Don Reddick

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Maclean's Magazine

by Trent Frayne, Maclean's Magazine 1/10/94

"Three thoughts for the New Year, past, present and future.

"For 90 years, Canadian sports scribes and even learned historians have snoozed over the weirdest and, in some ways, most wonderful chapter in the long story of the Stanley Cup. Nearly a century late, here comes an American field-service engineer showing us our folly.

"Don Reddick is a 39-year-old Bostonian who has written a novel based on the Dawson City Nuggets, surely the worst and most heart-warming assortment ever to play for hockey's most exalted trophy. Of course, most of us KNEW about these Klondike madmen, about their 6000 km, 25-day ordeal from the Yukon to Ottawa, about their two-game Stanley Cup challenge to the reigning Ottawa Silver Seven, about their losses by 9-2 in the opening game and 23-2 in the next one.

"But as far as Reddick knows, no one before him went to the Yukon for the sole purpose of researching and writing a book about the epic journey that the Yukon Gold Rush prospectors undertook in -32 degree weather on Dec. 19, 1904. They left Dawson City by dog team and even on bicycles, but were forced by weather to walk most of the 516 km to Whitehorse in just under 13 days. Reddick writes: "At 4:45 p.m. on Jan. 11, 1905, after 25 days of continual movement through the trails of the Yukon, the yanking narrow-guage railway from Whitehorse to Skagway, the tossing and gut-turning of the sea passage (to Vancouver), and then five days of train travel across Canada, the Dawson City Seven stumbled from the train into Ottawa's Union Station."

"Reddick uses the actual names of the Nugget players in his novel, Dawson City Seven, a tale he constructed from conversations with relatives of the players and from his own research. He has done a nice service to hockey fans."