Darren Eliot is doing what he likes and liking what he does

Darren Eliot has one simple piece of advice for anyone regarding their profession, their pastimes, hobbies and passions. That is… you should do what you like and like what you do.

It’s a simple enough rule, really…but how many of us can truly say that about everything we do in life? Well, after spending some time with the Thrashers’ TV analyst, I honestly believe he’s one of those who can do just that.

Eliot grew up in a southern Ontario. His dad’s career moved them around while growing up and he enjoyed what is considered to be a true, tradition Canadian upbringing…enjoying playing hockey every chance he could.

”I was on the ice a three [years of age]”, Darren told me. “Playing the game out in the streets, on the ponds, in the creeks…just playing hockey all the time”.

Sports in general were his passion, playing every one he could growing up…high school football, baseball, lacrosse and tennis. “Ya know, one season ended and I’d pick up another…but hockey was THE sport”.

And being the kid in goal was just something that seemed to fit his style. “Because I moved around a lot, I was always the new kid a lot so it was OK, I guess, that I was a goalie…you’re just kinda in your own world so you just go out and play and meet friends that way and you become part of the group pretty quickly”.

He started playing in Burlington, ON, moved to Oshawa, then to Windsor, and then back to Oshawa. That’s where he began his junior hockey playing days.

“My Junior B coach there was Mike Keenan, and we had a pretty good player on our team as a 15-year by the name of Dale Hawerchuk”, Eliot recalled. “Keenan was a St. Lawrence grad and he was the one who put me on the path to college hockey…I had never even considered it, to be quite honest with you. I was drafted by the Kitchener Rangers of the OHL, then the rights were traded to my home town Oshawa”.

Darren Eliot has been bringing us Thrashers commentary since the team began play.

Darren Eliot has been bringing us Thrashers commentary since the team began play.

But he knew he would have a life beyond his playing days. “So I chose the college path, he said, “Thankfully”.

“First year at Cornell we win the ECAC Championship”, he went on. “Had the chance to defend the title against Providence the second year, but still made it to the NCAA playoffs. Made it to the Frozen Four the first year, though it wasn’t called that then”.

In that championship round, he went up against a couple guys that he’d cross paths again with later down the road. “We actually lost that year to Don Waddell and Steve Weeks’ team…Michigan University. Don scored the game winning goal on me”.

Eliot was an All-American as a senior in college and his goaltending partner Brian Hayward. “We played three years together, he was an All-American in his senior year, which meant I didn’t play a lot in my junior year”.

But his time at Cornell was time well spent…earning two All-Ivy Team selections, the All-American honor and being elected to the Sphinx Head Society in his senior year. And if that wasn’t enough, he was inducted into the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996.

After finishing college with a degree in agricultural economics, he then had the opportunity to wear his nation’s colors.

“Timing wise, as luck would have it, they were putting together the Canadian hockey team and so I got to play with Team Canada in the ’84 Olympics in Sarajevo… I deferred turning pro with the Kings for that”.

When the time did come to begin his pro career, he did so in Los Angeles… playing there for the next three and a half years and compiling a record of 25-41-11 with the Kings. He then was traded to Detroit, though he spent most of that time in Adirondack.

He then signed with the Buffalo Sabres as a free agent to be a player-coach for their affiliate in Rochester. “I thought that was the path I was going to take…get into coaching that way. I was there one season, it didn’t work out…so I decided to go to grad school. I had a few opportunities to keep playing but decided enough was enough”.

His NHL career numbers…25-41-12 with a 4.59 GAA and .851 SV% with one shutout during 89 games played.

But as he had prepared for, the days after his playing career were now upon him.

While completing grad school at Eastern Michigan, he got into business with a software company but stayed with hockey by coaching high school, writing for Michigan hockey and running goalie schools. That’s also the time that Eliot entered into the broadcasting world with the Detroit Vipers of the IHL. There, he learned both the TV and radio ends of the business.

And before long…that part of his career just seemed to take off.

