Book Review: No Days Off, by Max Domi

Book Review: No Days Off: My Life with Type 1 Diabetes and Journey to the NHL, by Max Domi
Reviewed by Jeffrey Reed, Editor, LondonOntarioSports.com

Yesterday, as Max Domi’s Montreal Canadiens were mired in a six-game winless streak, coach Claude Julien gave the Habs a day off from practice before a busy weekend schedule. Even Domi, one of the NHL’s hardest-working players, thought it was a good move for the tough-luck team sitting sixth in the Atlantic Division.

“Obviously, we’ve played a lot of games lately,” Domi said. “The schedule’s pretty hectic. It’s the NHL, but it’s how it goes. I think having the start a 3 o’clock tomorrow going into a back-to-back, I think it was a pretty smart decision.”

Even Domi, the former London Knights star forward, knew that the Habs needed time off to recharge their batteries. But in reality, there are no days off for the NHLer who lives with Type 1 diabetes.

In fact, that is the name of Domi’s new book, No Days Off: My Life with Type 1 Diabetes and Journey to the NHL (Simon & Schuster Canada). The 208-page memoir from the 24-year-old son of retired NHL tough guy Tie Domi is a solid read, offering the story of Max Domi’s love of hockey, his Type 1 diabetes diagnosis at age 12, his rise through the junior ranks and eventually his new journey in the NHL.

In late-November, Julien moved the 5-foot-10, 195-pound Domi from left wing to centre, with Londoner Nick Suzuki – another centreman – at right wing. Domi has six goals and 11 assists through 25 games this season. Last season, he amassed 72 points.

It’s hard to believe this is already Domi’s fifth season in the NHL. Drafted 12th overall in the first round in 2013 by the Arizona Coyotes, Domi skated for the Knights for four years from 2011-12 to 2014-15, collecting 126 goals, 205 assists for 331 points.

After three years in Arizona, the Coyotes traded him to Montreal where Domi said he is heaven playing for the most storied NHL club for a second season.

“Every time I see my sweater hanging in my stall with the Canadiens logo on it, I feel like I’m living a dream,” Domi writes in his new memoir. “But it’s one I never want to wake up from. It is the biggest honour I’ve ever had in my life.”

But certainly, performing consistently as an NHL forward is not Domi’s biggest challenge: living with Type 1 diabetes is.

Max Domi captained the London Knights. Photo: Aaron Bell/OHL Images.

Growing up in the GTA as the son of an NHL enforcer and playing minor hockey could have been a big burden for Max Domi, but instead he embraced the challenge. In his book, Domi writes that his father has always parented with tough love – and still does today – but he writes that he appreciates Tie’s honesty. It’s a testament to Max’s maturity – something that would prove invaluable while living with Type 1 diabetes.

When doctors informed Max, his dad and his mom, Leanne, of his diagnosis, Max’s first question was, “Can I still play hockey?” The road would be tough and require enormous discipline – something that Max says benefits him as an NHLer – but if hockey legend Bobby Clarke, who lives with Type 1 diabetes, could carve out a career in the NHL, then so could Max.

No Days Off is not only an entertaining read about a high-profile hockey player with local junior roots, but it’s also an educational read and a fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for whom Domi is a national spokesperson.

In this book, we learn about Type 1 diabetes – when the pancreas doesn’t produce any insulin, a hormone that helps the body control glucose (sugar) level in the blood. There’s no cure for this autoimmune disease. Domi, who also has celiac disease – his body cannot tolerate gluten – wears a continuous glucose monitoring device which tracks his glucose levels and offers real-time readings on his smartphone.

It hasn’t been easy on or off the ice for Domi. Today, he tests his blood up to 15 times a day, and has a support dog, Orion, who will alert him if his blood sugar dips too low while sleeping.

But throughout his life, Domi has relied on mentors, including his parents; his sisters, Carlin and Avery; his team of doctors and health specialists, including world-class diabetes specialist Dr. Anne Peters; his junior and NHL teammates, coaches and training staff members; and hockey legends including Clarke, who has offered encouraging words, and former Toronto Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin. Domi wears No. 13, as did Sundin, to honour his dad’s Leafs teammate.

Photo: Twitter

“I watched Max grow up before and after his diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes, and I witnessed every step of his incredible journey, from his earliest days on the ice all the way through to playing in the NHL. No Days Off is a story that will inspire anyone, young or old, who’s struggled through adversity to follow their dreams,” Sundin said.

Leanne Domi told Max that his own role as a mentor, educating others about diabetes and showing them that anything is possible in life, would transcend any of his NHL accomplishments.

She’s right. No Days Off, as well as Domi’s continued NHL journey, are living proof that Domi is an inspiration to all.

This book should be a must-read for the hockey fan on your Christmas list.

No Days Off: My Life with Type 1 Diabetes and Journey to the NHL
By Max Domi, with Jim Lang
Simon & Schuster
$32.99

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Jeffrey Reed has covered sports as a print, broadcast and new media journalist since 1980. He is also editor of LondonOntarioGolf.com (est. 2004). Contact him at jeff@londonontariosports.com.

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About jeffreyreed

A leading Canadian communications professional. Corporate office http://www.JeffreyReedReporting.com established 1989. Publisher/Editor of this website and https://londonontariogolf.com.

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