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The Malik Report

Sunday night with the Mick

The Oakland Press’s Pat Caputo delivers a Sunday night treat in an in-depth article about Red Wings color commentator and soon to be Hockey Hall of Fame honoree Mickey Redmond, whose premature retirement due to a back injury yielded a career in broadcasting which has yielded living legend’s status for perhaps the conscience of Hockeytown:

“I had a ruptured disk,” Redmond said. “In those days, those weren’t taken care of like they are today. I played with it. A lot of damage was done. When I was done playing, it was tough. I went home for awhile and lived with my mom and dad and did some soul-searching. But I also knew that it was just the way it was. There was nothing I could do about it, and that I would have to find something else to do with my life.”

How did Redmond start broadcasting?

“Totally by accident,” he said. “I tried to come back as a player and was in Glens Falls (N.Y.) for training camp (where the Red Wings had their minor league team at the time) in 1979. The comeback didn’t go well. I couldn’t play. But I was contacted about doing hockey games for ON-TV — 15 games. It went well.”

ON-TV was the earliest pay telecasts for the Red Wings and Tigers games. Redmond made the most of the opportunity. He was hired by Hockey Night in Canada and eventually found his way back to Detroit as the Red Wings’ emerged as an NHL power.

“Mick was natural,” said Redmond’s broadcast partner on FS Detroit, Ken Daniels, whose roots were also planted with Hockey Night in Canada. “The thing about Mick, he doesn’t tell you what happened. He tells you why and how it happened.”

Redmond does have trademark calls (“Bingo-B[a]ngo,” “B.C. two-hander,” are a couple examples) but it’s the way he breaks down plays that is his greatest strength.

“Mick sees things before anybody else,” Daniels said. “He has a great eye for the game. He’ll see that bad line change or somebody caught out of position before anybody else. He’ll tell you exactly why that goal was scored or wasn’t.”

Continued, and Caputo conducted a video interview with the honorary Yooper (see: his summer home near Newberry, his incessant references to the U.P., his love for camouflage clothing and his big Ford F-350 diesel which he attaches a snowplow to every winter) as well…

• For the record, the Guelph Mercury’s Tony Saxon reports that Wings prospect Thomas McCollum’s currently working out with the OHL’s Guelph Storm...

• And I’ve emailed Marie Hallman to ask for assistance in translating her interview with Niklas Kronwall, who does his best to suggest that he won’t replace Nicklas Lidstrom when Lidstrom retires, but he does admit that he plans on emulating Lidstrom’s status as a player who can make the “simple play” as Kronwall believes he has to step up—big time—given that Lidstrom’s career is slowly coming to a close.

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Comments

bezukov's avatar

Mickey is number one in the bizz in my book.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 08/28/11 at 09:28 PM ET

cowboycoffee's avatar

ON tv!!!!

Posted by cowboycoffee from San Francisco, CA on 08/28/11 at 10:01 PM ET

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The Red Wings are most fortunate to have both a first class television team and a first class radio team broadcasting their games.  Of course, having a first class organization may have something to do with that.

Doc

Posted by DocF from Reidsville, NC on 08/28/11 at 10:11 PM ET

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It’s true he has an eagle eye. There are times that Mick calls a penalty before the ref even gets his hand up. Amazing guy, and the best in the biz as far as I’m concerned

Posted by Jordan Reis from Detroit on 08/28/11 at 11:06 PM ET

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Great memories of the ‘70’s and ON TV - I was about 14 at that time and I begged my parents to get it,, just for the Wings games - they came and installed a little antenna on their roof to get the signal, it stayed up there for about 15 years, long after ON TV went out of business. It finally fell off during a thunderstorm.

Posted by mc keeper on 08/29/11 at 12:28 AM ET

SYF's avatar

“Mick sees things before anybody else,” Daniels said. “He has a great eye for the game. He’ll see that bad line change or somebody caught out of position before anybody else. He’ll tell you exactly why that goal was scored or wasn’t.”

About the only other color analyst I know that can do that, too, is Fox Sports Prime Jim Fox.  The guy’s got a unique but sometimes annoying cadence in his speech but if I just shut that out, I do learn something from his broadcasts.

Posted by SYF from Alana Blanchard's Bikinis and Surfboards on 08/29/11 at 01:09 AM ET

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Having your antenna installed just for that matter, well, that really is what we call “effort”. Hopefully they could bring back the real Wings. My dad would surely be happy about that. Very obvious. Because he have mentioned it to me before.

Posted by Harry Dillon from UK on 08/31/11 at 09:38 AM ET

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Thanks for allocating your impressive post…... I think its really sad news for the fans of Micky Redmond. I will miss him so much with my heart. I just pray for his better life…....... smile

Posted by Den Hicks from Perth, Western Australia, 6002, Australia on 09/22/11 at 01:18 AM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.