“The NHL started expanding and I got a call from the San Jose Sharks to see if I wanted to join their broadcasting team…didn’t get that job but then I got a call from Anaheim, ended up going out there for a couple of years then Turner Sports gave me a call and I’ve been here since day-one”.

Through it all, he has always been a teacher of the game… whether it’s from the booth, or on the ice with the youth. In fact, my oldest tax-exemption took part in one of Eliot’s summer hockey camps several years back. I’m sure there are quite a few of you out there who can say the same.

“You know, I got into business when I got out of hockey, but I never got out of hockey and hockey never got out of me…so I found ways to stay in it. In Michigan a new high school program was started and I got involved there…friends of mine ran a company called Suburban Hockey and they didn’t have any goaltending program, so I designed one for them, staffed and ran it…I ran the hockey school and the goalie school for the Ducks during the summers I was out there. And so the same thing happened here, after a couple years in”.

Regarding the situation in the Atlanta community, Eliot knew there was already a foundation to build from…the attention simply needed to put in the correct direction.

“The focus was on the guys who didn’t play hockey…they were looking for everyone who wasn’t a hockey fan and were trying to convert them. And I thought they were taking for granted the hockey playing community that was already here. So I got involved and we built the hockey development team…and that’s been very rewarding”.

In regards to the number of rinks in the area for youth hockey, I asked Eliot if he thought the organization should be looking to open new ones in the community…or if it was a situation where the demand would lead to the supply.

“Oh I think the demand is certainly there, the existing rinks are max out and there is a new rink being built finally off of GA 400… the first new one being built since the Little Blueland at the MIC. But it’s an expensive undertaking for the organization to take it on. So, you leave to private enterprise locally and support it the best way you can”.

Continuing, he cited how this situation could have been handled from the onset. “I’ve thought it should have been a condition of expansion that every team, out of escrow, should have had to have built at least three rinks in every ‘non-traditional’ hockey market… because you can’t grow this sport without that base”.

The conversation then moved naturally to the Thrashers and their season so far. Like his partner in the booth Matt McConnell, he is concerned with the team’s inability to play a more consistent brand of hockey. He places this issue on the fact that the organization is still coping with an “identity crisis”.

“They’ve never been a team…for whatever reason…that has been able to assert their game. And maybe that’s because it’s an emerging identity. I think you see a lot of teams that come out and they know who they are when they hit the ice. But I think this team let’s the game dictate who they are on any particular night and any given situation and that why you get the inconsistencies…why you get the slow starts and you see moments of inspired play followed by play where you say to yourself ‘well where did that come from’?”

“But that takes a lot of time”, he added, then points to the fact that John Anderson has been with the club for only a year and a half and it’s sometimes difficult to brand that identity on the team in that time.

However, Eliot feels tat dealing with this “identity crisis” could be the key to any playoff hopes the team has. “They have to find a level of consistency that puts them in position to win games more often then not…they’ve ‘chased’ games a lot this year. They’ve played more one-goal games then any one else in the National Hockey League and some of those are due to the ‘chasing’. And sometimes they couldn’t quite catch up, couldn’t quite get over the hump and get something in the standings. So whatever that takes…whatever element that is…whether it’s an individual performance, goaltending, special teams…to me, it’s night in and night out finding a way to be consistent. And that will turn one-goal losses into one-goal wins”.

Like Darren Eliot stated before…although he’s left hockey, it’s never left him. And much like McConnell’s response regarding what he likes best about his profession, he simply enjoys being near the sport he loves so much.

“I like being at the rink”, he said smiling. “So it really doesn’t matter what rink I’m at, I’m just happy to be at the rink. The analyst part is really about presentation. It’s no different to me than getting up in front of 300 employees and giving a quarterly meeting. It’s all about presentation, it’s all about not only saying things succinctly but also trying to educate and entertain at the same time”.

And what about this Matt McConnell guy he spends so much time with?

