Glenn “Chico” Resch, the affable former goalie and long-time New Jersey Devils game analyst on MSG+, has been plenty busy since calling his last Devils game in April and officially retiring from the broadcast booth. A recent excursion to the Dakotas with his wife Diane brought the couple of 42 years to Fort Abraham Lincoln, a state park in North Dakota, and the Badlands national Park in South Dakota.
“It’s where General Custer left on that eventful trip to the Battle of Little Bighorn,” said Resch, recalling the trip.
Resch returned to New Jersey this week for a special ceremony on Friday night – Chico Resch Night – when the Devils will honor his service to the organization as a player and broadcaster during the team’s game against the Dallas Stars at Prudential Center. All fans in attendance will receive a commemorative “Chico Resch Night” pin.
A natural raconteur, Resch continued with tales of his travels with Diane, describing a recent trip to Lancer, Saskatchewan, his father’s hometown, for the 44th annual Chokecherry Festival.
“They had a parade in the little town, but the town’s so small they had to go around twice. They had royal mountain police and floats, and it was fun,” he described before pausing and saying, “But retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”
“When you have as sweet a job as I had, I don’t know that anything, including retirement, can replace it.”
As a Devils broadcaster for 18 years, Resch was a fan-favorite and enjoyed spending time with people before and after each game.
“I had the best of both worlds…I got to watch hockey, eat food, hang out with the players…it was a privilege.”
One thing Resch admits he misses is the immediacy of the on-ice action as a player and bright lights of broadcasting because, as he describes it, “there are no second chances.”
“It’s the only thing in life where you can’t take anything back.”
Even in retirement, Resch is staying involved with hockey by working with the high school goalies near his Minnesota home. And, of course, he follows the Devils.
As New Jersey opened the season in Philadelphia with a 6-4 win over the Flyers, the Resches were on the trip to Saskatchewan to visit Chico’s dad.
“I had to find a place where we could watch the Devils via satellite,” said Resch. Diane and I were having supper, and nobody seemed to care, I said ‘C’mon folks, the Devils are on!’ They were nice enough to put it on.”
Even after years of traveling with the team, Resch is still excited for the unpredictability of the season. He isn’t one to make predictions, but uses the Thanksgiving holiday as a marker.
“If you look back at history over the last five or six years, the teams that are in the playoffs at Thanksgiving are usually in at the end.”
Friday’s “Chico Resch Night” will bring an unpredictability of its own with Resch in a spotlight that he’s not quite used to. Resch calls the celebration “both overwhelming and, at first, confusing.”
“I thought ‘Why are they having a night for me?’ But I always seemed to get the best from Devils fans. Beyond that I’m just going to have a good time and enjoy it.”