Sunday, March 6, 2011

Podcast: Voices of Hockey - Ron Weber

This Journeys into Hockey guest is Ron Weber, the former longtime play-by-play voice of the Capitals, who last Fall received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award at the Hockey Hall of Fame for outstanding contributions as a hockey broadcaster. We speak with him about the honor and of his career.
Weber broadcasted the first Capitals game and every one after that until his retirement on April 13, 1997 — a total of 1,939 games.

When the Washington Capitals joined the NHL as an expansion team in 1974, Baltimore Clippers play-by-play announcer Ron Weber was hired to be the voice of the NHL’s newest franchise. The Lock Haven, Pennsylvania native called every one of the team’s record-breaking 67 defeats that year. Over the next 23 years Weber never missed a regular season or playoff broadcast, talking Capitals fans through 1,936 consecutive games.


Hockey Night in Canada’s “Best of the Best”

A few years ago, Scott Morrison and a panel of experts from CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada started a debate about the best players to wear each number. The result was fascinating and informative — and often contentious. Now, Morrison and the panel are back with a new debate sure to spark heated arguments in sports bars, dressing rooms, arenas, and even over kitchen tables: Who were the top 10 NHL players of all time for each position? Who were the top 10 coaches and general managers? Which were the greatest NHL teams ever? And who was the best of the best? Hockey Night in Canada: The Best of the Best offers an in-depth look at the players by position, coaches, general managers, and teams in both the pre- and post-expansion eras. Morrison also treats his readers to interesting details about what made these men the best of the best, while Hockey Night in Canada’s experts offer their own insights.

In this Journey into Hockey, we speak with Scott Morrison on just how you go about such a project and what insights and surprises he found along the way.


Podcast: Raising Stanley

For more than two years Ross Bernstein researched, met and interviewed more than 100 players and coaches who all share one common denominator — they had the distinct privilege of hoisting the Stanley Cup.

In this Journey into Hockey, we speak with Ross Bernstein about his quest and what he discovered – about hockey’s holy grail and what it represents.

Ross Bernstein is the best-selling author of more than 40 sports books and has appeared on thousands of local and national television and radio programs over his career, including CNN, NPR and ESPN, as well as on the covers of the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today.


Black Hawks Heritage

Bob Verdi is a fixture in Chicago – especially in and around Madison Street.

These days his official title is that of Historian for the Chicago Blackhawks. For years, he covered the team as a journalist. All told, he has decades of experience about the team – a Chicago version of Red Fisher.

We speak with Bob Verdi about the Stanley Cup team of 1961 – a club that included the likes of Glenn Hall, Bobby Hull, Stan Makita and Pierre Pilote, as well as what the Hawks have meant to Chicago – even befoe their most recent Stanley Cup.


Podcast: 100 Things Flyers Fans Should Know

The Philadelphia Flyers joined the NHL in 1967, one of six expansion teams. Over the next four decades they have established themselves as a bedrock franchise.

Love them or not, it is undeniable that they have impacted the game.

In 100 Things Flyers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, Adam Kimmelman has assembled facts, traditions and achievements that inform and entertain. And you don’t even have to be a Flyers’ fan to enjoy the book.

We speak aith Adam Kimmleman, a deputy managing editor at, about the Flyers and his insight as what makes them so special.


Podcast: Lou Nanne

Lou Nanne has a long association with hockey -as a player, coach and executive. In Minnesota he is a legend.

In this Journey into Hockey, we speak with Lou Nanne about his life in and out of the game. From his early days with John Mariucci through his N.H.L. career and beyond, Nanne shares with us his experiences and wisdom.

It’s entertaining and inspiring.


Podcast: Hobey Baker

He is best known for having a trophy named after him. The naming is justified.

Hobey Baker was a true hero in atime that it meant something.

Hobart Amory Hare “Hobey” Baker (January 15, 1892 – December 21, 1918) was a noted American amateur athlete of the early twentieth century.

Baker was widely regarded as one of the best athletes of his time, and is still considered one of the best American hockey players. When the Hockey Hall of Fame was founded in 1945 Baker was named one of the first twelve inductees, the only American among them. In 1973 he was named in the initial class of members for the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1975, and is the only person to be in both the hockey and college football halls of fame.

