2007-11-29 / Front Page
Book writing is new goal of hockey player
Former New Jersey Devil Chico Resch meets fans, signs autographs
"He is so friendly," Cranford resident Nancy Dango said. "He always comes down to the stands and says hi to fans."
Dango was one of the scores of New Jersey Devils fans who met Glenn Allan Resch, better known by his nickname, "Chico" at the Barnes & Noble bookstore in North Brunswick.
Resch, who resides in Lyndhurst during the hockey season, signed copies of his new book, "Chico Resch's Tales from the Devils Ice," which he penned with Holmdel-native Michael Kerwick.
Resch was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in 1948 and enjoyed a career as a goalie in the NHL for over 15 years. In that time, he became one of only two goalies in the league's history to lead his team back from a 3-0 series deficit in the Stanley Cup playoffs when he was with the New York Islanders. He played for the New Jersey Devils from 1982 to 1986.
Resch took time at his signing to speak with fans, posing for photographs and talking about the current team and their new arena in Newark.
Donna Stralkus, a Devils fan from East Brunswick, said she is eager to read Resch's book.
"I'm interested in the locker room stories and the stuff you don't catch on the sports pages," she said.
Kerwick said that the book is an inside look at the Devils team from the perspective of a former player who was with the team during its first four years in the Garden State.
"It's a collection of stories from Chico's time with the Devils to his times announcing Devils games, and all of the games in between," he said.
The book includes a story of when Chico realized that the Colorado Rockies, who moved to New Jersey to become the Devils in 1982, would not stay in Denver. The Rockies players would have to walk outside to get from the showers to the dressing room, according to Kerwick.
"He knew it was the end of their team in Colorado," Kerwick said. "The writing was on the wall. The facilities were not going to be updated."
Kerwick said that he asked for Resch specifically to write the book with him, which he said was a pleasure.
"He was great," Kerwick said. "In the beginning, we got approached by a publisher and I pretty much told him there was only one guy I wanted to work with on this: Chico. He has a way of telling stories and that's largely what the book is about… He has a voice that fans sort of relate to the Devils. You hear his voice and you think Devils hockey."
Resch said that players in the locker room often use humor to break the tension of the game. He added that writing a book gave him the opportunity to document the history of the team, while sharing littleknown stories of the pros with fans.
"It's a lighter, little more behind the scenes look at the Devils' most important and humorous moments," Resch said. "It brings to life the players and the situations over the years. We tried to get the guys to talk more about the things that you had to be there in the locker room for."
Resch was grateful to Kerwick, who has been writing features for the Record daily newspaper of Hackensack for the past 14 months.
"Mike Kerwick is a clever writer," Resch said. "I would gather the information and he would freshen it up."
Kerwick, who graduated from Holmdel High School in 1995 and now resides in Hoboken, covered hockey for the Asbury Park Press for seven years.
"I spent four years covering the Devils," Kerwick said. "Four years, three seasons and one lockout."
The NHL lockout of the 2004-05 season resulted in the cancellation of the season that year. Kerwick said that this impacted the publication of the book.
"We started work on it during the 2003- 2004 season, and we thought the book was coming out in the fall of 2004, but then the NHL locked out and they decided that they were going to put the book on hold until hockey came back," Kerwick said.
Resch and Kerwick then wrote additional stories and updated the book, which includes stories about Devils legends like Ken Daneyko. Known for his tough defensive play and the gaps in his teeth, Daneyko would occasionally misplace his teeth in the locker room after games, according to Resch.
Professional hockey players have defined goals and a team who share those goals, along with the victories and the losses Resch said.
"You'd be hard pressed to find a better life than a pro athlete, because it defines everything in life that's good," he said.
Diana Ledd asked Resch to sign the vintage Colorado Rockies jersey with Resch's name and player number on it, which she wore to the book signing. She said that she has been a Resch fan "forever," adding that she prefers to watch the Devils games on Fox Sports Network over high-definition television so that she can hear Resch analyze the games alongside legendary hockey announcer Mike "Doc" Emrick.
"As long as I can remember, I've been a diehard fan," Ledd said. "Since I was old enough to know I love hockey. Chico's my favorite. Nothing is better than to listen to him comment."