Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: red fisher
from Ken Dryden at the Globe and Mail,
Red spoke to the players, coaches and the rest, but most importantly he spoke to the fans. He made them smarter; they made us better. He was the keeper of the standard. He’d never let us forget the purpose of what we were doing. He’d never let us forget the best that was in us – as a player, as a team; in a game and a sport. Okay, we were lousy, but we won. So I blew that shot. It happens to everyone. That didn’t impress him. He judged you against the present, made you compete against the past and challenged you to redefine the future. He haunted you.
When I was playing poorly, pretending I wasn’t, and hoping no one would notice, Red noticed. Before a time when every game was televised, Red was also the colour commentator on radio. For road games, my wife, Lynda, listening at home always believed that as Red was speaking to the thousands of others, he was speaking directly to her. He was letting her know – the goal Ken let in that you couldn’t see really was bad. Be warned. That’s the mood that will be arriving home tonight. When finally I couldn’t find my own answers to my slump I’d wait for the morning paper and wonder what Red said. I’d argue with what he wrote; I resented what he wrote. I couldn’t escape what he wrote.
from Alan Allnut, Publisher and Editor in Chief of the Montreal Gazette,
In the fall of 1978, Red Fisher was the 52-year-old sports editor of the Montreal Star and at the height of his very considerable powers.
He ran one of Canada’s biggest sports departments and could get just about anyone in hockey (or football, or boxing, or baseball) to take his calls.
But in the fall of 1978, he was also one frustrated sports editor. I know this because I was the 27-year-old, wet-behind-the-ears city editor of the Star, and Red and I sat together in an empty newsroom as a strike by pressmen dragged on and kept the paper from publishing. I had been at the Star a few years, but had had very little contact with superstar Fisher, who never had a great deal of time for rookies. But through those months of the strike, I found Red to be a very cool dude, indeed. And he even talked to me as an equal, which I wasn’t.
Almost 34 years later, Red came into my office this week to tell me he has written his last column for The Gazette.
And he’s going to be really unhappy with me for writing about it.
from Mike Boone of the Montreal Gazette,
If Red Fisher were writing this story about himself, it might start like this:
“Come with me now to the moments following Game 6 of the Stanley Cup conference semifinal. A guy was asked whether Jaroslav Halak’s 52-save performance was the best goaltending he’d seen in the playoffs ...”
The guy was Red Fisher. And everyone in the Bell Centre press box was asking the Living Legend of Sports Journalism to compare what we’d just seen to what he’s seen since 1955.
To deliver his authoritative assessments, WikiRed, the human hockey Google, plumbs the database in his head: about 6,000 game stories, 17 of the Canadiens’ 24 Stanley Cups, including five in his first five years on the beat, 26 Hall of Fame Habs.
You can watch hockey highlights on YouTube. You can read bulletins on Twitter. You can listen to sports talk radio.
But to contextualize the bleu-blanc-rouge, you have to read Red.
from Mike Boone of the Montreal Gazette,
The key issue was motivation. Did he want to put his no-longer-young body through the rigours of an 82-game season - plus what everyone in Montreal prays will be a deep playoff run? The mental aspect of the game is even more
gruelling. A perfectionist who’s notoriously hard on himself, he had to decide whether he was psychologically ready for the total commitment that an NHL season demands.
I am referring, of course, to the Living Legend of Sports Journalism. And I am delighted to report that after carefully weighing his options - writing about the sport he loves and understands better than anyone this side of Scotty Bowman vs. playing pinochle with retired garment industry executives at the Cavendish Mall - the LLSJ has saddled up for at least one more cattle drive.
*picture via canada.com
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
On Thursday night, Red Fisher wrote a column on deadline, as he usually does, off the Montreal Canadiens-Boston Bruins playoff opener.
Yesterday morning, he put together his usual Saturday package consisting of a column and NHL notebook that will fill a page in today’s Montreal Gazette.
Tonight, he will be back at the Bell Centre press box in Montreal, writing on deadline.
“Doesn’t everybody do it?” he asked yesterday.
Some do, but Fisher will be 82 in August, an age when all but very few sportswriters are long retired and telling war stories.