The 13th overall pick by the New York Islanders in the 1985 NHL Entry Draft, Derek King played 830 career NHL games, scoring 261 goals and 351 assists for 612 points. Kings talks with me about some of his best years with the Islanders, and the chemistry he had playing on a line with Steve Thomas and Pierre Turgeon. King also looked back at that 1993 team that had a run to the Wales Conference finals.
I remember Kris King playing on a line with Darren Turcotte and Paul Broten in the early 1990s. What a great line! While clearly a checking line, it was fun to watch this gritty bunch hit the ice. Easy to root for, “Kinger” always seemed to get the most out of his ability. In addition to talking with him about his playing career, King also gave his thoughts on fighting in the NHL and some of what he is doing today working for the National Hockey League.
The “Flying Finn” was drafted in the fourth round, 65th overall, by the New York Islanders in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft. Mäkelä made his NHL debut with the Islanders in the 1985–86 season. In four-plus seasons with the Islanders, Mäkelä scored 95 goals, including 37 in the 1987–88 season. Mäkelä scored some big goals for the Islanders during his time on the Island, and it was great to hear him talk about old times, in addition to a hockey program he runs up in Canada today.
Pete Stemkowski played seven seasons for the New York Rangers from 197071 through 1976-77. He is probably best remembered for his heroics in the 1970–71 Stanley Cup semifinals when he scored two overtime goals for the Rangers in an eventual series loss to the Chicago Black Hawks. Some great stories from the “Stemmer”.
When most Rangers fans think of #9 today, they associate Adam Graves with the sweater. However, Hall-of-Famer Andy Bathgate played 10 seasons for the Rangers from 1954-55 through 1963-64. Truly one of the best Rangers ever to play for the Blueshirts, the team was less than a week away from honoring both him and longtime Rangers defenseman Harry Howell at Madison Square Garden when I got the chance to speak with him. Some great stories from an all time great Ranger..
Longtime Rangers defenseman Harry Howell spoke with me just a few days before the team retired his number 3, along with longtime teammate Andy Bathgate, whose number 9 was being retired the same day. A stay-at-home defenseman throughout his career, Howell played 17 years for the Rangers. I never got a chance to see Howell playu as he was before my time. It was great to hear some stories about an era of hockey before the NHL expanded in 1967.
What an opportunity to get a chance to speak with one of the all-time great hockey broadcasters, Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick. A real student of the game, you can feel his excitement when he gets behind the mic. While he no longer calls the action for New Jersey Devils fans, my chance to speak with him came right after he left the Devils to broadcast games nationally for NBC. Honestly, I think he was expecting just a few questions on the Devils and some recent NHL action- but I spent a solid 30 minutes talking with him about his entire broadcasting career, going back to his early days in Philadelphia and the progression of his career right through to today. Especially thankful and appreciative to Mike for the opportunity to speak with him at such length given his workload at the time.
Somewhat unheralded former Rangers captain Kelly Kisio was one of the hardest working Rangers ever. This guy never quit on the ice, and I was thrilled at the chance to speak with him. The last Ranger to wear the “C” before Mark Messier arrived, Kisio was always a professional, and wore the Rangers sweater with pride- the same way he played the game. Now coaching up in Calgary, it was great to get a chance to catch up with this under-rated Ranger.
All week I was in contact with Beck to come on the show. It wasn’t easy given the fact that he now lives in China! I was unable to finalize anything with him when I got behind the mic for my January 27th show back in 2007. Then will about 7 or 8 minutes to go in the program, who call? Barry Beck! While I had hoped to have him on longer, it was still a thrill to get a chance to speak with the former Rangers captain a bit about his time playing in New York, in addition to what exactly he is up to today.
Not only one of the all-time great hockey announcers, but just an incredibly nice man. Synonymous with the Islanders Stanley Cup winning teams of the 1980s, Jiggs McDonald has been announcing NHL games for 40 years. We talked about his broadcasting career in the early days, and his time as broadcaster for the Islanders.