Thursday, November 11, 2010

5 Questions with Andrew Podnieks, author of Retired Numbers


Which number hasn't been retired but should?

Rob Blake's number 4 in Los Angeles should be retired, I think. Although he only hung up his skates this past year, the team has yet to announce any such honour.

Which number retirement ceremony was the most emotional for the player having his number retired?

So many answers to this, but if I had to choose one, I'd say Bobby Orr's number 4 in Boston. The ovation was incredible and brought tears to the usually stoic Orr.

You've written about several hockey players in the game, is there a player that you've encountered that stands out as the most interesting and one that was the nicest of the bunch?

It would be easier to consider who hasn't been nice! Almost every player I've met or dealt with has been courteous and friendly.

You've penned over 55 books, which one meant the most to you?

Two books stand out. The first is called Players, which came out several years ago and features biographies of every NHLer. It's about 1,000 pages and nearly a million words and consumed my every moment for a long time. The other is the Official IIHF Media Guide & Record Book which just published and is available at It has the complete history of international hockey, every player, every country, every game, since 1920. Nothing like it exists elsewhere. These are the two books of which I am particularly proud.

What project are you working on next?

"Next books" are always a bit of a secret until they're published!

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