“There’s not a lot of non-verbal communication”, when it comes to the flow of discussion during the game. “It’s more of a rhythm…we both try and have fun without slipping into comedy”.

I chimed in with the observation that the two come off as two guys who genuinely like to watch hockey together, enjoy their jobs and working with each other …to which McConnell responded, “It’s kinda like what Darren always says…’to do what you like and like what you do’.

101 comments Add your comment

Sage of Bluesland

February 25th, 2010
9:38 pm

Wow…the All-Pro of Sell-Outs, Mr. Darren ‘Don Waddell pays my salary so what do you expect me to say except the party-line’ Eliot…

Cheers, Darren–I hope you’re proud of yourself…Your credibility went down one of Donny’s port-a-potties a long time ago…Join your buddy Kincade in kissing bumbling Donny’s rump…

I never wonder why we are in the position we are in–after only a decade…

Darren (not that Darren)

February 25th, 2010
9:47 pm

You’re right. He should definitely rip the Thrashers every chance he gets. Absolutely trash the people who sign his checks. Great idea.

dandylions

February 25th, 2010
10:38 pm

Stendec – get a life – value sports – we lost fair and square – the better team won today which sucks for us but Canada earned it – I’m sick of you calling us (USA or Thrashers) losers every time we don’t win. You should drink more – it softens the pain!

Wings fan in Ga.

February 26th, 2010
12:00 am

I’ve had a chance to meet Mr. Eliot a few times and I like him. He seems to be a nice person.

Brendan

February 26th, 2010
1:01 am

Rawhide, I want to thank you for this wonderful piece on Darren Eliot. I enjoyed reading it. I admire your restraint in not asking Eliot, “Aren’t there just times when you want to scream, ‘We need a new GM!,’ Darren?

I wouldn’t be able to refrain from asking that question, if only to rise a chuckle out of Darren. Darren is not a stupid man. And I have no doubt whatsoever that he’d make a better GM than Waddell. That a team, with the same GM, after a decade, could suffer from an ‘identity crisis,’ seems like a mathematical impossibility. An ‘identity crisis’ usually stems from too many GM’s trying to mold and shape a team to many different ‘visions’ for it. You’ve heard the expression, “too many chefs spoil the soup.” But since Don’s been the lone architect, he’s out of explanations or plausible deniability. There’s only so much ‘budgetary constraints’ can cover. A Darren Eliot assembled team would have an identity. It wouldn’t be a hodge-podge of randomness.

Darren’s a good guy to do an interview for our blog. He takes a fair degree of heat from bloggers on this message board. My criticisms of Eliot, through the years, aren’t about his performances on Versus or Outdoor Life Network, (its predecessor,) that’s for sure! My criticisms of Eliot are for comments like, “Don, you’ve got to feel like we’re ‘real close’ to turning the corner.” That was 2008, in November. Waddell would go on to say, “Oh yeah. Bad teams don’t win 5 games in-a-row in this league.” I don’t think I’ll ever forget that as long as I live. Almost EVERY BAD puts together 5 point-filled games during an 82 game season. Needless to say, the Thrashers finished with 76-points in 2008 and 2009, and in 2010 are headed for??? I’m gonna go ahead and guess BETTER than 76-points. But really, if the team finishes outside of the playoffs, how does one best describe what has happened over the past three seasons?

Here’s the kind of question I’d love someone who doesn’t get paid by the team to answer. “Do you think Waddell’s done a masterful job rebuilding this team, since the playoff sweep by the Rangers.”

Let’s play ‘make-believe’ for a moment. Suppose you ask Darren Eliot that question. His answer, “Is this one or OFF the record?” Well played by Darren. Ask Matt McConnell, and here’s a possible answer, “Well, I think we have to look at the ‘totality of circumstance’ that the team found itself in. With the lawsuit. With a pending UFA Superstar (Hossa) who got traded here, rather than signed here of his own choosing.” So on and so forth.

