This week, hockey writer Roy MacGregor joins Bill Littlefield to discuss his new book Wayne Gretzky’s Ghost, a collection of stories from his career covering Canada’s winter pastime.

Bill’s thoughts on Wayne Gretzky’s Ghost:

Roy MacGregor has been characterized as “the poet laureate of Canadian hockey.” He may well deserve that distinction. He wrote this line: “Although soccer might claim more numbers, hockey leads, as it always has, in nightly dreams and daily conversations.”

That has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Besides, Roy MacGregor has put in the miles. He knew Hall of Fame hockey player Jean Beliveau well enough to celebrate not only his hockey achievements but his noble nature. MacGregor ghosted Wayne Gretzky’s newspaper column. And he has some brass. He comes right out and accuses Don Cherry of taking “a redneck stance” on hockey, claiming that in elevating Cherry to iconic status on television’s “Hockey Night In Canada,” “hockey has created its own monster.”

Some of the stories in Wayne Gretzky’s Ghost will delight only fans of Canada’s game, but lots of them have a wider appeal. Anybody sane enough to understand that global warming is an ongoing threat will appreciate how Roy MacGregor demonstrates that circumstance by writing about what has happened to the backyard rink.