THIN ICE: A Season in Hell with the New York Rangers by Larry Sloman

THIN ICE: A Season in Hell with the New York Rangers

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A haphazard, blowhard journal of the New York Rangers' 1979-80 season--on and (especially) off the ice. Sloman's passkey was a wide-open Playboy profile of enigmatic Rangers' coach Fred Shero--plus his self-appointed role of guide to New York's nightspots for ""the young immigrants from the North."" And, that season, they were ""hot."" So, for much of the time, Sloman (Reefer Madness, On the Road with Bob Dylan) trails a handful of younger Rangers--Barry Beck, Ron Duguay, Don Murdoch, Ron Greschner--on the Manhattan celebrity circuit: making commercials for Sassoon jeans, parleying with Andy Warhol for Interview magazine, picking up one-night-stands at Charley O's and such, mingling with the beautiful people at Studio 54. That these antics might be self-destructive doesn't occur to Sloman: when Murdoch is suspended for three months of the near-championship season for a narcotics conviction (and, later, traded off), he's just another mindless hedonist. Hockey, meanwhile, comes off as little more than a sideshow--per, for instance, the detailed coverage of Beck's Animal-House lifestyle, the scant attention to his skills as a linesman. Also absent is sustained reporting on Phil Esposito, Anders Herberg, Ulf Nilsson, and other stars (who may have been too smart to open up to ""Rats"" Sloman). You get a lot of bull-session palaver, often with Sloman sounding off (""'What about the draft picks? Dogshit,' I fumed. 'Keating's a total clown, and we really fucked up the draft. They pick Sully first, he's a good guy, but why him. . .'""); you get no discrimination or perspective.

Pub Date: April 2nd, 1982
Publisher: Morrow