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Hockey history buff? Check out this book penned by Sudbury Wolves historian

Mike Commito set for the release of his first book

Sports fans love their history.

Whether watching a game, hanging out with friends or just in casual conversation, when it comes to talking sports, it's almost an inevitability that a historic moment or two will be brought up.

How about a historic moment or 366? That's what local hockey historian and writer Mike Commito has penned in his first book, "Hockey 365: Daily Stories From the Ice", set for release on Sept. 8.

Commito's work has appeared in leading publications including, Sportsnet, VICE Sports, The Athletic, and The Hockey News. He has been a columnist for as well and in May of this year he was hired by the Sudbury Wolves in a newly created role, as team historian.

The book is a stroll through the annals of the sport of hockey, chronicling significant moments in the sport's nearly 150-year history.

"I like to think of it like a word-a-day calendar, but with a different hockey story for each day of the year," said Commito. "It goes back as far as 1875 and right up until now."

While the book's title might hint at the number of stories you're going to get, Commito was sure to write 366 individual stories to accommodate for Feb. 29 when it rolls around every fourth year.

The book is something Commito has wanted to put together for some time now, and he made the final decision in a location where hockey might be the furthest thing from anyone's mind: a beach in Mexico.

"I was sitting on the beach in Mexico last year, reading 'Black Ice: The Val James Story,' and it just really made me want to write my own hockey book," Commito said. 
"I actually started to make some notes while I was on the beach of how I wanted to structure the book and when I got back to Sudbury in February (2017), I got an agent and put together a package. From there we landed a deal with Dundurn Press." 

The book deal was signed on Aug. 15, 2017, and Commito set himself to work, compiling stories and writing well into the evening on many occasions to get a manuscript completed by January 2018.

The subject matter of Commito's book isn't new to him, with a multitude of Hockey 'n' History columns under his belt. But a book was brand new waters and a lot of time management had to be undertaken to knock out 366 different stories in four months.

"There were definitely some times where I still had hundreds left to do and I was a bit overwhelmed," said Commito. "I just had to kind of parcel it out and make a list of what I wanted to get done every night. There were some nights where I was up pretty late -- that's always been my writing style, where if I get started on something, I have to finish it. I can't leave something when I'm in the middle of writing it."

Commito says the change from writing for online publications to actually writing a book was a bit anxiety-inducing at times, specifically when submitting his first draft.

"With online, there's an immediacy to it. You submit something, then you're on to the next piece," said Commito. 

"With the book I was sitting there hoping it would be well received and wouldn't get cut to pieces. Thankfully, the editors were really great -- everyone involved with this project was amazing."

Commito's book will be on the shelves at Chapters in Sudbury on Sept. 8 and he will be in the store for an official launch and book signing on Sept. 22 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 


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