He’s been revered.
He’s been reviled.
He’s been shot.
He’s been convicted.
But, really, who is Peter Pocklington?
A Canadian-born free-enterpriser considered both famous and infamous for the adventures that make up his amazing life and turbulent times, he has been described as either a fiend or a friend; generous, or curmudgeonly.
His is a story of triumph and failure, of tenacity and antagonism. From his childhood to his entrepreneurial ventures in his teen years… to the building of his empire in boomtown Edmonton, Alberta, Canada where deals were sketched out on restaurant napkins and sealed with a handshake…
… from signing a 17-year-old phenom named Wayne Gretzky and forging the storied Stanley Cup winning team, the Edmonton Oilers, to the trade that rocked the global hockey world and shocked a nation…
… being kidnapped and shot… vying for the leadership of a political party which could have resulted in making him the leader of a nation, but ended instead with him as “kingmaker” to Canada’s 18th prime minister Brian Mulroney…
… to fighting to save his crumbling empire before admitting defeat and leaving his homeland for the U.S. … his tumultuous skirmishes in American business which culminated in bankruptcy, his arrest by the F.B.I. and a felony conviction.
At the end of the book, Peter Pocklington is still standing, bloodied but unbowed.
‘No holds barred’ by the authors
“It’s clear McConnell and Nye wouldn’t let Pocklington spin his take without checks and balances … They have done a professional job.” KEVIN ALLEN, USA TODAY
According to the authors: “While we made the decision we were not going to shy away from some of the more unsavory aspects of Peter Pocklington’s life story, we were not going to build our book around them, either. After all, those negatives have been exhaustively documented over these past 20 or so years. Rather, we would strive to paint a more complete picture of the man — as much as that was possible — and be sure to include more than a few surprises as well.”
“… a fascinating behind the scenes look at a man who is neither a villain nor a hero.” DENIS GORMAN, GOODREADS. COM
Authors McConnell and Nye: “In the 20 years since Peter’s reputation fell into such remarkable disrepute, his critics have pretty well had a free hand to say whatever they wished about him, the vast majority of which has not been terribly flattering. For that, Peter deserves his share of the responsibility.
“Yet, while he has often been portrayed as everything from a heartless scoundrel to a common criminal, we suspected there was another side to the man waiting to be explored.”
A new title, and a new book
The Pocklington biography was first brought to market as a 294-page, 20-chapter hardcover book by Fenn Publishing Company of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 2009. That publisher categorized it as a “hockey book” and applied the title: I’d Trade Him Again: On Gretzky, Politics and the Pursuit of the Perfect Deal.
A paperback version with an added 21st chapter was published by Fenn the following year, with the same title. Both books are now out of print following the closure of the publishing company.
When Fenn Publishing ceased operating in 2011, the publishing rights reverted back to the authors. They chose to self-publish the book in 2012 in both paperback and e-book formats, and retitled the book to more accurately reflect its content. The Puck Talks Here: The amazing life & turbulent times of Peter Pocklington covers his life experiences in business, sports, politics as well as his personal life.
A smaller book titled I’d Trade Him Again: Wayne Gretzky & Peter Pocklington has also been published which can accurately be described as a “hockey book” as it includes only the seven chapters that describe the Edmonton Oilers building years, the Gretzky trade and the relationship between these two men during that period.