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99: Stories of the Game

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,534 ratings  ·  211 reviews
First he rewrote the record book. Now, to mark the NHL's 99th anniversary, Wayne Gretzky has written the story of our game.

No one has been as close to the game as Wayne Gretzky. When he first laced up skates in the NHL, he changed the league. And by the time he had hung up his skates, he had re-written the record book.

There can be no doubt what he means to the game. What w
Hardcover, 381 pages
Published October 18th 2016 by Viking
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Vince Sarubbi Absolutely. No language and a good history of hockey.

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  1,534 ratings  ·  211 reviews

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Jan 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017, non-fiction, hockey
In 99: Stories of the Game, Wayne Gretzky celebrates the 99th anniversary of the NHL by penning short stories that help to illuminate the history of the league. Intertwining his own career with that of several legendary players like Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe, Mark Messier and Bobby Orr, Gretzky presents a compelling take on the often brutal history of the sport.

I wouldn’t consider myself a hockey aficionado by any means, but having read a handful of books and having watched the excellent CBC
99 years of hockey history told by #99, "The Great One", Wayne Gretzky. Gretzky retraces the early days of hockey in North America, from the debated origins of the game to the very modern technology of player equipment and training styles.

I've followed hockey closely for nearly 18 years. Unfortunately, this was the exact time that Gretzky retired from the NHL, so I was not able to see him play live, but have seen many clips, snippets, documentaries, and a few alumni events where he laced up aga
Mixed feelings about this book - on the one hand, who wouldn't want to hear about hockey stories from the greatest player of our generation and arguably ever to lace up the skates? Except if you ask him and some others, that honor goes to Gordie Howe, who is frequently mentioned and praised throughout the book.

The information is great, Gretzky is not a braggart or conceited in any way and fans will love hearing about the entire history of the NHL through his viewpoint. However, as a book, I had
Jon Kaplan
May 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take - Wayne Gretzky" - Michael Scott ...more
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cool book of the general history of hockey, growth of the NHL, and various players though history. Good book for those wanting to learn more about the Gabe with enjoyable stories along the way
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm not really a hockey fan but Gretzy's passion for the game makes it universal. I didn't quite make it though all 99 stories (did some skimming in the third section) but beyond the endless litany of player's names and the extensive history of the shifting teams and political landscape, there are many interesting anecdotes and a deep look at the drive, determination, fitness, and strategy required to make hockey happen. My favorite anecdote ends the book, where Wayne describes his grandmother t ...more
Oct 22, 2016 rated it liked it
I love hockey (especially the oilers) and history books so I knew I would enjoy this and I did. I love all the stories; however, the story telling is a little frenetic and all over the place. I appreciate it as a piece of hockey history though and if you are a fan of the game you should check it out.
Glenn Humplik
Jan 31, 2017 rated it liked it
An entertaining read for any NHL hockey fan who has an interest in the league's past history. The book intersects between Wayne's career and the players in hockey's past that shaped it. Lots of great behind the scenes stories that shaped the images I caught on TV while growing up. ...more
Derek Harmsworth
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-be-read
Having received a copy of "99: Stories Of The Game" as one of my Christmas gifts, I looked at it intrigued, but assumed it was an autobiography of Wayne Gretzky and kind of set it aside, in my to-be-read pile.

After reading the first 50 pages by happenstance one day (not at my house, and not my gifted copy), I was hooked and fascinated, and set out immediately to devour the books content.

In the book, Gretzky takes readers on a history of the game of hockey, from its earliest roots, to the creat
Nov 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When arguably the greatest hockey player ever wants to tell stories about the game, people are going to want to hear them. In 99, Gretzky illuminates the first 99 years of the National Hockey League with inside information about the players, personalities, and teams that have made their mark for almost a century. The Great One is at his best when talking about the league's great players and game builders. The book's weakness is that each chapter includes too many comparisons and analogies to his ...more
Nov 11, 2017 rated it liked it
If you're looking for a book with stories about Gretzky, then you best look elsewhere. While this book has many great stories, it is what it says on the cover. A wide variety of historical anecdotes that are about each team in the NHL and many from the WHL. He kind of does a sweeping coverage of each team. Mostly including just one or two stories about a lot of teams. As such, the overall book doesn't have any flow. It really is just a bunch of different stories packed together. If you want to j ...more
Kathy Heare Watts
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book for any hockey enthusiast that is more than just about Wayne Gretzky, but includes bits and pieces from ninety-nine years of the National Hockey League.

