The Down Goes Brown History of the NHL

Hey folks…

As you may have heard, I have a new book that's now available. It's called "The Down Goes Brown History of the NHL", and it can best be summed up by the subtitle: "The world's most beautiful sport, the world's most ridiculous league". I've been working on the project for almost two years now, and it's a little bit surreal to see it finally becoming reality. If you're a fan of my work, especially the posts where I slip in an aside about some weird moment or factoid from NHL history, you should like this book a lot.

I've prepared a quick FAQ on the release, because I spend too much time on the internet and this is the only way I know how to communicate complex ideas.

What is this book about?

As the title might imply, the book covers the history of the NHL. All of it. From the events leading up to the formation of the league through to the end of the 2017-18 season and everything in between.

Well, I mean, not everything. That would get kind of long. But all the important stuff is in there.

So it's like a textbook?

Lord no.

Look, there have been lots of books written about the NHL's history. I've read many of them. Most are very good, and come highly recommended. But if you're the sort of person who reads this site, you're not looking for a long, dry retelling of stuff you already know. That's where this book comes in.

This is the story of the 100-year history of the NHL, with an emphasis on the moments that were confusing, funny or just plain strange. You'll learn about the formation of the league and the Original Six and the Richard Riots and expansion and The Trade, for sure. But you'll also learn about the long-forgotten original rules , and the time a team wore earmuffs on the bench, and the team that once named Mr. Rogers captain, and the NHL tough guy who fought Muhammad Ali, and the time a team realized it had been spelling its own name wrong for 60 years, and how Harrison Ford kept Joe Sakic from becoming a Ranger.

It's all in there, along with extended essays on the NHL's history of violence, the evolution of the defense-first mindset, and what the NHL will look like in the next century. There's a lot packed into the 250 or so pages, but I'm betting that hockey fans will plow through it quickly, because everything keeps moving and I don't use any big words because I don't know any.

It sounds like an ideal Christmas gift. Looks like I'm getting my shopping done early this year!

That's not actually a question, but thank you, pretend person I can make say whatever seems most in-line with the book's marketing strategy.

Where can I buy it?

The book should be available just about everywhere, so you can grab it wherever you typically buy your books. Here are a few links to get you started, but if your favorite site isn't listed below then just search for "Down Goes Brown history" and it should show up.

Canada: | Indigo | Kobo | Google Books | McNally Robinson

USA: | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | | Kobo | Hudson Booksellers | Google Books

(Sometimes people ask if it matters to me where they buy it from. Not really – so get it wherever you want and/or can find it cheapest.)

Is there an audiobook version?

There is. In fact, I spent a good chunk of the last month or so recording it. If you've ever heard me on the radio or a podcast and thought "I like this guy, but I wish he would talk for eight hours straight", then oh boy are you ever in luck.

What about paperback?

A paperback edition was released on November 5, 2019. You should be able to find it anywhere you could get the hardcover.

Will there be a [some obscure platform I've never heard of] version?

Uh… probably? I don't know, if you typically get your books there then this one should be available too.

Do you have any glowing reviews from people who are far more accomplished than you?

Sure do!

“On a sunny, summer afternoon from my cottage deck, I picked up Sean McIndoe’s book and could not put it down until I was done reading it. The Down Goes Brown History of the NHL is a delightful read, of course humorous because it’s McIndoe, but impressively informative in finding a way to cram 101 years of NHL hockey into 249 pages. The wonderfully written book is also a reminder that while the NHL is a business, it’s also entertainment, and sometimes we need to stop taking ourselves so seriously. We love the game, but let’s remember it’s just that, a game. McIndoe’s historical account entertains and informs all at once.”Pierre LeBrun, TSN Insider and columnist for The Athletic

“This is the book that Sean McIndoe was born to write, if only because the history of the NHL requires heavy doses of skepticism and sarcasm to prevent nausea. Hilarious, insightful and the only hockey book I’ve ever read that can balance a perceptive look at the history of fighting with how Harrison Ford indirectly saved the Colorado Avalanche. It’s like having a guy at the pub giving you a master class in hockey history, except he’s smarter and funnier than your drunk ass will ever be.”Greg Wyshynski, Senior NHL Writer, ESPN

“Who better to chronicle off-the-wall hockey history than the off-the-wall Down Goes Brown, aka Sean McIndoe.”Bob McKenzie, TSN Insider and author of Hockey Confidential

I read the book and enjoyed it, what can I do to help it succeed?

OK, nobody's actually saying that, but consider it my way of asking you for a favor. If you've read and enjoyed the book, please don't forget to review it on Amazon or wherever else you buy books. That really helps, especially for authors who don't have a massive PR campaign behind them. Spreading the word on social media helps too, as does old-fashioned word of mouth. And if you go into a bookstore and they don't have it displayed, move a bunch of copies over to the Bestseller section and then run ask them where it is and maybe they'll get the hint.

In short, every little bit helps, and is greatly appreciated.

What are readers saying?

The feedback has been phenomenal. Here's a sampling:

Hey did you ever figure out a clever way to end an FAQ?

Not really, no.


  1. Yup - going Christmas shopping for my hockey buddies. Thanks

  2. Sean, I'm going to wait for "Mike from Philly" or wait to read a twitter review from Brian Burke before I buy - but hope the book does well!

  3. Gonna order, but for summary: how much do you hate on the Blackhawks in this book or call their Stanley Cup wins and players overrated?

    1. Not very much but I do make fun of them for spelling their own name wrong for 60 years without noticing. It's also probably the only history book on the market that has a joke about the Gary Leeman/Denis Savard fight.

    2. I bought it. And, to be clear, I was ribbing you (and Lozo and Wysh) for thinking they were/are overrated and hating on them. But now you have my money, and so what do you care.

  4. A Leaves fan pointing out spelling errors?