Stompin’ Tom Connors sang about “The Good Old Hockey Game.” Todd Devonshire, in his Rink Burgers memoir, elaborates on what made the good old hockey game so darn good.
When his mother calls to say the family home has been sold, Todd realizes he must rescue his childhood possessions before they are gone forever. He and his wife Dawn sort through boxes of memorabilia and souvenirs as Todd reminisces about his glory days as both a player and fan.
The memoir is set in the 1980s in Big River, SK., a community where “news travelled like cops going for donuts.”
Todd’s memoir is replete with humour, and his robust imagination realistically recreates the antics of his childhood. His exaggerations are so typical of a youngster. He recalls when, as a six-year-old, he scored his first goal and lost his first tooth on the same day. This coincidence could mean only one thing – he was now a real hockey player!
Todd describes his coming of age and explores his relationship with his father, from whom he developed his love of hockey. A high point of their relationship was their visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, the shrine of all shrines for any genuine hockey buff.
As a player, Todd provides an ice-level, play by play of the game. His descriptions are as exciting as the game itself: “The whole bench spilled out onto the ice; helmets and sticks rained down like confetti at a wedding.”
Todd also explores the steamy side of hockey – the swearing, drinking, and violence that seem to be requisites for the game. Some readers may be put off by the profanity, but hey, this is hockey.
The book takes its name from the greasy burgers stuffed with fried onions that after a game would soothe a loss and make a win doubly delicious. Like the rink burgers, this book is a delicious delight.