Ask Dan Kamal, and the answer gets a little better. “There’s no doubt the Thrashers need to do better. And that certain players have the opportunity to step up and claim positions of leadership for this team.”

Ask J.P. Dellacamera, a former Thrasher employee, and you’re still apt to hear a good bit of ’sugarcoating,’ as one never really wants to burn an employment bridge.

Today, on 680TheFan, Perry Laurentino and Christopher Rude point blank asked their guest, Barry Melrose, about the Thrashers’ chances for the playoffs. Melrose’s response? Anyone? Anyone at all? This was from about 9:40AM, today. Melrose said, “The Thrashers aren’t making the playoffs. There’s too many teams around them. And three of them, or so, would have to implode to let the Thrashers get in. Worse yet is … the players and organization now have an excuse, with (their former Captain) Kovalchuk gone.”

Now, bear in mind, Melrose wasn’t mean spirited. He wasn’t angry. He wasn’t spewing venom. It wasn’t some “I hate Atlanta” moment. He was a neutral party answering a direct question about our team. Now, I hear ya. Melrose is just ONE OPINION. Barry Melrose has been wrong in the past, just like all analysts and weathermen are. But I find a ‘healthy dose’ of OUTSIDER opinion to be refreshing. Ask a payroll employee about Atlanta’s chances in the postseason, they’ll have you reserving a seat for the Conference Finals.

Lee

February 26th, 2010
7:10 am

Rawhide – Wanna do a blog on Waddell next?

Tom

February 26th, 2010
7:37 am

Looks like there may be more movement on the goalie front:

MLN Newswire – http://www.mlntherawfeed.com- The Atlanta Thrashers have recalled goaltender PETER MANNINO from the Chicago Wolves. ( source: http://mlntherawfeed.squarespace.com/hockey-transactions/2010/2/25/atlanta-thrashers-recall-goalie-peter-mannino-from-chicago-w.html )

World Be Free

February 26th, 2010
7:51 am

Nice piece. Eliot is one of the best in the league, I have said that before. Others on this blog rip me for supporting Darren, as well as ripping Eliot for not brutalizing the Thrashers more. Giving the Thrashers heck is our job!

I grew up with Pat Hannigen doing Sabres’s games and ripping Buffalo apart just about every game. That becomes a downer after awhile. None of the anti-Darren posters have ever experienced that type of analysis. Not everything is bad with the Thrashers; he’s just doing his job just like every other color commentator in the league. If you really hate the team why are you watching AND wasting your time on the blogs.

DWTOO

February 26th, 2010
7:56 am

The women’s hockey game was really well played by both sides. And the ladies were getting a little physical too. Doubt that Ms Ruggerio and Apps will be sending each other Christmas cards any time soon. The difference was the Canadian goalie made a few more big saves.

And my new favorite hockey player is Julie Chu – Waddell needs to sign her for the PK here. She blocked numerous shots last night, inlcuding diving for one. The woman is tenacious (sp?).

Boris

February 26th, 2010
8:19 am

sTENDEC are the bigest idiot on the planet.

World Be Free

February 26th, 2010
8:38 am

Brenden-thanks for the info on Barry Melrose.

Melrose has creditability because he is direct and to the point. You can argue wherther he’s right or wrong, but he’s never short on an opinion and he supports his thoughts. If NBC was smart, they would have found someway to get Melrose on their Olympic hockey broadcasts and jettison the comedy team of Milbury and Roenick.

Zoomo

February 26th, 2010
8:42 am

I can honestly say I’ve learned more about the nuances of the game from Darren, then from anyone else. I grew up with the Rangers, and later both the Islanders and Devils brodcasts. None of those teams ever had an analyst that could breakdown plays, coverages, and postioning like Eliot.

Ripping the Thashers isn’t his job, it’s analyzing the game play. He is terrific when it comes to doing just that. And, he’s a heck of a nice guy to boot.