In this Journey into Hockey, we speak with Brian Codagnone of the New England Sports Musuem about Hobey Baker, the man and the legend.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Podcast - Brian McFarlane on Peter Puck

Brian McFarlane is best to known hockey fans as a commentator on Hockey Night in Canada for 25 years. He made similar broadcasts on NHL games for the major American networks CBS and NBC and has written more than 50 books on hockey. McFarlane is an expert on hockey history and has compiled several volumes of NHL lore titled “It Happened in Hockey,” as well as a 1999 series detailing the colorful history of the ”Original Six” NHL teams.

Mr. McFarlane is also closely associated with “Peter Puck”. He was in the booth when the cartoon puck appeared on both NBC’S Game of the Week and and CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada during the 1970s. After NBC stopped carrying NHL hockey (it’s back at it again decades later), McFarlane purchased the rights to Peter Puck from NBC’s production partner, Hanna-Barbera.

Since that time Brian McFarlane has been a partner with a spokesperson for Peter Puck.

In this Journey into Hockey we speak with Brian McFarlane about his career, that of Peter Puck and their most recent collaboration, Peter Puck’s Big Book of Hockey: Fascinating Facts for Hockey Fans of All Ages (Fenn, 2010).


Podcast - S.I.’s: The Hockey Book

Sports Illustrated has recently published it’s take on hockey, and it’s an impressive work.

Of course, the photos are striking. I epscially love the period pieces from the early 1960’s and crowd shots over the years.

And, then there’s the writing.

We speak with S.I.’s award-winning hockey writer, Michael Farber. Farber, who wrote the intro, has a unique perspective on both sides of the Canada-U.S. hockey border. He offers insights into the book and into the game.


Podcast - Journey into Hockey for Remembrance Day: Conn Smythe

Conn Smythe (February 1, 1895 – November 18, 1980) is best known as the principal owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs (1927 to 1961) and as the builder of Maple Leaf Gardens. As owner of the Leafs during numerous championship years, his name appears on the Stanley Cup eleven times: 1932, 1942, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1962, 1963, 1964, and 1967.

Smythe is also known for having served in both World Wars, organizing his own artillery in the Second World War.

In this Journey into Hockey at the time of Remembrance Day, we remember Conn Smythe the soldier and patriot beyond the hockey rink.

Our guest is author and hockey historian Kevin Shea, who among his works co-authored with Thomas Stafford Smythe the 2000 book, “Centre Ice: The Smythe Family, the Gardens and the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club (Fenn).

Taped in November, 2010


Podcast - Eddie Shore and That Old Time Hockey

Before Messier, before Orr, before Harvey, before Howe there was Eddie Shore. Eddie Shore has been described as the Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb of hockey, a brilliant player with an umatched temper. During his 50 years in hockey, Shore was like no one before or since. He was highly penalized, injured others and was often inured. He was highly skilled – winning most valuable player honors four times. He was also the instigator in one of hockey’s most notorious events – the infamous and tragic “Ace Bailey Incident” of 1933. Eddie Shore was the dominant player of his times.

In this Journey into Hockey, we speak with C. Michael Haim who has chronciled the life of Eddie Shore in “Eddie Shore and That Old Time Hockey” (McClelland and Stewart).


Podcast - Before They Put A Roof to Winter

Hockey outdoors is popular these days.

The Winter Classic, The Heritage Classic, Pond Hockey Tournaments, and more are staged to speak to hockey’s roots.

But this Norman Rockwell notion of hockey as it used to be is, in fact, part truth, part fiction.

We speak with Michael McKinley, author of “Putting a Roof to Winter” (Greystone Books, 2002) to sort through and separate history from legend.

Podcast - Canada’s Game

Hockey is more than just Canada’s National sport – it is the most recognizable symbol of what it is to be Canadian, an intrinsic part of the nation’s culture, economy and politics.

In this Journey into Hockey we speak with Andrew Holman, professor of history and Canadian Studies at Massachusetts’s Bridgewater State College about his book “Canada’s Game – History and Identity”, a compendium that addresses a range of themes in hockey – past and present

Podcast - Gordie

Long before Gretsky, Messier, and Crosby, there was a big, raw-boned kid from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, who was the most celebrated hockey player of his era. Amazingly, his era began in 1946 with the Detroit Red Wings and ended 34 years and 32 seasons later with the Hartford Whalers. When Gordie Howe retired, he was 52 and still an effective National Hockey League player. In between, he led the league in goals scored five times and in points six times, was a 12-time all-star, and claimed six Most Valuable Player awards.

In this Journey into Hockey we speak with Roy MacSkimming about Goride Howe – the convetional story as wellas what he found that culminated in his unauthorized 2003 biography, “Gordie: A Hockey Legend”.