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Started writing a book and in need of feedback


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Hey guys, I started writing this book on lockdown and the first player I had to write about was Canucks forward Jay Beagle... I am in need of feedback please let me know what you think. Also, english is my second language so might be spelling mistakes! Here goes

 

Jay Beagle

               When you think of the Stanley Cup winning 2018 Washington Capitals players like Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, John Carlson or star goaltender Braden Holtby are undoubtedly the first names that come to the average hockey fans minds. But veteran center Jay Beagle was certainly a big piece to that championship puzzle. Born in Calgary Alberta, Beagle didn’t have the typical path to the show. Most NHL prospects will take the major junior route or go directly to the NCAA on their way to getting drafted but that wasn’t the case for this defensive forward! His junior career began in 2003 in the AJHL (Alberta junior hockey league) with the hometown Calgary Royals.  While this league has developed some great young talent in recent years like Colorado Avalanche defenseman Cale Makar or St. Louis Blues defenseman Colton Parayko, the AJHL definitely doesn’t have the success rate of the three major junior leagues in Canada when it comes to NHL alumni. Infact, none of Beagle’s teammates with the Calgary Royals have played a single NHL game.

His two years with the Royals were pretty good for the young Beagle as he averaged almost a point per game in his AJHL career and finished both seasons with over 100 penalty minutes but despite his success he wasn’t drafted into an NHL organisation.

               After two years in his hometown, Beagle packed his bags and took his talents to Anchorage to play on the University of Alaska Seawolves men’s hockey team. He wasn’t the first NHL regular to have this career path as former Calgary Flames forward Curtis Glencross had gone from the AJHL to Anchorage a couple of years prior however it definitely wasn’t a usual road to the big leagues. The Seawolves were and still are a scrappy underdog team having only had one winning season since 1993. However, being in the NCAA and playing division 1 hockey against powerhouses like Minnesota and North Dakota was definitely very productive for Beagle’s development as a hockey player and he became a prominent figure on the Seawolves PK unit. One notable performance was an upset win against a stacked North Dakota team featuring future NHL stars like Jonathan Toews, T.J Oshie, Travis Zajac and Drew Stafford on January 6th 2006. Despite being badly outshot in that game 51-26 the scrappy Seawolves found a way to pull off the 5-3 upset and Jay Beagle scored the insurance empty netter while on the PK. The team also improved by 7 wins in Beagle’s second year in Anchorage.

               At the conclusion of his 2nd year in the NCAA, Beagle would sign his first professional contract with the Idaho Steelheads, ECHL affiliate of the Dallas Stars to help them in their playoff run. The Steelheads would proceed to capture the Kelly cup for the 2nd time in 3 years and Beagle would play well enough to earn himself a contract with the Hershey Bears of the AHL the following season. Being in the AHL was quite the difference from being a forward in Anchorage. In a span on a couple months Beagle went from playing NCAA hockey on a losing Seawolves team to being one step away from the Washington Capitals of the National hockey league!

               The 2007-2008 Hershey Bears had a couple pretty solid NHL prospects at the time. The team’s leading scorer, Chris Bourque was a 2nd round draft pick and the son of legendary NHL defenseman Raymond Bourque. They also acquired a 22 year old Danny Syvret on a loan from Springfield who was just a couple years removed from winning a gold medal at the U-20 IIHF world championship. Beagle would also have a pretty solid first full year in the AHL with 37 points in 64 games played at the young age of 21.

               Beagle would spend the better part of the next four seasons with the Bears and would help the franchise to back to back Calder cups in 2009 and 2010. He would continue to develop as a defensive forward who would spend tons of time on the penalty kill and would forecheck hard. He also got the oppotunity to play in his first NHL game on the 11th of february, 2009 against the New-York Rangers after an injury to star forward Alexander Semin forced him out of the lineup. He also scored his first NHL goal several months later against the Ottawa Senators. The Capitals definitely took a liking too Beagle’s style as he was a perfect fit for their bottom pairings. You always hear the cautionary tales of players who are very good offensively in the AHL but fail to make an impact at the NHL because they can’t produce at the same rate and they cannot adapt their game to fit the in the bottom 6 and so they become perennial AHL players. Beagle’s stats were not as impressive as some of his teammates but with a good defensive skillset maybe he could find a way to become a full time NHL player.

