The Kid Who Missed The Bus
Matt McCoy

In 1969, Lily and Nolan Doyle put the bombs and bastards of Belfast behind them and fled The Troubles in Northern Ireland to raise their family in the seclusion of small-town British Columbia, Canada. But firstborn son, Daniel, has troubles of his own…

Danny Boy loves hockey but Danny Boy loves women too. And he can’t seem to quit either.

A tale that body-checks its way through Canada, Europe and the US, this is the story of the boy too big for his own skates, the teen with stars in his eyes and the man who discovers he is more than just a defenceman.

ISBN Trade Paperback: 978-1-926760-94-0
FICTION | Sports, Hockey, Humor
224 Pages
List Price: $16.95
March 2013


"Ultimately this book is not so much about hockey, but the growth of a very interesting main character from a youth, to a cocky young hockey player, to a guy who makes a few mistakes along the way to the man he is today."

~ Hockey Book Reviews

"There is a parallelism between different generations – from mother and father to son and new partner – which is poetic in its craft. Certain phrases are repeated by father and son such as ‘not afraid to take a gamble’, ‘not afraid to have a craic’. These thread through the text perfectly as motifs and suggest the novel is perhaps more hybrid than it first appears. The phrases also have a pleasing auditory sound. This is poetic, haunting to the ear, with many similarities to folk and fairy tale. It adds a pleasing extra dimension which keeps me hooked as a lover of sound play. Not many novels engage more than one of a reader’s senses and this does that in a relatively uncommon way."

~ Long and Short Reviews

“With a unique voice, this book gives a real life perspective on how young men grow up in the world of hockey trying to pursue the ultimate dream of being an NHL player. This BC boy fights to survive in a world of hockey that often puts kids on pedestals way too young. Mistakes are made, but in the end, the life lessons learned in hockey by young people often lead them to become strong adults.”

~ Cassie Campbell-Pascall, Olympic Gold Medallist, World Champion

“NHL hockey fans get to watch the best hockey players in the world who’ve made it to the best hockey league in the world.  “The Kid Who Missed The Bus” reminds us that they are the exception, not the rule.  But what an adventure it can be just trying to get there. The story of Danny Boy Doyle is an entertaining read as it follows the successes, the failures and the shenanigans of this BC boy who can escape the realities of real life as long as he keeps playing hockey throughout North America and beyond. And it tells of the colourful characters he meets along the way.  Not necessarily the path you’d map out for your kid to take but this story of a lifelong minor leaguer who lives by his own set of rules makes for a thoroughly enjoyable read."

~ Christine Simpson, Reporter, Broadcaster - Sportsnet

“For every father who has a son this is a must read.”
~ Dave Pratt - Anchor, Reporter, Broadcaster

"Hockey is a passionate game which requires unstinting passion and sacrifice on the part of its on ice "warriors" to achieve success. "The Kid Who Missed the Bus" provides the reader with a true behind the scenes look at what it takes to be one of the very few who ever become a pro at any level let alone reaching the pinnacle of being an NHLer. Although most of these "kids" never achieve that goal, their stories are nonetheless fascinating and colorful, and the culture they live and play in their quest is beautifully and honestly elucidated in this tome in a way that will both educate and entertain its readers.

After reading this book you will never look at hockey in the same way again -- and you will also gain an eye opening new understanding and appreciation of what it takes for the men who play it for us as pros to get there. Hockey fan or not, won't be able to put this book down."

~ Bruce "Scoop" Cooper - Hockey Broadcaster, Author & Producer

"It’s really tough for me to find the time these days to sit down and read a book, with a new business that requires a lot of attention and 3 young kids that require even more, I barely have any time to do much else. When Matt McCoy sent his book “The Kid Who Missed the Bus” to me and asked me to read it, I was unsure if I would find the time to squeeze it in. The book took me by surprise and from the first night I started into it, I couldn’t put it down. It only took me a few days to read it cover to cover, my wife Katie commented, “You never read anymore, that must be a good one.”

I grew up in Cranbrook B.C., a vibrant Hockey community just like Matt’s home town, and to be able to read first hand his experiences made me reflect on many situations in my own career that I had nearly forgotten about. I think that no matter where you grew up in Canada and how far you made it in the game of Hockey, there is a common bond that all competitive Hockey players share, on and off the ice. This book brings to light why we played the game and the passion we all have for it. My career took me from Cranbrook Minor Hockey to Tier 2 Junior (where I played with Matt), and from U.S. College Hockey to the AHL, NHL and eventually to Europe where I finished my career. I always wondered what form a book would take if I ever decided to write one so I was excited to have the chance to read about Matt’s journey and see how closely related the Hockey World really is.

I would recommend this book to anyone that likes real life stories and wants some insight into what a kid trying to make it goes through along the way. This book is very cleverly written and a real joy to read. I have to say that Matt is the Real McCoy and has come a long way from the young, inexperienced kid that I played with over 20 years ago."

~ Corey Spring - Tampa Bay Lightning, Retired


We’re in the locker room after practice and I’m doubled over, recovering from a good-natured punch in the groin, courtesy of Keegan. The place is ringing with laughter and I’m gasping for breath and trying to navigate my way through that sickening pain as it travels up into my guts and becomes the God-awful cramp behind the belly button that women will simply never understand. Keegan’s genuinely sympathetic once he’s unloaded his unabashed mirth and wiped the tears of glee from his eyes.

“Whaddya mean, you’re not wearing one?” he asks incredulously.

On the way home, I make Dad stop at Olympic again.

“Forgot something?” asks the pimply-face kid who sold me the oversized gear the day before and suddenly I realize that I don’t know what it’s called and I’m racking my brain and drawing a complete blank.

“I need a doogly protector.” I mumble, cringing even as I’m saying it. Pimples just stares at me blankly. I glance left then right to make sure no one’s looking before pointing meaningfully at my crotch. A smile of understanding slowly wraps itself across his oily face.

“Hey, Vern!” he yells. “Do we carry doogly protectors?”

“Huh?” comes a muffled reply from the guy on the skate/sword sharpener.

“Protectors,” he yells, clearly enjoying himself, “for your doogly.”

By the time I leave - cup in hand - I’m ready for the earth to swallow me up.

Danny 0, Pimples 3.