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Life in Two Worlds

Written by: Ted Nolan,Meg Masters - contributor
Narrated by: James Malloch
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Publisher's Summary

#1 BESTSELLER

In 1997 Ted Nolan won the Jack Adams Award for best coach in the NHL. But he wouldn’t work in pro hockey again for almost a decade. What happened?

Growing up on a First Nation reserve, young Ted Nolan built his own backyard hockey rink and wore skates many sizes too big. But poverty wasn’t his biggest challenge. Playing the game meant spending his life in two worlds: one in which he was loved and accepted and one where he was often told he didn’t belong.

Ted proved he had what it took, joining the Detroit Red Wings in 1978. But when his on-ice career ended, he discovered his true passion wasn’t playing; it was coaching. First with the Soo Greyhounds and then with the Buffalo Sabres, Ted produced astonishing results. After his initial year as head coach with the Sabres, the club was being called the “hardest working team in professional sports.” By his second, they had won their first Northeast Division title in sixteen years. 

Yet, the Sabres failed to re-sign their much-loved, award-winning coach.

Life in Two Worlds chronicles those controversial years in Buffalo—and recounts how being shut out from the NHL left Ted frustrated, angry, and so vulnerable he almost destroyed his own life. It also tells of Ted’s inspiring recovery and his eventual return to a job he loved. But Life in Two Worlds is more than a story of succeeding against the odds. It’s an exploration of how a beloved sport can harbour subtle but devastating racism, of how a person can find purpose when opportunity and choice are stripped away, and of how focusing on what really matters can bring two worlds together.

©2023 Ted Nolan and Meg Masters (P)2023 Viking

What the critics say

“Full of incredible insights into a tough life that Teddy’s perseverance turned into inspiration. It blew me away.”—Bryan Trottier, NHL Hall of Famer

“Ted’s beautiful memoir follows a trail of losses and the pain of getting well, and his stunning successes, lifting trophies, lifting lives. Ted was able to reach so many things, but his truth went beyond these things, and it’s the story of how he went beyond, to keep what was true in front of him that makes this book so enjoyable, and so important.”—Ron MacLean, CBC sportscaster and host of Hockey Night in Canada

“Ted Nolan’s story is truly remarkable. Ted persevered and overcame significant obstacles at a time when Indigenous people were not encouraged, applauded, or even wanted in elite hockey leagues. Ted broke barriers, battled racism, worked hard, and not only became an NHL player but also an elite junior, NHL, and international coach. Ted paved the way for many Indigenous youth to not only participate, but succeed in hockey arenas across North America and Europe as coaches and players.”—Phil Fontaine, former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations

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What a journey!

I certainly give Ted much credit. I don’t think many people would have taken the crap that he did, and kept on trying to make it further in life. It’s unfortunate that he was not recognized for all his accomplishments, but he will definitely go down in history as one of the greatest coaches in the game of hockey! Your story resonates deeply and deserves to be heard…..

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