Smoothie

February 26th, 2010
9:31 am

Melrose’s argument doesn’t hold much water. He’s entitled to believe it but a playoff berth doesn’t require many teams to “implode”. Its not like we are 6 or 8 pts back. We’re 3 pts out of 7th and 1 pt out of 8th with games in hand.

All it requires is a stretch of .600 hockey and two teams playing .500 or slightly worse. MTL is not very good and if not for Halak doing his best Roy impression, we wouldn’t even be worries about them.

The real question is can this team continue to play better and more responsibly as a collective unit? And can Hedberg carry the load in 16 or 17 of the remaining games? Can Bergfors, Antro, Little, Kane and Finny shoot at a 10 percent clip rather than 7.5 or 8 percent? Can the D continue to limit teams to 30 or 31 shots and support their goalie sufficiently in clearing pucks and not having mental lapses that lead to grade A chances?

That’s what he shouldve been talking about. Screw Barry Melrose!

R. Stroz

February 26th, 2010
9:36 am

Does anyone know if Belkin ponied up his 2 million yet?

I bet he wishes he had this $87,400 back.

http://www.campaignmoney.com/political/contributions/steven-belkin.asp?cycle=08

Maybe Obama included Belkin in the stimulus plan.

Smoothie

February 26th, 2010
9:49 am

Stroz, u r too funny. Guess Belkin thinks more highly of Don Waddell than even Barack Obama?

R. Stroz

February 26th, 2010
9:51 am

Now back on the subject of Darren Eliot,

Darren does a GREAT job UNTIL he starts with the company line mantras, such as “moving in the right direction” and “incremental progress.” When Darren repeats these “company lines” ad nauseam, Darren belittles himself, Cornell University, and the fan base.

Marvin Philip Aufrichtig (Marv Albert)

February 26th, 2010
9:55 am

Indeed Smoothie! Like all ESPN broadcasters, the Disney influence in Bristol has created nothing but cartoon characters not quality analysts, Melrose, with his slicked back mullet and mafia suits, joins the list of buffoons: Holtz, Corso, Vitale, Berman, etc. etc. etc. He has no more credibility than any other former player, coach turned broadcaster. He is told by the director what he needs to say to be controversial, candid etc. They prey on the 18- to 24-year morons who think icing is only for birthday cakes. I digress.

Sorry Zoomo, but Joe Micheletti can break down everything just as well if not better than Eliot, and he calls a spade a spade a helluva lot more than Eliot. He might not have been on when you grew up, but if you want to go back to the 70s, Bill “The Big Whistle” Chadwick, a former referee was great to listen to, kind of like the hockey version of Phil Rizzuto. I’ve watched and listened to them all during the past 40 years, and I’ll take the Sam Rosen-Micheletti team over anyone these days. Prior to him, John Davidson and Rosen were unquestionably the best.

Micheletti also worked with Blues’ icon Dan Kelly. Kelly and Gus Kyle were the best radio tandem of all time!

My all-time worst hockey broadcast pairs: Gene Hart and Don Earle, and then Gene Hart-Bobby Taylor (now in Tampa), I guess because I hate the Flyers.

Marv Albert (born Marvin Philip Aufrichtig) called Rangers games on radio for years, and gave broadcast partner Sal Messina the nickname “Red Light”, thus I take my screen name from that reference. It seems Messina, a former roller hockey and minor league goalie, was victimized by the Red Light flashing behind him frequently, which I think is one of the great nicknames of all time.

I’ll be back as Red Light soon!

Red Light

February 26th, 2010
10:00 am

Eliot quote: “The analyst part is really about presentation. It’s no different to me than getting up in front of 300 employees and giving a quarterly meeting. It’s all about presentation, it’s all about not only saying things succinctly but also trying to educate and entertain at the same time”.

I wonder by using the number 300, if he was alluding to the number of people that watch Thrashers broadcasts?

Zoomo

February 26th, 2010
10:07 am

>>Bill “The Big Whistle” Chadwick, a former referee was great to listen >>to, kind of like the hockey version of Phil Rizzuto.

