Share this with friends
Hockey’s Reggie Leach a straight shooter in new book
Written by Reggie Leach
Reviewed by Sam Laskaris
When he was in the prime of his professional playing days, Reggie
Leach was one of the National Hockey League’s most prolific scorers.
It’s little wonder then that Leach continues to be a straight shooter
these days. His recently released autobiography published by Greystone
Book called The Riverton Rifle tells it just like it was.
He manages to stay humble and doesn’t omit the bad parts, which
included his excessive drinking, the breakup of his first two marriages
and a stint at a rebab facility in New Jersey.
The Riverton Rifle concludes with a chapter titled Full Circle, in
which Leach, who has been sober for 30 years, talks about his current
life. Married for a third time, Leach lives in Aundeck Omni Kaning on
Manitoulin Island in Ontario.
He spends a good chunk of his time assisting his son Jamie, who was
also a pro hockey player, with the Shoot To Score hockey school. The
elder Leach is also a sought after motivational speaker, who prides
himself on being an Aboriginal role model.
Leach preaches the importance of making good choices in life. As he
himself knows, at times bad decisions are made. He stresses to never
blame anyone else for those choices.
Leach, a member of the 1975 Stanley Cup champion Philadelphia Flyers,
netted a career high 61 goals in 80 matches the following season.
The Ojibwe, who grew up in the Manitoba community of Riverton, played in more than 1,000 games during his 13-season NHL career.
Leach devotes a chapter in The Riverton Rifle (a nickname he acquired
for his accurate shooting) to his championship season with the Flyers.
The chapter, simply dubbed The Cup, includes numerous recollections
of the Flyers’ playoff run. Though he was part of a Philadelphia club
nicknamed The Broad Street Bullies because of their aggressive and
intimidating play, one can’t help but secretly cheer for him as he
describes the pandemonium inside the club’s locker room after clinching
Leach also details the bedlam in the ensuing championship parade
through Philly streets, which included a nude woman running alongside
the players on the route.
Even those who did not grow up as Flyers’ fans can be forgiven for
feeling happiness for Leach as he concludes the chapter by stating how
special it was – even more so today than back then – to have his
childhood dream come to fruition thanks to plenty of hard work.
The expression It Takes A Village To Raise A Child is certainly true
in Leach’s case. He was born to a pair of young unmarried parents in
Winnipeg. But when he was a mere few weeks old he was sent to live with
his paternal grandparents who raised him in Riverton.
Starting from a young age, members of the community would give Leach some odd jobs to do.
It wasn’t until Leach was 11 years old that he found out the man who
would drop by for visits for a few days was his biological father.
Despite ups and downs, The Riverton Rifle details how Leach became a winner on and off the ice.
Personalized signed copies of The Riverton Rifle ($35, plus shipping)
are available by contacting Leach directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by
sending him a message via Facebook through his page at
Photo caption: My Story: Reggie Leach, The Riverton Rifle, Written by Reggie Leach, Published by Greystone Book
- Community Access
- Contact Us
- Our History
- Archives Search
- In Depth
- Subscribers Only
- Aboriginal Community Events
- Aboriginal Links
- Aboriginal Scholarship Guide
- Book Reviews
- 2014 Review: Medicine Walk
- 2014 Review: We Are Born with the Songs Inside Us
- 2015 Review: A Cree Healer and His Medicine Bundle
- 2015 Review: Autumn Leaf
- 2015 Review: Bearskin Diary - A novel
- 2015 Review: Languages of our land - Indigenous Poems and Stories from Quebec
- 2015 Review: My Story: The Riverton Rifle
- 2009 Review: Meshom and The Little One
- 2009 Review: Motorcycles and Sweetgrass
- 2009 Review: Shedding Skins
- 2010 Review: America's Gift
- 2010 Review: Everything You Know About Indians is Wrong
- 2010 Review: Fatty Legs, a true story
- 2010 Review: she walks for days inside a thousand eyes
- 2011 Review: Broken Circle: The Dark Legacy of Indian Residential Schools—A Memoir
- 2011 Review: Gabriel Dumont: Li Chef Michif in Images and in Words
- 2011 Review: Louis Riel: The Heretic Poems
- 2011 Review: Midnight Sweatlodge
- 2011 Review: Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers
- 2011 Review: UnSettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling and Reconciliation in Canada
- 2012 Review: Discovering Totem Poles: A Traveler’s Guide
- 2012 Review: Finding A Way to the Heart
- 2012 Review: First Nations 101
- 2012 Review: Hope Faith & Empathy
- 2012 Review: Indian Horse
- 2012 Review: Jordin TooToo: The Highs and Lows in the Journey of the First Inuit to Play in the NHL
- 2012 Review: Louis Riel and the Creation of Modern Canada: Mythic Discourse and the Postcolonial State
- 2012 Review: My Mother Is Now Earth
- 2012 Review: Original People Original Television: The Launching of the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network
- 2012 Review: Outcasts of River Falls
- 2012 Review: Racialized Policing: Aboriginal People’s Encounters with the Police
- 2012 review: Hook Up
- 2013 Review: Aboriginal Rights are Not Human Rights
- 2013 Review: Blasphemy
- 2013 Review: Brighter Days Ahead
- 2013 Review: Creative Subversions: Whiteness, Indigeneity and the National Imaginary
- 2013 Review: Disinherited Generations: Our Struggle to Reclaim Treaty Rights for First Nations Women and their Descendants
- 2013 Review: For King and Kanata
- 2013 Review: Healing Histories: Stories from Canada’s Indian Hospitals
- 2013 Review: Stories in a New Skin: Approaches to Inuit Literature
- 2013 Review: The Inconvenient Indian
- 2013 Review: The Manager
- 2013 Review: The Strength of Women: Ahkameyimowak
- 2013 Review: Tilly, A Story of Hope and Resilience
- 2014 Review: Ghost Detective
- Buffalo Spirit: Recommended readings
- Rare Intellect - Recommended Readings
- Review: Shoot!
- Review: Traditional Narratives of the Rock Cree Indians
- Classroom Edition
- Health Information
Share this with friends
- Truth and Reconcilliation Commission Final Event and Recommendations
- Relationship between Canada's Justice System and Aboriginal People
- Play Radio Bingo to win!
- Buffalo Spirit Foundation
- Western Association of Aboriginal Broadcasters (WAAB)
- November 2 - 2016
- November 16 - 2016
- November 30 - 2016
- December 14 - 2016
- January 11 - 2017
- January 25 - 2017
- Free Digital Edition of Windspeaker!
- Download AMMSA media kits for:
* Windspeaker - Alberta Sweetgrass
* SK Sage - BC Raven's Eye - ON Birchbark
* CFWE-FM - Alberta Radio Network
- Advertising online: www.ammsa.com
Subscribe & Donate
- Order a Windspeaker or Sweetgrass digital subscription
- Make a donation to assist Windspeaker via gofundme