When two of the greatest hockey players of all time write the foreword of a hockey book, don’t you think it’s worth reading? Combine that with a man who has seen over 5,000 games, including 26 All-Star games, 35 Stanley-Cup deciding games and 180 Winter Olympic Games, albeit only through one eye.
Bruce Bennett of Old Bethpage, Long Island partnered with The Hockey News to publish Hockey’s Greatest Photos: The Bruce Bennett Collection. The book features 246 of Bruce’s favorite images from an assortment, which included over two million photographs and is now available on Amazon.
“Image selection for this project was a monumental task,” Bennett said in the ‘backword’. “Going from two million photographs to 246 was hard enough, but other considerations made the process even more difficult. If an image wasn’t great but captured a historic moment, I had to decide whether to keep it for its historical significance, even if it was subpar technically.”
Several of the photographs contain short stories about Bruce’s success or failures during memorable moments of his career. Some notable ‘incidents’ include his inability to speak French in order to make his way to the rink for a Stanley Cup celebration and being forced out of position during the final minutes of an Olympic gold-medal game.
Bruce’s journey to becoming the “Wayne Gretzky of hockey photography” started in 1974 when a naïve high-school student sent a few black-and-white images to the editor and publisher of The Hockey News. The offer was $4 per photo and a press credential to attend games at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Madison Square Garden. Bruce quickly jumped at the opportunity.
In 1980 he started Bruce Bennett Studios (BBS), which eventually had 15 employees with more than a dozen contributing photographers. After 30 years, he sold his business to Getty Images, where he continues to photograph hockey today.
The book is the perfect addition for a die-hard hockey fan that enjoys remembering historic moments from the sport’s history or for the casual fan that can appreciates the genius in Bruce’s work.
To learn more about Bennett and his magnificent talent make sure you check out his website.