I loved Jim Gordon and the Big Whistle! Chadwick’s mangling of the word Toronto (usually said as “Taranna”) was my favorite Chadwick meme. Davidson and Rosen were great, and great with the fans. I even remember back to when Sam Rosen started as a High School football broadcaster. Loved Marv and Red Light too. Micheletti came along after I moved south. But, I do think he’s terrific.

I’ll stick by my thoughts that Eliot has taught me more about the *nuances* of game play. Primarily because the telestrator technology is better now than it was back then.

Alan R.

February 26th, 2010
10:12 am

Melrose has creditability

LOL!

Red Light

February 26th, 2010
10:16 am

Zoomo

One of Chadwick’s greatest lines: “It looks like the Rangers are skating on sand!”

Bob

February 26th, 2010
10:17 am

Derwood has gotten better this year. He lost all credibility with me over the past years with his inane support of such pylons as Andy Sutton et al. Remember how he used to on and on about how great Sutton was? Bah. At least this year he’s begun to call a spade a spade somewhat.

So Belkin is an Obama supporter? Figures, the guy seems brain dead and makes bad decisions.

What about the controversy with the Canadian women’s team skating the ice with beers and cigars in hand? I say Chicks With Sticks drinking beer and smoking cigs? what’s the problem?

Smoothie

February 26th, 2010
10:20 am

Great post Marv, um I mean Red Light! I forgot all about Sam Messina! Wow, I remember listening to Marv and Sam call Rangers games. I also really enjoyed Davidson and Rosen. Even though I wasn’t much of a Rangers fan, but I hated the Bruins more. No one worse at annoying the hell out of an opposing fan (I reckon he annoyed a lot of Bruins fans as well) as Fred Cusick (RIP). Good Lord he was bad and such a tremendous homer. His color guy sucked too, what was his name? My fondest radio memories were of Chuck Kaiton of the Hartford Whalers and now Canes. Although he seems to have deteriorated a bit in recent years. I absolutely love his voice and remember listening to him on countless drives around Albany, NY at night just so we could listen to a Sabres game.

As for ESPN, I couldn’t agree with you more. That network is such a sham these days. I can’t stand them. The worst is Berman followed closely by pretty much any anchor not named Scott van Pelt. I used to like Melrose simply because he wasn’t ashamed to speak his mind and express his passion for hockey. But as we know from his quick stint in Tampa, the depth of his hockey knowledge is limited. Perhaps he just doesn’t study the game like he used to. Well, he knows the game, but he certainly doesn’t seem to take the time to know the teams and their respective identities, nuances and such.

And yes, Michelletti is as good as they come.

Smoothie

February 26th, 2010
10:25 am

Bob, those women should be commended for their celebration on the ice upon which they captured gold. Would anyone be as upset if they simply ate pancakes with Canadian-produced maple syrup and bacon?? The IOC is so pathetic in their wanker-hood. The games are over, let them have their fun. At least they aren’t throwing furniture off a balcony or karate-kicking chairs in half!

Red Light

February 26th, 2010
10:31 am

Cusick’s partners were former NHL players Johnny Peirson, Cal Gardner and Derek Sanderson.

Smoothie

February 26th, 2010
10:37 am

Twas Sanderson…couldn’t stand him either. Jack Edwards does a good job these days but he’ll get a little cra cra from time to time. Andy Brickley isn’t bad, but I hate his gravelly voice.

Rawhide

February 26th, 2010
10:39 am

Rawhide, I want to thank you for this wonderful piece on Darren Eliot. I enjoyed reading it. I admire your restraint in not asking Eliot, “Aren’t there just times when you want to scream, ‘We need a new GM!,’ Darren?

Brendan – Who said that I didn’t ask him that? :cool:

Rawhide – Wanna do a blog on Waddell next?

Lee – I would…but I highly doubt he would sit down with me. However, that being said…he’s always been very curtious and decent to me whenever I chat with him.

