Draft Day: How Hockey Teams Pick Winners or Get Left Behind (Hardcover)
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Doug MacLean, former NHL coach, general manager, team president, and one of the game’s biggest personalities, reveals how teams build for greatness—or fail to—on hockey’s most anticipated day. A Moneyball for hockey.
The NHL draft is a critical time for teams, when the foundation for future championships is laid—or when championship dreams die. Only time will tell if a draft is successful, but a failed draft can severely set teams back for seasons, much to the dread of ownership, management, and most importantly, the fans.
For even the most die-hard hockey fan, the preparation for draft day is a black box. Former president, general manager, and coach Doug MacLean takes readers behind the scenes, from the 2022 draft in Montreal to revealing draft stories from the past, to show how players are discovered and evaluated to create successful teams.
Just as Moneyball illustrated the value of analytics in building teams in baseball and beyond, Draft Day shows the careful considerations that go into assessing talent for success. What is that balance in today’s game between metrics and instinct, between analytics and traditional scouting? MacLean draws from his own career as well as anecdotes from across the league to illustrate the hard-won lessons and principles that lead to building successful teams. Hockey is big business, and this book is an invaluable resource for any leader seeking an edge for building resilient organizations.
Entertaining and informative, with never-before-told details from some of the biggest moments in NHL history, Draft Day is for every hockey fan who wonders how their team develops that hard-to-define winning chemistry—or fails to, year after year.
About the Author
Doug MacLean is a former professional hockey coach, general manager, and team executive. He was the president and general manager of the NHL Columbus Blue Jackets and was also the head coach of the Florida Panthers. He became a sportscaster for Sportsnet, eventually cohosting the popular Hockey Central at Noon radio show and regularly appearing as a panelist on Hockey Central television. He lives in Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Scott Morrison has provided cogent and colourful hockey analysis since his start in 1979, covering the Maple Leafs and NHL for the Toronto Sun. He has reported and provided analysis for Sportsnet, Hockey Night in Canada, and CBC Television and Radio, while making regular appearances across the sports-radio dial. A trusted and measured voice in the hockey-media landscape, he has twice served as president of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. He has written numerous books, including the #1 bestseller 1972: The Hockey Series that Changed the Game Forever. In 2006 he received the Hockey Hall of Fame Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award. He lives in Toronto with his son, Mark.
“Come for the great storytelling from Doug MacLean and Scott Morrison, stick around for the revealing NHL draft tales, especially the incredible Eric Lindros trade story you won’t find anywhere else.”
— BOB MCKENZIE, TSN Draft Expert and NHL Insider
“Doug MacLean is a hockey lifer and an entertaining storyteller. You’ll enjoy this book.”
— GERARD GALLANT, NHL coach and former player
“Doug MacLean did some amazing wheeling and dealing to make me the number one overall pick in 2002. In Draft Day, he tells the story behind that draft and others like it to show all the thought and work that goes into building teams.”
— RICK NASH, former Columbus Blue Jackets star and Rocket Richard Trophy winner
“Draft day can make or break your team for years to come. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how teambuilding in hockey really works.”
— JOHN DAVIDSON, President of Hockey Operations for the Columbus Blue Jackets
“Doug MacLean may have a reputation for bluntness, but that’s just the beginning when it comes to my friend and longtime Sportsnet coworker. The truth is, he’s as honest in life as he is at work, whether that’s on the air, in the boardroom, or behind an NHL bench. Like the man, his book holds no punches. Draft Day gets right to the point and is the most entertaining and insightful book you’ll read this year.”
— NICK KYPREOS, cohost of Real Kyper & Bourne, author of Undrafted, and Stanley Cup champion
“The draft is the most franchise-altering night on the NHL schedule, and Doug gives a real behind-the-scenes look. Draft Day is an insightful read for hockey fans.”
— ELLIOTTE FRIEDMAN, broadcaster for Hockey Night in Canada and cohost of 32 Thoughts: The Podcast
“[A] worthy read on a lot of levels. . . . As MacLean’s book makes clear, in the world of pro sports, sometimes the line between being immortalized and being unemployed is probably finer than we’d like to think.”
— Toronto Star