Things were looking bright in the 2011 offseason when the Washington Capitals would ship out veteran forwards like Boyd Gordon and Matt Bradley to make room for new faces in the bottom six. Beagle would begin the 2011-2012 season with a certified spot in the top 12 forwards but sadly his full time NHL career would not get off to the best of starts. Just 3 games into the season in a game against the rival Pittsburgh Penguins Beagle would get tangled up with star defenseman Kris Letang. Veteran enforcer Aaron Asham would take exception to Beagle’s rough style of play and the two would drop the gloves. Asham would take advantage of the much less experienced fighter in Beagle and deliver one of the most infamous knockouts in NHL history. Beagle would miss the next 31 games of the season and couldn’t seem to find much ice time after his return under new bench boss Dale Hunter. That being said, just like he had done his whole career to that point, Beagle kept working hard and eventually found his way back to the lineup.

Beagle’s tenure in Washington would last another six seasons where he would continue to be a stable member of the Capitals bottom six with his defensive mindset and his strong work on the penalty kill. He would have his best offensive season in 2016-2017 with 30 points in 81 games. Perhaps Beagle’s greatest strength is in the face-off circle. He is routinely trusted with crucial faceoffs in the defensive end and usually comes out on top in most of them. He has never ,with the exception of his 3 game season in 2008-2009, been under 50% in his entire career and has constantly been near the top of the league in defensive zone faceoffs and defensive zone faceoffs won. In a tight game when the Capitals were trying to defend a lead a faceoff win can be the difference in a win or a loss and Beagle assumed this role with pride.

Beagle’s last season with the Capitals was without a doubt his best. He finished the 2017-2018 season with 7 goals and 15 assists for 22 points in 79 games played for a Capitals team that finished on top of the metropolitan division. The Capitals were not strangers to the playoffs, infact they had only missed the playoffs once since the 2007-2008 season. But sadly the caps had built a reputation as a good regular season team but a terrible playoff team. Since the arrival of legendary defensive minded coach Barry Trotz the caps had bowed out in the 2nd round of the playoffs three straight years and a lot of fans began to wonder if we would ever see players like Ovechkin, Backstrom or Beagle raise the Stanley cup. Their first round matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets was hard fought and the Capitals would prevail in six games, but just like in a bad dream, their nightmare scenario would come true in round 2. The Washington Capitals were faced with the task of beating the two time defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins. These same Penguins had also beaten the Capitals in the 2nd round both years prior to 2018 and had won 9 of the last 10 playoffs matchups between the two teams. Fans were sick to their stomach at the thought of losing to Crosby, Malkin and the penguins for a 3rd straight season. But the 2018 version of the Capitals were a different team and they would finally prevail in a series with the Penguins  thanks to a game 6 overtime goal by Evgeny Kuznetsov to secure a 2-1 win. Beagle for his part finished the deciding game with an assist on the all important first goal and five hits. The Capitals would beat the Lightning in 7 games in the conference finals to earn the unique opportunity of facing the expansion Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley cup finals. Beagle and his teammates would end the 2017-2018 season by hoisting lord Stanley for their first cup in franchise history! Of course stars like Ovechkin, Oshie, Kuznetsov and Holtby would grab a lot of the spotlight but it was Jay Beagle who would enter the record books as a result of this cup win. Beagle would become the first and only player to date to win a Kelly cup (2007), a Calder cup (2009, 2010) and finally a Stanley cup (2018). Despite not being an offensive dynamo, there is no question that Jay Beagle has been a winner in every professional league he has played in.

Heading into the offseason, Beagle was faced with the most difficult decision of his NHL career, stay with the organisation that gave him a chance as an undrafted rookie out of college or take his talents to another organisation via free agency. Beagle knew that he would have to take a discount to stay with the star studded Washington Capitals. Despite being a cornerstone piece of the Stanley cup team the caps had already given a lot of their money to keep their superstars in Washington. So when the Vancouver Canucks came knocking with a 12 million dollar offer over the next 4 years (3 million $ average annual value), Beagle had no choice but to say yes. For the first time in his NHL career Beagle would no longer be playing under veteran superstars like Ovechkin and Backstrom. He would now be the veteran in a locker room filled with young talent like Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser who needed some leadership and guidance in their first couple NHL seasons.