Bob

February 26th, 2010
10:45 am

Can we get Sage and LAC to do the interview with Waddell? With pictures?

Riceowls8891

February 26th, 2010
10:48 am

The IOC needs to get a life. After 4 years of busting their butts they celebrated a much deserved victory over their biggest rival.. The one that had beaten them at the last two World Championships. Good for them. I just hope the cigars were Cubans!

Badger Bob

February 26th, 2010
11:07 am

Stendec’s commentary on the US women does put his opinions about the Thrashers in perspective. He believes the US lost to “a far inferior team”, despite the fact that Canada had beaten the US squad six straight times leading up to the Olympics. I now understand his disappointment when the Thrashers lose to far inferior teams like the Caps.

Rawhide, another good article – I appreciate these inside glimpses.

World Be Free

February 26th, 2010
11:09 am

Bill “The Big Whistle” Chadwick-now there’s a character!
We can decdicate and entire blog to Chadwick’s quotes and funny lines. In his case, it wasn’t a matter of being good, it was being original and he was original. Gordon was horrible “shot, save, shot, save – Rangers clear”. I am glad Gordon went back to football.

My two favs were Gary Dornhofer and Mickey Redmond when they were with Hockey Night in Canada. This is back when HNIC was objective, not like the sickening garbage they spew out today. I like Denis Potvin’s work too. another good one was Ron Roesch when he worked with Dan Kelly back with CTV in Canada in the early 80’s.

Schroeder

February 26th, 2010
11:21 am

Does anyone remember the absolute horrific calls from the 70’s from “Boom-Boom” and his total destruction of the English language,I don’t remember too much about Jiggs Mcdonalds P-B-P because I was too busy trying to figure out what Geffrion had just said. It was like listening to 3 hours of the goalie from Slapshot.

Schroeder

February 26th, 2010
11:23 am

Listening to “Da-Boomer” was like a dog looking at an algebra problem. HUH, Whattttt?

Red Light

February 26th, 2010
11:24 am

Another great Chadwick line: “That guy handles the puck like a cow handles a gun!”

Chadwick was credited as being the first US born NHL referee and first introduced hand signals when making a penalty call during the Stanley Cup Finals. He lost vision in one eye as a player when a puck struck him. He officiated over 1,000 NHL games before going to the broadcast booth in 1965.

kracker

February 26th, 2010
11:24 am

Rawhide, great job on these articles on McConnell and Eliot! Thanks for bringing the boys in the TV booth a little closer to the fans.They do a fine job and seem to genuinely love the game and their work, as your articles echoed.

FlamesFan

February 26th, 2010
12:06 pm

“…I tell you Jiggs; Da Flame, day come back in da turd period…” RIP Boomer.

World Be Free

February 26th, 2010
12:23 pm

Let me clarify a point that I would like to take back-
Melrose has creditibly-compared to other ESPN announcers.

The more I think of it, yeah that was a pretty dumd statement.
I guess I am good for one every once in awhile.

Smoothie

February 26th, 2010
12:24 pm

Per C-Viv twitter machine: Slava Kozlov has requested a trade from Thrashers and is willing to waive No Trade Clause

Well, well, well, looks like things might just fall into place for ol’ Dealin’ Donnie! I wonder what Colby and Pavel have said to him. Hope both are committed to staying, but I won’t get my hopes up too high.

Smoothie

February 26th, 2010
12:25 pm

WBF – don’t be so hard on yourself!! Melrose has more credability than say Steve Phillips!! LOL Especially when it comes to taste in women!!

World Be Free

February 26th, 2010
12:39 pm

Smoothie-there are so many clowns on ESPN, I don’t know where to start! At least Melrose knows the basics of hockey. He’s not as stupid as Lee Corso or Bob Davie!

J.B.

