The Hockey Saint by Howard Shapiro is a book about the realization that as fans, we only know how much someone wants us to know about them and that the most painful realization can be that nobody is perfect, but you cannot save everyone.
The Hockey Saint is about Thomas Leonard, a sophomore playing for his university team who meets his hockey hero, Jeremiah Jacobson one night. Jacobson is a reclusive star player in the C. He has always been a star player and has struggled with some of the downsides of fame since he was a rookie.
The book also tackles hockey’s problem with alcohol head-on. It is looked at from both the perspective of the fan, Leonard, and the player, Jacobson. The issue of drinking and how much fans should know about the players when they are not on the ice. This difficult relationship is highlighted when Leonard is welcomed into Jacobson’s private and secluded world. The relationship becomes uncomfortable when Leonard starts to see a side of Jacobson that makes him uncomfortable.
The entire premise of The Hockey Saint is that our heroes are imperfect humans like us and the idea that because they are have a super-human at one thing does not mean that they are beyond reproach. Seeing someone that you respect make decisions that you don’t agree with can very well change your perceptions of that person.
The story also puts forth the difficult discussion of alcohol and how much it should be controlled if in regards to professional athletes. The idea that Jacobson’s performance did not suffer does not take away from the fact that he has demons. Who bares the responsibility for a players health, both mental and physical? How much should a team know about a players personal life? Should they care at all, or should they let the player live their life as they please? These questions are posed and not answered, leaving the reader to make their own decisions.
The book will be released on October 14 and in exchange for this review we will be having a contest on our Facebook page to give away two copies that were given to us by Mr. Shapiro.