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Tailing the Komets

Muskegon book

I just got ``Muskegon's Hockey History and Heroes'' in the mail today and gave it a quick read. Jay VandeVoorde wrote the 285-page book, and it's obviously a work of a lifetime for him.

It is essentially a Muskegon hockey history book that is similar in style to a high school yearbook. I'm not trying to denigrate the book by saying that, either, I'm just trying to find the best way to describe it so you'll understand what it is. Basically, Vandevoorde tracked down as many former Muskegon players as he could and asked them to report or write their recollections of their time with the Mohawks, Zephyrs, Lumberjacks or Fury.

Former Komets such as Dave Allison, Scott Gruhl, Bruce Racine, Joe Kastelic and Moose Lallo are included, but Bruce Ramsay, Andy Bezeau and Bruce Boudreau are absent. There aren't many stories about games, but the stories are about the players' experiences in general in Muskegon, focusing a great deal on their time away from the rink. Muskegon fans will eat this up but there's really nothing there that is new material. In that way it is very much like a yearbook. You can look up almost all of the material on the internet.

Any of the players' time with the Komets are barely metioned if at all. That's OK, it's a Muskegon book after all, but if you are a Komets fan there's really not much in the book for you. The Komets might be mentioned five times in the book, and then only in passing. There are no recollections of speciific games with the Komets.

There are also lots of photographs provided by the team and the Muskegon Chronicle-Tribune. I'll enjoy the book as a historical document but I'm not sure the casual fan will. This is a book for Muskegon fanatics, and pretty much only Muskegon fanatics. After all, that was VanderVoorde's target audience, much as I'm writing this for a Komets' audience.

Posted in: Komets


Wed, 11/22/2006 - 4:11pm

It's too bad that the book doesn't focus more on the players playing the games and their experiences on the ice. I was going to get it, now I think I'll pass.

Wed, 11/29/2006 - 8:19am

The book is fabulous! No, it doesn't say much about other teams, but the subject of the book is "Muskegon's Hockey Heroes!" Yes, player stats are available on line, but what makes the book special is all the personal off-ice stories, which are quite humorous, & some very poignant. Hats off to the author!

Wed, 11/29/2006 - 10:05am

It's great for what it is meant to be. Definitely does a great service for its target audience.