I won an uncorrected proof advanced reading copy of this book during a Goodreads giveaway. I am under no obligation to leave a review or rating and do so voluntarily. So that others may also enjoy this book, I am paying it forward by donating it to a friend who has shared his love of sports with his father and now his son.
Oct 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book, for the most part, the only bad part about it was that there were so many different players and coaches that it would get confusing. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes the game of hockey. Wayne Gretzky narrates the story mainly talking about exciting stories and games that he played that makes you sit on the edge of your seat to see how it all panned out. This book also talks about how the game was way different back then since there were fewer teams and teams c ...more
Jackson Adams
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My book was informational. Wayne Gretzky is the best hockey player who ever lived. I think a theme for this book could be love. I picked love because Wayne Gretzky loves the game of hockey. He told 99
(99 was his number) stories of the game of hockey, he would not know all of them without determination and the love for the game.
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Any hockey fan will love this book. I love how they blended past, present and future of the sport. Great collection of stories. I am a huge Ted Lindsey fan. Who f thought he would be a feminist? Get this book for any hockey lover in your life.
Scott Potter
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this on the beach...a great beach read for hockey fans. Read a story, take a break. read a story and take another break. Some great insights. Enjoyed it!
Caroline B.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed reading this book and if you like nonfiction books, hockey, and biography's you should enjoy this book. ...more
Nikki C
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Brought me back to my childhood. Also, pushed me to literally look up every person on YouTube bc the feels
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really loved learning about the beginning of the NHL. It has been an exciting 99 years and with that the hockey greats are always present. The stories of the players as well as the teams building into what they are now was definitely exciting to read.
I could put this book down and pick it up and a new story in each chapter did not puzzle me.
I could hear Wayne Gretzky speaking as I read. It was like I was listening to him talk. A great book for any hockey fan.
Michael Blackmer
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for anyone that is a Gretzky fan, an Oilers fan or for that matter a hockey fan. I grew up in an area that did not have hockey of any kind. We may have played field hockey in PE one day. There was no in door ice and the ponds in our area were not often safe for skating. On top of that very few of us even had skates. I vaguely remember the "Miracle on Ice" during the Olympics.

A cousin took me to my first hockey game when I started college as a U.S. student in Alberta. It was a
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've always loved the game, and as an 8-yr old was absolutely thrilled to read about heroes I never even saw play, replicating their greatest exploits on the local pond. These stars were as romantic to Canadians as the Duke and the Cartwrights were to Americans. I thought I'd read (and heard locker room gossip) about everything there was in hockey, but was very pleasantly surprised to discover new anecdotes of this book, typically ringing the bell of those values, ethics, or whatever that draws ...more
Jan 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable read! Wasn't really sure what to expect going into this one. Thought it might be just a chronicle of some of his most memorable career moments. That likely would have been great, too, coming right from the man himself. However, the book delves into the NHL's deep history quite a bit. Gretzky's reflections on the NHL were not the usual, same old-same old stories that I'd heard a thousand times before...thankfully! Some of them were familiar, yes, but if they were, there was always ...more
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Gretzky's love for the game, and the people who play it, shows throughout this book. I listened to the audio version, and would sometimes lose track of the evolution of the teams during the early chapters devoted to pre-NHL times. When I listen to it again I will take a break in between chapters to help avoid the "this team begat that team" fatigue. My son said that worked well for him; and as he is even more of a hockey fan than I am (he has cats named Gretzky and Kariya) I'll take his suggesti ...more
Dynah Thirst
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5. I listened to the audiobook so it was a bit hard to keep track of all the names but the stories were interesting as was listening to how the NHL developed. I wasn't crazy about the narrator but he was better when I had him on 1.25 speed. ...more
Matt Graupman
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Around the world, soccer (or futbol - or football - as it’s mostly known) is referred to as “The Beautiful Game.” I respectfully disagree. With its breakneck pace, controlled violence, and fluid creativity, I think ice hockey is much more deserving of the moniker. So, as the best professional league in hockey, the NHL, prepares to celebrate its one hundredth year of existence, who better than its best player to look back on its first century of history, characters, and controversies? In “99: Sto ...more
Carey P.
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book 99 Stories of the Game is co-written by NHL Hall of Famer Wayne Gretzky and Best-selling author Kirstie McLellan. The book is told from Gretzky's point of view. Wayne tells us plenty of stories all the way from the days before the “Original 6” to the final days of his legendary career.
The book “99 Stories of the Game” by Wayne Gretzky and Kirstie McLellan is a lengthy book full of tremendous stories that have helped shape the game of hockey that is played today. I am g
Brad McKenna
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
This was essentially a series of essays. While it does mostly progress through time in a linear fashion, it’s not a thorough history of either the NHL or Gretzky’s time in hockey. So this review will fall under the pattern of my short story collection reviews: just thoughts:

A dentist from Michigan created the first professional league (aka officially paid). Given the stereotypically gap-toothed hockey players, this seems self-serving!

He talks about Howe and Orr the most but he also talks about m
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, biography
Probably my own fault, but I definitely misread what this book would mainly be about. Gretzky attempts to give a sort of overview of the history of hockey in this, rather than sticking to his own story, which I don't think he manages to carry off particularly well. The most interesting parts of it are, of course, the personal anecdotes that he shares about being in the room or about things that he remembers. I found long recitations of the history of some of the teams in the NHL--especially the ...more
Andy Chronis
Apr 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
For the National Hockey League’s 99th season, Gretzky (number 99), its greatest player ever, offers a look back at some of hockey’s pivotal moments and its greatest pioneers. Gretzky’s well-known love for the game and respect for its history are evident in his narration. The book breezes through short histories of NHL teams, from the formation of the original six teams to expansion and the World Hockey Association, as well as memorable events such as (SPOILER ALERT) the 1972 Summit Series betwee ...more
Apr 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Let me preface this review by saying I have been a hockey fan for the last 20 years. I love the physicality and speed of the game. I was very excited to read about some of the history and stories behind hockey and its great players. This book was a bit disappointing for me. I understand the intent was to make each chapter separately readable, so one did not have to read the book cover to cover to understand what was going on. You could pick up the book, open to any chapter, and be able to learn ...more
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Wayne Douglas Gretzky is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. He played 20 seasons in the National Hockey League (NHL) for four teams from 1979 to 1999. Nicknamed "The Great One", he has been called "the greatest hockey player ever" by many sportswriters, players, and the NHL itself. He is the leading scorer in NHL history, with more goals and assists than any ot ...more

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