New Novel Gives Dead Hockey Team a Second Chance

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Robert Muldoon re-imagines the fate of the lamented Hartford, Conn., Whalers hockey team.

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In these turbulent times, America needs a story of hope and faithfulness to a lost cause.

Any sports fan knows the thrill of victory and agony of defeat, but what happens when a beloved team forsakes its hometown and moves? Such was the case in Hartford, Conn., in 1997 when the city’s hockey team, the Whalers, abruptly relocated, leaving thousands of abandoned fans in its wake. One scorned fan – and former Whalers employee – was Robert Muldoon. To come to terms with the loss, he penned “Brass Bonanza Plays Again: How Hockey's Strangest Goon Brought Back Mark Twain and a Dead Team – and Made a City Believe” (published by iUniverse), a fictionalized account (rooted deep in fact) of the team’s departure and its aftermath.

In Muldoon’s Hartford, when the Whalers left, all the player-mercenaries left with the team except one: Tiger Burns, a one-eyed, cauliflower-eared hockey goon with 600 fights. After being released, Tiger fell on hard times in hardscrabble Hartford, living homeless under a bridge for years before reuniting his old team for one climactic game.

With the Stanley Cup on the line, Tiger is aided by a series of guardian angels – including Twain and baseball’s star-crossed Rube Waddell – who awaken the ghosts of Hartford’s proud past, sweeping Tiger from homeless to center ice, a last shot at redemption.

“In ‘Brass Bonanza Plays Again,’ we have ‘Rocky’ (on Skates!) meets ‘Field of Dreams,’” Muldoon notes. “In these turbulent times, America needs a story of hope and faithfulness to a lost cause.”

The New York Times recently printed an essay “In Search of the Great American Hockey Novel” lamenting that hockey has yet to be celebrated in a notable work. “Where is the Chekhov of the Chicago Black Hawks?” the Times asks. “Who is the Stendahl of the stick to the groin?” To that we humbly say, read on.

About the Author
Robert Muldoon worked for the Hartford Whalers for 10 years, driving a promotional Cadillac on-ice between periods. A graduate of Phillips Andover Academy and Columbia Journalism School, he has been published in Newsweek, the Hartford Courant, Ring Magazine and Birdwatcher’s Digest.

iUniverse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is the leading book marketing, editorial services, and supported self-publishing provider. iUniverse has a strategic alliance with Indigo Books & Music, Inc. in Canada, and titles accepted into the iUniverse Rising Star program are featured in a special collection on iUniverse recognizes excellence in book publishing through the Star, Reader’s Choice, Rising Star and Editor’s Choice designations—self-publishing’s only such awards program. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, iUniverse also operates offices in Indianapolis. For more information or to publish a book, please visit or call 1-800-AUTHORS. For the latest, follow @iuniversebooks on Twitter.

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