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Biofile Bruce Bennett Interview

By Scoop Malinowski

Occupation: Getty Images Director of Photography and Hockey Imagery.

DOB: March 12, 1955 In: Brooklyn, N.Y.

Education: W.T. Clarke High School and C.W. Post School of Professional Accountancy.

NHL Fantasy Hockey: Early Peek At Top 10 Centers for Next Season

Childhood Hero: “Spiderman.”

Hobbies/Interests: “Strangely enough – computers, photography and hockey. Watching my son act and my daughter enjoy life. Attending Broadway and regional theatre.”

Favorite Movies: “Apocalypse Now, Field of Dreams, Ghost, and, of course, Slapshot.”

Favorite TV Shows: “24, Family Guy and Curb Your Enthusiasm.”

Musical Tastes: “Warren Zevon and Broadway show music.”

Early Career Memory: “Rangers coach Emile Francis’s snide remarks to a female hockey reporter and Detroit coach Doug Barkley beating up on Walt MacPeek, a writer from a Jersey paper.”

First Photography Job: “Photographer and Photo Editor for Long Island Magazine.”

First Car: “Yellow and Black Maverick Grabber – sort of like a bumblebee on wheels.”

Pre-Work Feeling/Mindset: “Just mellowing out. Look over the roster 20 or 30 times and visualize which players make what specific moves. During the anthem I blank my mind to distance myself from any negative or positive feelings towards teams or players and alter my breathing to remain calm and focused. Focus (no pun) on relying on experience to anticipate what lies ahead.”

Favorite Meal: “My wife’s pasta primavera or Virgil’s Texas Barbeque in NYC.”

Favorite Breakfast Cereal: “Original Alpha-Bits – but can’t find anything but the disgusting whole wheat ones.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Coldstone’s chocolate devotion concoction.”

Greatest Career Moment: “Assignment for TIME Magazine, netted Gretzky’s 77th goal – the season record-breaker propelling him past Phil Esposito back in 1981. The photo has been used over 30 times.”

Most Painful Career Moment: “In the early days at Madison Square Garden I suffered two cracked ribs courtesy of the Minnesota North Stars’ Bryan Maxwell’s zone clearing slapshot against the New York Rangers. This was back in the early days of wide open shooting positions for photographers. I used to have nightmares about that position, and would twitch and flinch in my sleep.”

Funny Hockey Photography Memory: “It could have been when Dit Clapper nailed my shoes to the wooden floor in the old Garden’s locker room. No, not that old. When the New York Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994, I was on one of the parade floats with Mike Keenan, Steve Larmer and a few other players. As we slowly cruised down Broadway, tons of confetti floated down on the players. As Larmer sat there waving to the crowd, a hockey card landed in his lap. It was of him!”

Embarrassing Career Memory: “Got hit by Carol Vadnais, also at Madison Square Garden. As I rolled around the floor of the penalty box trying to catch my breath, looking up at that distinctive MSG ceiling, two heads popped over the boards looking down on me. Linesman Leon Stickle said, ‘Hey Bruce, the girl in the front row wants to know if your date is still on tonight.’ Linesman Ray Scapinello said, ‘Try to fart. If you can fart it means you’re OK.’ “

Favorite Players To Photograph: “Bobby Orr – just plain fluid motion. Denis Potvin – the epitome of power on ice. Bobby Hull winding up behind the net and charging down ice. The Islanders’ Tomas Jonsson always made the funniest facial expressions. Tie Domi kicking butt. Not Gretzky – too tough to follow.”

Toughest NHL Competitors Encountered: “Bob Probert – because of his eyes. In hockey photography the eyes tell the whole story. No wonder a lot of players wouldn’t make eye contact with him. He had issues.”

Favorite Vacation Spot: “Aruba and Hawaii.”

People Qualities Most Admired: “People who handle everything with a touch of humor brighten everyone around them. People who remain calm regardless of what is happening to them or going on around them. People who show others respect, because that’s all we really need and deserve.”

Favorite Hockey Quotes: “ ‘Put that camera away or I’ll f***ing kill you’ – Eric Lindros to a Toronto Star photographer after the bar assault trial. And when Chris Dahlquist was traded from the Calgary Flames a teammate remarked, ‘Oh that’s too bad. Just as we were learning how to play clearing passes off our asses.’

You can read more 80s Hockey Biofiles like this one in Scoop’s book 80’s Hockey Biofiles amazon books $14.99!

About Mark Malinowski

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