Stories about Forbes Kennedy fun to tell, says Ron MacLean

A book about P.E.I. hockey legend Forbes Kennedy was unveiled Wednesday night, with Ron MacLean as the special guest.

New book about Island hockey legend in stores Dec. 1

CBC meteorologist Jay Scotland chats with Forbes Kennedy and Ron MacLean on CBC News: Compass on Wednesday. (CBC)

When Forbes Kennedy lists the dozens of Islanders who have made it to the NHL, from Al MacAdam and Gerard Gallant to Brad Richards and Adam MacQuaid, he says they all had one thing in common — besides the obvious talent.

"You can have ability," he said, "but you've got to have the heart."

That's exactly how Kennedy himself is portrayed in a new book by Gary MacDougall titled Forbie. The book was launched Wednesday night in Charlottetown with guests that included Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean.

MacLean wrote the foreword to the book and said it was an easy decision — the Kennedy family has been very welcoming to him ever since he came to P.E.I. during the NHL lockout in 2005 to meet with Richards.

Kennedy says he felt no pressure playing in the NHL because he loved what he was doing. (CBC)

"That just began this love affair that we all have of sharing the stories of Forbes's career, of his coaching career especially," MacLean said. "I can't tell you how much fun I had with that."

Kennedy, 83, played more than 600 games in the NHL with the Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs.

He was known for his grit and heart, rarely backing down from a fight despite his relatively small size.

Kennedy said he never expected to make it to the NHL, but when he did, he made the most of it.

"It was no pressure because you just loved to do what you wanted to do and that was hockey."

The new book was written by former Guardian managing editor Gary MacDougall. (CBC)

He was inducted into the P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame in 1968. After his playing career ended, he coached hockey in the U.S. before returning to P.E.I., where he continued to coach baseball and hockey, including the Charlottetown Abbies.

He said he still watches the NHL on TV, especially the Islanders who followed in his footsteps.

The 234-page soft cover book goes on sale Dec. 1 at the Bookmark, Indigo and Beaconsfield Historic House in Charlottetown, Coles in Summerside and Tim Hortons restaurants across P.E.I. The book retails for $34.95.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Jay Scotland


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