The Washington Capitals fan base would mourn the loss of their fan favorite two way forward. Beagle was not only a key defensive player on the ice but a leader and a great teammate off the ice. Current and past teammates describe him as a glue guy, a term that is used to describe a player that keeps everybody in the team together and running as a cohesive unit. Beagle was known to stick around after every practice to sign autographs and take pictures till every single fan was satisfied. Braden Holtby said it best when he described Beagle as « The perfect teammate ». One thing was certain, the Vancouver Canucks were gaining a great hockey player and an even better person for the 2018-2019 season.

His first season with the Canucks was a bit of down year when it comes to offensive statistics as Beagle only managed 13 points (3 goals, 10 assists) in an injury shortened 57 games. However, a couple of moments really stood out in his first season away from Washington. On December 13th, 2018, playing in only his 10th game with the new club after missing six weeks with a wrist injury, he scored his first goal in true Beagle fashion, while being shorthanded. But the most memorable moment of his first season in Vancouver was his return to Washington as a part of the Canucks. On the 5th of february, 2019 Beagle made his first trip back to the Capital One arena as a member of the visiting team and it was one of the most emotional moments of his entire career. Beagle failed to hold back tears as the Capitals rolled a video tribute showing his greatest moments in Washington while the fans repeatedly chanted his name. Some fans even made the effort to greet Beagle at the Capitals practice facility when he arrived for pregame skate. He finally got his Stanley cup ring that he had worked so hard for while visiting his former home dressing room. He had a fairytale return with amazing moments, the only downside to this trip was that the Capitals did end up winning the hockey game by a score of 3-2. Never the less, this return proved one thing to the hockey universe, Jay Beagle was loved by everyone around the Capitals organisation. Despite not being a superstar, he was a fan favorite, an amazing teammate and a hard worker. He represented the Capitals organisation as well as anybody else and deserved all the recognition he was getting at that time. Jay Beagle doesn’t light the scoresheet on fire but he is just as valuable to the team as any other piece of that championship puzzle!

These days, Beagle is still an NHL player with the Vancouver Canucks. He has used his leadership to mentor young players like Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes. A veteran of almost 650 NHL games he still continues to be a excellent defensive forward in the bottom six. Despite not producing a ton offensively, he has still found a way to make a living doing what he loves, playing hockey! Jay Beagle is the definition of an unsung hero!

 

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1 minute ago, smithers joe said:

i think you did a good job of research and your writing is good, i just wonder the connection to lock down. not sure where that fits. what is the aim of your book?

I didn't interpret that there was any connection between his book and the lockdown other than that's when he began writing it.

 

To me it reads as a narrative of his hockey career thus far with no real 'insights' that couldn't be learned by reading newspaper articles unfortunately.   Personally, I'd be more interested in reading something that had an element to it that you wouldn't know of otherwise. There has to be that element for it to be interesting to me.

 

Good luck with your project. 

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4 hours ago, Joel1414 said:

 

               When you think of the Stanley Cup winning 2018 Washington Capitals players like Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, John Carlson or star goaltender Braden Holtby are undoubtedly the first names that come to the average hockey fans minds.

 

I am not sure if you are writing a book, an essay, or just a journal entry, but I would rethink this opening sentence. IMO you are low key insulting your readers by calling them average.

 

Something like:

 

          When thinking of the 2018 Stanley Cup Champions, the Washington Capitals, players like Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, John Carlson, or even star goaltender Braden Holtby would likely be the names that first come to mind for hockey fans. 

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1 hour ago, Aladeen said:

I am not sure if you are writing a book, an essay, or just a journal entry, but I would rethink this opening sentence. IMO you are low key insulting your readers by calling them average.

 

Something like:

 

          When thinking of the 2018 Stanley Cup Champions, the Washington Capitals, players like Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Evgeny Kuznetsov, John Carlson, or even star goaltender Braden Holtby would likely be the names that first come to mind for hockey fans. 

You can even go further with it and say "Ovechkin with his 10 playoff goals, Backstrom with his clutch overtime winner in game six of the Conference Finals, or/and Holtby with his steady play and timely saves between the pipes". Give them a reason why these players stand out rather than just saying "average fans". Then talk about a "behind the scenes, consistent, etc... Beagle". 

 

I will say that this sounds like an essay or journal entry rather than a book. Maybe bring up the Washington Capitals Stanley Cup win and ease into the topic. Since it's a book, the flow should be thorough and take it's time making and validating points, rather than abrupt and choppy.

