Here’s some random backstory-type stuff from Breakaway that I thought I would share!
Jared’s name is a combination of two players — Jared Boll of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Eddie Shore of the Boston Bruins (from Back in the Day in the 20’s). Boll is an enforcer and Eddie Shore was…quite a character, and the epitome of Old Time Hockey and a bruiser.
Jared Boll (pictured on the left) is also (at the time I wrote Breakaway) the only NHL player born in the Southern US, where I’m from. He plays right wing.
My favorite story about Eddie Shore (pictured on the right) is how he was going to miss a game because he couldn’t get to Montreal from Boston due to missing the train — and a huge snowstorm. So he hires a cab to take him to Montreal, but the driver is too afraid of the snow to drive. Shore gets in the driver’s seat, hangs out of the driver’s side window while driving to manually direct the wiper blades, gets to the game 20 minutes or something before it starts, and scores a game winning goal. He’s also the reason why the NHL has an All Star Game in the first place — after injuring Ace Bailey of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the NHL had an All Star Game to raise money for Bailey’s medical bills! (Bailey never played another game of hockey after the injury. So basically the All-Star Game is a result of my team being a bunch of thugs. In the 1920’s. Good job, Bruins.) Shore was quite the character. I read a bio of him and sort of fell in love, even if he was kind of crazy.
Jared’s number on the Renegades is 22. That’s an homage to Shawn Thornton, who was my favorite Boston Bruins player. Thornton is in his thirties, and an enforcer and a center like Jared. Boston traded him to the Florida Panthers before the 2014 season. I’m still not over it 😐 Jared in my head looks a little like Thornton, too. Because Shawn Thornton is smoking hot.
(Shawn Thornton is also a great guy – he used to wear marriage equality t-shirts around the locker room and give interviews in them. <3_<3)
Lane’s surname, Courtnall, comes from a former St. Louis Blues player (my girlfriend team in the Western Conference, who I cheer for unless they’re playing the Bruins), Geoff Courtnall. Honestly I arrived at this name by telling Mr. Gale, “I need a last name for my baby NHL draft pick who ends up in the ECHL, what’s a good one from the Blues?” Of all the options he gave me, I liked Courtnall the best — both because of the way it sounded and because Geoff Courtnall played for both the Blues and the Bruins during his career.
Also I think this guy has the same baby-face, wide-eyed stare as Lane. And there’s no question this was a god-awful era in Blues jerseys, ugh.
Lane’s first name comes courtesy of Lane MacDermid, who was at the time I wrote Breakaway a Boston Bruin. (He was then traded to Dallas for Jaramir Jagr, when Jagr was a Bruin for a hot minute.) If you can’t tell, I use hockey rosters a lot to think of character names (Avery’s surname in Let the Wrong Light In is based on famous goalie Ron Hextall of the Philadelphia Flyers). A cool fact about Lane MacDermid – his father was also a hockey player. Both MacDermids scored their first NHL goal on the same day…31 years apart. Cool, huh?
Sadly, MacDermid retired at the ripe old age of 24, saying he’d lost his passion for hockey. He’d be so thrilled to know that his name kind of lives on in an M/M hockey romance! Right? Let’s pretend.
Lane’s number is 46, and that’s because of my OTHER favorite Bruin, David Krejci. Krejci is a center like Lane, and he’s a playmaker for the Bruins. He’s quiet, doesn’t get in that many fights (as compared to the rest of my team, LOL) and is a brilliant puck-handler. I think Lane ends up a little flashier of a player than Krejci, but that’s where his number comes from.
So far Boston hasn’t traded him. KEEP IT THAT WAY, BRUINS >:|
As for the team name for the Sea Storm, I came up with that when visiting my mom in Jacksonville one spring. I knew I wanted to write a story about minor league hockey, and I decided to set it in Jacksonville while I was there. There were a lot of thunderstorms during my stay, and I remember the news showing past footage of a water spout over the St. John’s river from 2009 (I don’t know why, since this was years later, but there you go). River Water Spouts seemed like a pretty bad name, even for the ECHL. So I went with the Sea Storm instead, and made the jerseys have terrible water spouts playing hockey.
Cruisers, Lane’s favorite place to have a milkshake, is a real place. The last time I went to Jacksonville, I grabbed myself a t-shirt. They do indeed have good chocolate milkshakes, but the place is a lot smaller than the one I imagined in Breakaway. They have amazing hamburgers though 😉
There is an Econo-Lodge near the airport in Jacksonville, on the interstate. But there’s no bar across the street from it. Bombers is the name of a bar I went to in Wyoming on a long-ass road trip, that had the worst selection of bar food and horrible onion rings.
Finally, there’s a scene in Breakaway where Jared Shore makes a pretty amazing save to stop a goal. This is based on Michael Ryder’s equally amazing save in the 2011 playoffs, when he was (of course) a Boston Bruin — playing the Montreal Canadiens in the first round. The Bruins go on to defeat the Habs, and of course, win the Stanley Cup.
I should point out that the first draft of Breakaway was written before they implemented Rule 67, which assesses a minor penalty for covering the puck instead of just batting it out of the air. So really, Jared Shore would have ended up in the box for his little “toss the puck at Lane” move, instead of the implied offensive-zone faceoff that happens in the story. I’m totally claiming artistic license on that one.
Ditto Jared referring to his “hat trick”, when technically a shoot-out goal doesn’t count. But Jared’s never scored three goals in a game, even if one was a shootout, so I let him have his moment 😀
And there you have it!
For “Save of the Game”, I don’t have nearly the same amount of trivia since we stay entirely in Jacksonville for that one. But Riley, one of the MCs, makes an amazing save during a pivotal game — and that’s based on one made by Riley’s favorite player, Martin Brodeur.