Irish Rebellion,’ and ‘The Mighty Hutch,’ made me feel like I was in the middle of the action. Knowing these fights were actual events is the best part and puts this book over the top!

Robert G., Ventura, California

There are no words I can use to describe the ‘Series of '72’ except that it's absolutely brilliant! Reliving the events of that Series in rhyme was amazing! The colorful and descriptive language is gripping and could only have been written by someone with an intimate, inside knowledge of the game, and a rare gift for the written word.

Jerry L., Ontario, Canada

Induction into Hockey Heritage North

The Northern News

January 18, 2010
Sheldon Kannegiesser - induction into Hockey Heritage North

Former National Hockey League Stars
Jim Watson (left) and Sheldon Kannegiesser at HHN

KIRKLAND LAKE ONTARIO-Hockey Heritage North welcomed two more members into its hall of fame on Saturday with the inductions of former NHL Stars Sheldon Kannegiesser and Jim Watson.

Kannegiesser played almost 400 games in the NHL, which included stops with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Vancouver Canucks, Los Angeles Kings and in New York with the Rangers. The North Bay Ontario native played some of his best hockey for the L.A. Kings from 1973 through 1978. Watson meantime, who was born in Malartic, Quebec but moved to Kirkland Lake in his early teens, patrolled the blueline for the Detroit Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres during the sixties and seventies and was known for his bruising body checks. Watson also holds the distinct honour of scoring the first goal ever in the history of the Buffalo Sabre Franchise. Speaking about the induction, Kannegiesser said, "he is quite excited and it is a very special honour. As a kid growing up in North Bay Ontario we knew Kirkland Lake as the breeding ground for some of the greatest hockey players in the world. To be honoured alongside these legends of the game is truly thrilling.

Kannegiesser, now a well-known author and poet, is currently on a cross country book tour. The one million listeners who tune in to Don Cherry's national radio broadcast, “The Grapeline,” have been entertained this past month listening to Don and his co-host Brian Williams recite excerpts from Kannegiesser's new book, Warriors of Winter-Rhymes of a Blueliner Balladeer. Cherry and others in the media have called Kannegiesser's best-selling book brilliant and an epic piece of Canadian literature. The book consists of 31 ballads and over 50 photographs written in the style of famed poet Robert W. Service who penned the iconic work, The Cremation of Sam McGee. The difference here is that Sheldon's stories for the most part are true events. Warriors of Winter takes you behind the scenes of professional hockey, into the dressing room, onto the bus and headlong into hockey fights as if you were right there in the middle of the action. In his poem Donuts, Kannegiesser recalls the time he turned down his defence partner, legendary Tim Horton, on an offer to get in early on Horton's ubiquitous donut franchise. Other poems such as The Iron Lung, The Fearless John Hock and The Mighty Michael McKey, Wrong Way Nipper, and My Big Chance are equally hilarious and carry an addictive rhyme and rhythm reminiscent of another era.