 

I suggest looking at other sports books to see how they start and are organized.

 

Cheers 

 

Edit: The stats I used are made up, but the point stands.

 

Edit #2: Born in Calgary Alberta, Beagle didn’t have the typical path to the show. Most NHL prospects will take the major junior route or go directly to the NCAA on their way to getting drafted but that wasn’t the case for this defensive forward! His junior career began in 2003 in the AJHL (Alberta junior hockey league) with the hometown Calgary Royals.  While this league has developed some great young talent in recent years like Colorado Avalanc..."

 

I would draw out the personal part of Beagle, more of a home life approach and put in facts that are odd/unique/funny, etc.... also keep in mind your target audience. Do you have to list the prototypical pathway to the NHL, or can you go in to more detail about what makes his way more unique and unheard of. Example "Jay started his hockey career here with the blah blah blah, then moved into blah blah blah" with details/sections about each step along the way. You can mention other players that have done similar, but I think wording it like "174 NHLers have gone through this pathway including 15 active players, most notably (names of star players)...it has become more/less popular over recent years, etc..." 

Edited by c00kies
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1 minute ago, c00kies said:

You can even go further with it and say "Ovechkin with his 10 playoff goals, Backstrom with his clutch overtime winner in game six of the Conference Finals, or/and Holtby with his steady play and timely saves between the pipes". Give them a reason why these players stand out rather than just saying "average fans". Then talk about a "behind the scenes, consistent, etc... Beagle". 

 

I will say that this sounds like an essay or journal entry rather than a book. Maybe bring up the Washington Capitals Stanley Cup win and ease into the topic. Since it's a book, the flow should be thorough and take it's time making and validating points, rather than abrupt and choppy.

 

I suggest looking at other sports books to see how they start and are organized.

 

Cheers 

Great point, unless it is a journal entry or perhaps and sports news article, buddy would have to assume that his reader doesn't know jack $&!# about the Washington Capitals.

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4 hours ago, smithers joe said:

i think you did a good job of research and your writing is good, i just wonder the connection to lock down. not sure where that fits. what is the aim of your book?

That was my question also

This reads like a bio, so I am wondering where you go from here?

Are you writing a collection of bios?

where is the hook?

who is your audience?

 

on a side note, ! are not used by serious writers,if you feel the need to add an excaimation mark type the sentence out in CAPS and read it again. If the CAPS seem relevant then they can stay if it sounds like you are yelling for no reason, lose the !!

 

example Jay yelled into the phone, "I signed an NHL contract!"

I am not sure you need one here

 Jay Beagle doesn’t light the scoresheet on fire but he is just as valuable to the team as any other piece of that championship puzzle!

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my other thought is, if you are writing about JayBeagle you are going to need his permission.

If you are going to get his permission, why not interview him for some one of a kind insights into his career?

I have no info on Beagle, so I will use Troy Stetcher

Those of us that know, know that he rode his bike to his first training camp, cool enough.

But an interesting account would be one straight from Troy hmself

I am sure Jay Beagle has his own interesting stories

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47 minutes ago, Crabcakes said:

Call me Ishmael.

 

That's a great opening line but it has been taken.

 

Bonus points if you know who by

You gotta go deeper than Herman Melville & Ishmael if ya wanna earn bonus points. That one's a gimme 

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What you've got is fine...if the goal is a bio of the players you want to cover. If the goal is more about Covid, then make it that. Give us what the player(s) went through. Were their families affected? Did they lose anyone close to them? Did they themselves get ill? If so, any lasting affects on them? Were they playing really well when this crap hit, and if so, have they continued their hot streak or have they cooled off? 

And also...don't worry about the second language issue, unless you plan to self-publish. There's not an editor and/or publisher around that would leave glaring mistakes in a book. Now, if you are self-publishing, plan on spending a little $$ to get the book through an editor, at least. Not for content, but for spelling/grammar/syntax at the very least. I have a friend (not close but still) who self published AND self edited. The book is very difficult to read; the idea is brilliant but it's hard to get around the mistakes to see the story. 

Once you've done all that, and you feel you have a fairly polished product, then try to get the book to "beta readers". You may or may not have to pay there, but it will get the book read before publishing. 

FYI, I am a published writer, with some short stories out there, and my first novel is with a publisher right now, anticipating a December release. I've been through the mill with all this stuff already.

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