By Scoop Malinowski
Status: Former NHL defenseman from 1978-1988 for Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks. Played in 1981 NHL All-Star Game.
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 220
DOB: December 19, 1958 In: Toronto, Ontario
First Hockey Memory: Playing in the backyard. My father (John) flooded the backyard with ice.
Hockey Inspirations/Heroes: When I was growing up everybody loved Bobby Orr and Gordie Howe.
First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: Dave Keon in Toronto. I think he was watching his son’s game. We were playing before and he was there in the stands.
First Job: Painting a house.
Last Book Read: Guns Gems and Steel: The Fate Of Human Societies (by Jared Diamond).
Greatest Career Moment: Oh boy… (chuckles)… I guess when we went to the Stanley Cup Finals ’79-80.
Most Painful Moment: Stanley Cup Finals (Flyers lost in game six to the Islander in OT).
Worst Injury: Broke my back. A blind pass. I don’t think I got hit (by Chris Kotsopolous) especially hard but I was twisting. It was against Toronto Maple Leafs in Chicago Stadium (1986 playoffs).
Favorite Rinks To Play: Oh boy… I like all the old rinks… Boston Garden, Detroit, Chicago Stadium, Toronto, Montreal.
Favorite Uniforms: I like all the old uniforms. Flyers. Chicago. The old classics.
Least Favorite Rink(s) To Play: Probably something like Los Angeles. Usually the ice wasn’t very good.
Most Memorable Goal: They showed it on David Letterman. I was carrying the puck, dumped it in high off the glass at a 45 degree angle. The goalie went out of the net to try to stop the puck but it hit one of the bars between the glass and it ricocheted out and went into the net. At Madison Square Garden.
Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: Football, NFL. I live in South Florida so I root for my home team Miami Dolphins.
Fiercest Competitors Encountered: Oh… there’s so many… Terry O’Reilly. Willi Plett.
Strangest Game: I guess when I was in Chicago. We were playing Edmonton in the playoffs. I think they beat us in the first game something like 12-1. And two games later we actually won a game. That was a pretty good swing.
Favorite Players To Watch: There’s a lot. Gretzky and Lemieux played a game that was so much different than what everybody else played. I have no idea what they were doing or how they did it but they kept on doing it. Bobby Clarke was amazing. He could control the game with or without the puck. If you needed to pass the puck, he would be open. If you were open he got the puck on your stick. Amazing. Keith Brown. I played with him for five years in Chicago, I don’t think he made one mistake in five years. No one could go around him. Well conditioned. Just a fabulous player and a great guy. Doug Wilson was a brilliant, fabulous athlete. I played with him in junior and Chicago. He was one of those guys who could make the game look easy. I could never figure out a scorer like Steve Larmer. What a talent.
Most Memorable Fights: Oh… Terry O’Reilly and Willi Plett. I think I fought Willi eight times. They played a lot of ice time and they could play.
Why Do You Love Hockey: First of all, it’s a great game for kids. And it’s a freestyle game. There’s no real set plays overall. Everybody has to improvise every second. A lot of other sports are highly scripted. Hockey allows creativity into it which is fascinating.
Nicknames: Oh, Toby. That was my first year with the Flyers. (Who gave you it?) Someone between Clarke, Bill Barber, Reggie Leach or Jimmy Watson.
Embarrassing Hockey Memory: Oh, lots! Every bad play [chuckles]. Probably the funniest was my first year pro, when I was nineteen. In Montreal. Guy Lafleur was coming down on me one on one. I remember thinking if he didn’t shoot before he got to me, I was going to play the body. If he tried to fake the shot, I was ready. He faked the shot, I went to hit him and I didn’t lay a glove or anything on him. He did some kind of matrix move and went right around me and scored the goal. I came to the bench. Please give me a chance to redeem myself. Pat Quinn (Flyers coach) put me right back out there. I was winded but wanted nothing more than to redeem myself. It’s a lot of years later but it still has meaning. I always appreciated that he did that.
Closest Hockey Friends: I keep in touch with Ken Linseman. Tim Kerr – Know him since juniors. Jay Miller is a neighbor of mine. We didn’t play against each other, I didn’t know Jay but now we’re great friends. We get together and laugh about the olden days. He lives a half mile away. (How did you discover you were neighbors?) Jay is a social butterfly. He heard I lived here and came to my door but I wasn’t here and he left a note. Then we got together. He has a great wife. We even go to see him in Cape Cod.
People Qualities Most Admired: Integrity. And work ethic. The ability to be forthcoming.