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But on May 18, McDonald “abruptly refused to move forward with the book,” Day said.
Despite suggestions he could be sued by HarperCollins for not following through on their publishing agreement, McDonald was steadfast, explaining to Day in a phone conversation she recorded the next day that his decision was final.
He told her he had watched an episode of The Voice the previous evening and the lyrics of a song written by one of the contestants resonated with him.
“There were two lines in there that kind of told me exactly where I’m at and the two lines were: ‘You can lose all your money, but you can’t lose your soul,’” Day quoted the iconic former Calgary Flame.
Day also said McDonald’s wife, Ardell, complained that the book should have focused on her husband’s post-playing career, suggesting it should have started with the Flames’ 1989 Stanley Cup win and his retirement and then his charitable work after that.
In her application, Day said she received a letter from McDonald’s lawyers July 20, detailing five grounds to justify his decision not to let the book be published.
One of those was that the book was not the focus that had been originally agreed upon.
“The focus of the book was to be on (McDonald’s) humanitarian activities, social contributions, charitable work, etc. — outside of and after his hockey career,” the letter said.
But Day said their publishing agreement with HarperCollins described it as “a memoir of approximately 80,000 to 100,000 words in length, in the voice of Lanny McDonald, about the life and hockey career of the Hockey Hall of Fame winger.”
The lawyers’ letter also alleged “the book seeks to over dramatize and emphasize things for their controversial and shock value,” a claim Day denies.
The application was set for this Friday, but Day’s lawyer, Jason Holowachuk said it will be adjourned.
According to the contract with HarperCollins, the manuscript must be in their hands by Sept. 30, or the agreement is terminated.
On Twitter: @KMartinCourts