It’s an inspirational story that deserved to be written more than 20 years ago, says Gary MacDougall.
However, MacDougall is happy to have the chance to tell the story now of one of P.E.I.’s most well-known hockey players.
A book on Forbes Kennedy, titled “Forbie”, will be launched on Nov. 28 at the P.E.I. Brewing Company.
MacDougall, who split sections of Kennedy’s life into different “hockey periods” in the book, said the story is enjoyable even to those who do not watch the sport.
“Forbie’s story is an inspiration… He was a little guy from (Charlottetown’s east end) and he learned to skate on Kent Street,” said MacDougall, who is the former managing editor of The Guardian. “He’s a guy who got a couple breaks along the way, back when there wouldn’t have been 120 players in the NHL.”
Need to know
- Those interested in purchasing tickets to the book launch of “Forbie” can call Joe Pierce at 902-393-6889 or Gene Power at 902-393-7525.
Kennedy, a Stratford resident, played more than 600 games in the NHL with the Boston Bruins, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
While many know Kennedy’s brawler reputation, MacDougall noted there was much more to his character.
As a P.E.I. native in the NHL, as well as through his charity work and decades of coaching junior hockey and minor baseball, Kennedy inspired many young Islanders.
The book features many of those Island NHL players and alumni, including Brad Richards, Adam McQuaid and Gerard (Turk) Gallant, who look up to Kennedy.
“They all love Forbie,” said MacDougall. “Forbie touched the lives of hundreds of hundreds of young people.”
Don Cherry was also interviewed, and his Coach’s Corner co-host Ron MacLean, who has long lamented that a book should be written about Kennedy, provided the foreword.
MacLean will also attend the book launch as a special guest.
“He’s been a longtime friend and big supporter of Forbie so we’re looking forward to having him,” said Jeremy Pierce, chairman of the event committee. “(Forbie) is a unique character who has had a lasting impact on P.E.I. … He’s a person who typifies an Islander, his achievements are renowned and should be recognized. We’re hoping the book will do that.”
The book was originally an idea of Pearce and Larry Resnitzky, of Retromedia, who for several years would often meet up with Kennedy to listen to his stories.
MacDougall, who also knew Kennedy through his years at The Guardian, was brought on earlier this year to write the book.
Everyone who attends the launch will get a copy of the book.
Tickets are $150 and organizers said, after expenses for the event are covered, the remainder will be donated to the Summerside chapter of the Boys and Girls Club and another charity yet to be announced, at Kennedy’s request.