Tue Aug 23 06:24pm EDT
(Ed. Note: Our series "Puck Daddy's Guilty Pleasures" features puckheads from all walks of life answering questions about their own hockey-related guilty pleasures. It will run daily during the month of August. Have a suggestion for a "Guilty Pleasures" guest blogger? Hit us on email. Enjoy!)
1. The Player You Most Love To Hate?
It would be too strong to say "hate" but every once in a while there are a few guys that rub you the wrong way. I respect every player that makes it to the NHL, because it takes skill, discipline and a lot of hard work to get there. At the same time, I wish that players showed more respect for the game.
I have three guys that come to mind immediately when this subject comes up. I don't think there are any surprises on this short list.
Daniel Carcillo: Everyone has a job to do and every job is important. Even though he is maturing a bit, I just wished that Mr. Carcillo showed more respect for his fellow competitors, the officials and the game in general. Sometimes I wonder … is he doing it for the team, or is he doing it for himself?
Cody McLeod(notes): I am never close enough to the action to hear what is being said and trash talking is part of the game. Every team has a few guys who excel at it. I just wished that Cody had more balance between "doing" and "talking."
2. Other Than Your Own, The Team You Can't Help Rooting For?
Growing up in the 1960's and 70's, the inspiration I took from Bobby Orr and the amazing things he could do has left me with a soft spot for the Boston Bruins. I will never forget what Bobby has done for the game and I will always picture him in a Bruins' uniform. That will never change. By the way, do you know who won the Stanley Cup last year?
3. Favorite Fight or Brawl of All-Time?
I was never one to look to drop the gloves and that fits perfect for this "true story." Sorry to take you back to my Junior days and to a preseason game none-the-less, but I will never forget it.
When I was in my last year with the Ottawa 67's, we played a pre-season game against the Belleville "Tier II" junior team (they were not yet in the Major Jr. category). As can happen in these types of games, the lower tier team wants to prove that they belong with the higher tier team. Before the game, we were talking and mostly joking about what might happen during the game. The topic of "bench-clearing" brawl came up and we were discussing our "strategy" just in case it happened. When it came around to me, jokingly, trying to poke some fun at back-up goalies and also my own "least-likely-to-fight" style, I said, "I'll take their back-up goalie!"
Back in those days, goalies in general were not know as well-conditioned athletes and the back-ups, well, they usually were not the "strongest" guys on the team.
Guess what happened? The game started and we had a bench-clearing brawl. I can't remember many specifics, but guess who grabbed me when we all jumped onto the ice? Ya, you know who!
4. The Hideous-Looking Hockey Jersey You Secretly Love The Most?
I guess I'll never get a chance to see them again. I heard they were being retired. I loved the Nashville Predators old "Mustard" colored jersey. I guess I was only one of the few who did.
When I was playing with the Kings, we wore our bright "Gold" jerseys at home. That jersey took a beating over the years from so many different angles. I never gave it a second thought, I was proud to be a King and I loved those jerseys.
Funny, now when I speak to groups of kids, I usually bring along all of the jerseys that the Kings have worn in their history. There are a few. At the end of my presentation I ask the kids to pick the one they like the most. Ninety percent of the time they pick the Gold jersey. Surprise, surprise!
5. Your Favorite Hockey Cliché (terminology, traditions, announcer-speak, etc.)
I always laugh when I hear a coach or broadcaster say, "He is really good in the room."
Because as the saying goes, the room is exactly where they want that player to stay during the game!
6. The Injury You Couldn't Stop Staring At (Non-Skate Lacerations Only)
A couple of situations come to mind.
When I was playing Junior in Ottawa, Eddie Hospodar got hit with the point end of a stick, right between the eyes. I guess there is a decent sized artery/vein right there, because we when he got to the bench, and I stood up to help him get into the bench area, he was "pulsating" blood, in perfect time with his heart beat. Every second or so, he gushed a stream of blood about two feet. Then it would stop, then it would shoot out again. I had to duck a few times before I could grab a towel and keep him from bleeding all over me.
As a broadcaster, there are times when you have to go "downstairs" to do an intermission interview with a player. One time at the Great Western Forum, I was down near the dressing room after I finished my interview. I usually took a little "pit-stop" before I made my way back to the broadcast location. Earlier in the period, Dave Taylor had gone off to the dressing room with an injury I did not see. Dave had been hit into the boards and he jammed one of his fingers, inside of his glove and I never really saw it happen. But the hit did a lot of damage. He jammed it so hard that it basically exploded.
When I was walking by the "medical room" where they stitched players up, I had to stop in to check on Dave and see what had happened. When I glanced in, I could not believe what I was seeing. Two doctors and the dentist were trying to sew up Dave's finger and every one of them was needed. One doctor was trying to suture it up while the other two were trying to stuff the "hamburger" back inside the skin.
The best way I know how to describe it is, it was like his finger was a peeled banana. His skin was like a banana peel that had just been peeled and his finger "bones" were like the banana. His bones were almost completely exposed.
I couldn't stay around too long because I had to get upstairs, so I wished Dave luck and went back to the booth. I remember mentioning off the air, to my partner Bob Miller, that it looked like Dave was going to be out of the lineup for a while.
How dumb of me to question Dave. Having played with Dave for 10 years, I should have known. He was back out to start the next period. Now that is tough!
7. Your Favorite Cheesy Hockey Reference in Popular Culture
"Give Blood-Play Hockey."
Usually you'll find this associated with a charitable cause, but I always get a chuckle when I see this, usually on a bumper sticker.
Also, I know it's stereotypical, but I always laugh when I see the "old" teeth "blacked-out" photos, usually used in ads to promote something to do with hockey or dentistry. I thought the Nashville promos featuring country stars with the teeth "blacked-out" was every effective.
7a. Your Favorite Terrible Hockey Card Or Hockey Action Figure.
I don't think this is "terrible" at all. Have to do a little self-promotion. Have you checked out the Panini Crown Royale "Voices of the Game" cards? Can't miss!
8. Finally, What's The Thing You Secretly Respect Gary Bettman For The Most?
Every time I see him, he remembers my name!