February 26th, 2010
12:50 pm

It figures. I just got a Kozlov jersey in the mail 2 days ago. I know he’s sucked this year, but I knew this was likely his last hurrah and was proud to have such an accomplished player on our team. Damn, I hate when they do this crap. Oh well…

Brendan

February 26th, 2010
12:50 pm

If anyone’s interested in the heat the Canadian Women’s Ice Hockey team is taking, here’s a link.

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/IOC-to-investigate-Canadian-women-s-hockey-team-?urn=oly,224338

There are 27 images within that story, documenting the “celebrations.” They make excellent screen savers!! What? I’m just sayin’. Who wouldn’t want two women, sharing a cigar, and a big, long … bottle of champagne, too? Especially when the ice is already littered with empty beer cans.

Hmmn, don’t these Canadian girls remember the rule? “Beer before BOOZE, you LOSE. You’re gonna SPEW.” The correct path is, as follows. “Booze BEFORE BEER, you’re in the CLEAR … you’re gonna get SCHMEARED.” Words to party by!

Brendan

February 26th, 2010
12:51 pm

Rawhide, off the record, you simply must slip me Darren’s candid response to the question, “Don’t you ever just want to SCREAM that we need a new GM?”

Brendan

February 26th, 2010
12:53 pm

Smoothie, for real? Slava has finally spend ENOUGH TIME in the press box that he’s realized it’s time to waive his no trade clause? Hallelujah! Let the suitors line up, and the bidding commence.

Uhh, bag of pucks offers are not going to be considered.

Rawhide

February 26th, 2010
12:58 pm

Rawhide, off the record, you simply must slip me Darren’s candid response to the question, “Don’t you ever just want to SCREAM that we need a new GM?”

Brendan – You’ll have to wait for my book to come out! :lol:

It figures. I just got a Kozlov jersey in the mail 2 days ago.

J.B. – Hmmmm…how about you order a Todd White jersey now? I’m sure you will find many around here who’ll chip in.

da 'boomer

February 26th, 2010
12:58 pm

Jiggs McDonald was a great PBP guy. He and Boomer played off each other in a entertaining and informative which was in no way distracting. It brought a lot of people to the game. Ya gotta shoot da puck. Schroeder…you be wrong on this one.

RE: I think Eliot & McConnell do a great job. And for all of you out there ripping Eliot for towing the party line, how many of you walked into your boss’s office this week and told him he was an idiot and that you could do things better??

Brendan

February 26th, 2010
1:00 pm

RE: Melrose, I enjoy his commentaries. Sometimes he’s right. Sometimes he’s wrong. He’s always got lots of anecdotes for us! Somehow or other, the topic always seems to drift towards Roman Hamrlik, with Melrose. He’s so proud of coaching this guy.

What I love about Melrose is his candor. After being fired by Tampa Bay, after something like 14 games, Melrose said, “I’ll be honest with you. I hope those guys lose every game, from now on.” Gracious! That’s not holding anything back, now is it?

I don’t think Melrose has it out for the Thrashers. Truth be told, I’d bet he would be happy for this team to see more playoff action. Now, I cannot say whether Melrose supports Thrasher relocation, or what. But, generally speaking, he is supportive of all teams in the league doing better in the standings and making improvements to better their respective clubs. Melrose might be the first one to jump on the “Can you believe it, Atlanta made the playoffs” storyline. And he’d be quick to point out, “Guys, I went on Atlanta AM Sports radio to declare the Thrashers had no shot at the playoffs. My comments propelled them into the postseason.”

Red Light

February 26th, 2010
1:02 pm

From Bruce Garrioch…
“There’s a lot of talk the Thrashers are going to move D Pavel Kubina. Making $5 million, he will be a UFA after the season. There will be a lot of teams interested.”

I think somebody mentioned that a few weeks back!

J.B.

February 26th, 2010
1:05 pm

Rawhide – Yes, I’ll happily take donations if y’all want me to order a todd white jersey. I can give Rawhide my paypal information. Once I order it he’s sure to be gone.

World Be Free

February 26th, 2010
1:08 pm

I wished they would resign Kubina, of all our current UFAs.