By HOWARD BERGER
TORONTO (Dec. 30) – It is said, proverbially, that everyone will have 15 minutes of fame in his or her lifetime. I was fortunate to have 23 years of quasi-fame at Canada’s first all-sports radio station – The FAN-590 – and, for that, I can thank the fairly popular National Hockey League team I covered. On Tuesday, however, I get to sit in the big chair… for maybe five minutes.
And, I am very much looking forward to chatting with Ron MacLean prior to the Maple Leafs-Red Wings alumni fracas in Detroit. Ron will be at the University of Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, site of Wednesday afternoon’s Bridgestone Winter Classic. I’ll be at Comerica Park – summer home of the Detroit Tigers; temporary winter home of the Leafs-Red Wings alumni. The game will be televised on the full CBC network beginning at 4 p.m. Eastern. Ron and I will appear at approximately 3:30. At that point, you can decide – for yourself – whether or not my face was made strictly for radio (I’ll bet “yes” but hope for “no”).
The line-ups are full of long-time, household names:
FORWARDS: Darryl Sittler, Rick Vaive, Wendel Clark, Doug Gilmour, Dave Andreychuk, Darcy Tucker, Kevin Maguire, Gary Leeman, Russ Courtnall, Gary Roberts, Lanny McDonald, Dave (Tiger) Williams, Mike Walton, Tie Domi, Mike Gartner, Joe Nieuwendyk, Steve Thomas, Steve Sullivan. DEFENSEMEN: Dave Ellett, Bryan McCabe, Bob McGill, Borje Salming, Al Iafrate, Bryan Berard. GOALIES: Curtis Joseph, Felix Potvin, Mike Palmateer. COACHES: Pat Quinn, Tom Watt, Johnny Bower, Ron Ellis, Jim McKenny, Red Kelly, Frank Mahovlich, Bob Nevin, Brian Conacher, Pat Hickey, Dan Maloney, Rod Seiling, Jim Dorey.
FORWARDS: Steve Yzerman, Alex Delvecchio, Ted Lindsay, Sergei Federov, Brendan Shanahan, Pat Verbeek, Kris Draper, Mickey Redmond, Dino Ciccarelli, Darren McCarty, John Ogrodnick, Joey Kocur, Kirk Maltby, Igor Larionov, Martin Lapointe, Dallas Drake, Petr Klima, Brent Fedyk, Tomas Holmstrom, Doug Brown, Mathieu Dandenault, Jimmy Carson, Paul Ysebaert, Garry Unger, Red Berenson, Denis Polonich, Slava Kozlov. DEFENSEMEN: Nicklas Lidstrom, Chris Chelios, Paul Coffey, Viacheslav Fetisov, Larry Murphy, Mark Howe, Steve Duchesne, Aaron Ward, Jason Wooley, Mathieu Schneider, Jiri Fischer, Brian Rafalski. GOALIES: Mike Vernon, Eddie Mio, Chris Osgood, Manny Legace. COACHES: Gordie Howe, Scotty Bowman, Jacques Demers, Barry Smith, Vladimir Konstantinov.
OLD-TIME HOCKEY LEGENDS (LEFT-TO-RIGHT) RED KELLY, TED LINDSAY, GEORGE ARMSTRONG ALEX DELVECCHIO AND NOT-SO-OLD KRIS DRAPER.
MORE LEGENDS (LEFT-TO-RIGHT): WENDEL CLARK, JOE KOCUR, LANNY McDONALD, MICKEY REDMOND, DARRYL SITTLER, KRIS DRAPER (AGAIN).
STANDING IN COMERICA PARK (LEFT-TO-RIGHT): JIM McKENNY, KEVIN MAGUIRE, WENDEL CLARK, DINO CICCARELLI, JOE KOCUR, ALEX DELVECCHIO, TED LINDSAY.
HOCKEY SET-UP ON BASEBALL FIELD AT COMERICA PARK.
30 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK
While we’re thinking about the past, here is THE HOCKEY NEWS from Dec. 30, 1983, exactly 30 years ago today (did that all by myself). The four-time Stanley Cup-champion New York Islanders were about to be dethroned by – as Bob Cole famously branded them – the “new kids on the block”: Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers:
FACEBOOK/LINKEDIN: HOWARD BERGER [TORONTO ON]