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Book Review: Behind the Moves: NHL General Managers Tell how Winners are Built

By  on October 19, 2011

Review by Brian Burke, President & General Manager, Toronto Maple Leafs /

By now you've already heard about a book that I am truly excited about, Behind the Moves: NHL General Managers Tell how Winners are Built. Finally, a book has been compiled about the National Hockey League's general managers, and by an author for whom I have great respect.

Behind the Moves is part encyclopedia, part history book, part manual for would-be managers. And it's your ticket to the general manager's office, where you'll find out all about the trades, the championships, the negotiations with agents, and the day-to-day dealing with owners and the media. You'll enjoy it, and you'll learn a lot, too.

NHL GMs are busy guys, but I and 34 of the top GMs all-time have personally invested significant time, energy, and materials into the making of this book, giving you totally unique insight into pro hockey. Behind the Moves is not an outsiders account, it's an insider's view of what's truly involved in being an NHL GM! For me, it has been a true honor to be associated with so many iconic hockey personalities through the making of Behind the Moves ― friends and colleagues like Glen Sather, Pat Quinn, and George McPhee, but also legends whom I was fortunate enough to overlap with like Bill Torrey, Emile Francis, and Sam Pollock. Like each of them, I am proud of our game's history and tradition and the men who shaped the teams that have excited fans over the years. And because I was so impressed with the concept of Behind the Moves, I jumped in and wrote the book's Foreword.

I believe that the NHL's general managers have been the brains and the conscience of the game since the league opened for business in 1917. Yet, surprisingly, little has been written about them. But is there a more important job on the team than the guy who puts the team together?

Like you, I've always been interested in knowing what other managers thought, so I could maybe learn to emulate certain types and avoid the other kinds. Behind the Moves is that playbook for all managers and those aspiring to get into, or move up in, the game. You'll hear directly from the GMs who all share an undying passion for the game ― past managers, current managers, champions, tenured veterans, innovators, old-schoolers, educated men and men with diplomas marked "Original Six."

If you're looking for the plays and strategies to cultivate winners, Behind the Moves is the guidebook, Go buy it now at

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October 19, 2011
Categories:  General

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