Karine Hains
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This is a good month for well read hockey fans! After the Serge Savard book, this week both Ken Drydren and Max Domi released their new book. Dryden’s one is about Scotty Bowman and I won’t read that one for a while since a mate of mine got me a copy and had it dedicated by both legends but I got Domi’s on the day of its launch and I breezed through it in less than 36 hours. To those who say that Domi is rather young to be penning his memoirs, rest assure that the 24 year old has plenty to say.

First and foremost, this book is a wonderful way to learn exactly what is type 1 diabetes. I must admit that I had heard about diabetes of course but I wasn’t aware of everything that living with this disease implicated. Diagnosed at a young age (12) Max Domi knows everything there is to know about it and even better, he knows how to make it work with a demanding training regimen. I was surprised to learn that there are assistance dogs for diabetes, much like MIRA dogs for blind people and that they are trained to smell their masters blood sugar level and alert them when something is wrong. While diabetes does take centre stage in the book though, there is still quite a lot of hockey talk and it’s really interesting to hear about Domi’s youth and his journey to the NHL.

As everyone knows, Domi is the son of Tie Domi a career enforcer who played 1020 games in the NHL plying his trade in Winnipeg, New York and mostly Toronto while racking up 245 points and 3515 penalty minutes. Being the son of a NHLer gave Max a chance to gain an inside track in the pursuit of his NHL dream. There aren’t many young boys that can brag to have grown up behind the scenes at the Air Canada Centre and to have spent so much time with NHL stars. In the book, Domi talks about his admiration for Mats Sundin and the advice the Swede gave him when it comes to training. You’ll also learn that the young Domi found it really hard to take face-offs initially so his dad called in some professional help (Oilers and Rangers great Mark Messier) to give him some pointers…there are worst ways to learn right?

Domi also talks about his temper and how he’s learned to keep it in check and that managing his blood sugar is key in being able to do that. He gives plenty of credit where credit is due to doctors, staff and trainers who have all made it possible for him to play in the NHL. I had no idea that he needed to get his blood sugar tested so often and to adjust his eating so drastically to be able to be in shape and perform. From what he says in the book, the Coyotes are a class A organization that pulled out all the stops to allow him to become an NHLer and where there every step of the way to help him manage his disease.

Also interesting is reading about his minor and junior career, learning how he’s played with and which NHL players he crossed paths with along the way. He also speaks of his billet family with so much love, respect and gratitude. Of course, every young guy makes mistakes and there are a few funny anecdotes in the book alongside some not so funny ones. You learn that diabetes can be so dangerous if it’s not properly handle and it does explain how Domi has come to be so disciplined in life. The title of the book is spot on, Max Domi can take no days off when it comes to dealing with the disease but he’s taken the same approach to his pro hockey career and it shows. He takes no nights off either when it comes to the game and that’s how he’s come to be one of the most beloved players on the Montreal Canadiens. His work ethic has made him an instant part of the Canadiens’ leadership group and along with Brendan Gallagher, he’s an example to look up to for the Canadiens’ rookies.

Overall, this is a very interesting read and the balance between the diabetes talk and the hockey talk is spot on. A diabetes sufferer who wants to learn how to best cope will the disease will love this book but so will a hockey fan who wants to learn about Domi and his trek to the NHL. If you’re a Domi fan, I highly recommend picking this book up, you’ll have a new found respect for the Habs number 13.