Saturday, February 14, 2009

50 Years for the Quebec Pee-Wee Tourney

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Québec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament.

Once again, over 2,300 11- and 12-year-old hockey players will face off in Québec City’s Pepsi Coliseum. It’s the biggest minor hockey tournament in the world, attracting aspiring pros from 16 countries. The 11-day competition draws crowds totalling 200,000 who come to watch future professional hockey players. Players from past years have included the likes of Brad Park, Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne, Gilbert Perrault, Mark Howe, Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Sylvain Côté, Eric Lindros and more.

We speak with Patrick Dom from Quebec City about the tourney, its history and just what it has meant to hockey, the community and those who have played in it.


All-Star Game History

To mark the 2009 National Hockey League All-Star Game in Montreal on January 25, we spoke with author Andrew Podnieks about the All-Star Game - what it’s about and how it’s changed over the years.

This segment first aired on XM Radio in January, 2009.


Budd Lynch

Since the 1940’s Budd Lynch has been a fixture around and a good will ambassador for the Detroit Red Wings. If Gordie Howe is “Mr. Hockey”, is it unfair to describe Budd Lynch as “Mr. Red Wing” ?

Budd Lynch was the radio broadcast voice of the Wings from 1949 through 1975. At that time he tried to retire but was persuaded into becoming the team’s public realtions director as well as community relations director. He tried to retire again in the ’80’s but instead ended up the team’s public address anouncers for home games (which he continues today in his 90’s).

A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Michigan Sports Hall fo Fame (among others), Budd Lynch shares with us some of the many big moments of his career (including the Detroit Stanley Cups of the 1950’s and 2000’s as well as being in the Montreal Forum the night of the infamous Rocket Richard riots).

This segment first aired on XM Radio in January, 2009.


The Home of Slap Shot

(This segment aired on XM Radio in January, 2009)

When actor Paul Newman passed away in 2008, hockey fans paused to recall Newman and the 1977 film Slap Shot.

The film is based on a screenplay written by Nancy Dowd, based in part on her brother Ned Dowd’s experiences playing minor league hockey in the United States in the 1970s, during which time violence, especially in the low minors, was the selling point of the game.

At the time, Dowd was living in Los Angeles, when she got a call from her brother Ned, a member of the Johnstown Jets hockey team. Her brother gave her the bad news that the team was for sale. Dowd asked her brother who owned the club, and he told her that he had no idea. Dowd would move to the area and be inspired to write Slap Shot.

In addition to being based on the Johnstown story, much of the movie was also filmed there.
In this Journey into Hockey, we speak with Bill Bredin, GM of the Johnstown Chiefs, about Johnstown, its hockey history and the impact of Slapshot on the community.

It was filmed in Pittsburgh & Johnstown, Pennsylvania (Cambria County War Memorial); and upstate New York (Utica Auditorium and the Onondaga County War Memorial Auditorium in Syracuse).


Stan Mikita

(This segment aired on XM Radio in December, 2008)\

As the hockey world has turned its attention to Chicago for this year’s New Year’s Day outdoor classic, we are joined by former Black Hawks great Stan Mikita.

Mikita is thought by some to be the breatest center of the 1960’s. In 1961 he won the Stanley Cup with the Hawks.

As significantly, In his early years, Mikita was among the most-penalized players in the league, but he then decided to play a cleaner game and went on to win the Lady Bing Memorial Trophy for sportsmanlike conduct twice.

Combining skilled defense and a reputation as one of the game’s best faceoff men with his innovative curved stick, Mikita led the league in scoring four times in the decade, tying Bobby Hull’s single-season scoring mark in 1966-67 with 97 points (a mark broken two years later by former teammate Phil Esposito and currently held by Wayne Gretzky).

He currently serves as an ambassador for the Blackhawks’ organization.