"He's meant a lot to hockey, first as a player but also as a commentator. He's a very big part of (this organization), because he's been here for so long and people know his voice and know his face. He's just a good guy to be around."
-- Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom
He'll tell you the story about a failed comeback attempt as a player in 1979 in Adirondack, N.Y., and how it was cut short by persistent back problems. He'll mention that a friend called him after he'd quit playing for good, offering him the chance to do color-analyst work for 15 televised Detroit Red Wings games that year.
"The rest is pretty much history," he'll say, trying to downplay his career upstairs in the booth.