Q: What are you working on right now in anticipation of the start of the season?
Getting all of my notes together, starting to talk to players and coaches. Updating what has happened around the league with all of the personnel changes that take place each year. I have already taken a look at the schedule, just to map things out. Just want to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Just the usual things we have to do to get up to speed.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most this year?
The Kings are finally moving into the conversation when people talk about contending to win a Stanley Cup. I don’t consider the Kings a favorite at this point, especially with the strong Western Conference, but I will say this. If everything goes “normal”, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing special has to happen, everyone just has to have a normal season, I think the Kings are a playoff team. Some night say, no big deal, but in the West, just getting in is tough. And, if at the end of the year, if the Kings won the whole thing, I would not be surprised. Again, I don’t think they are a favorite, and many things would have to go right, but it would not be “surprising”!
Q: What is your all-time favorite Kings moment?
There are a few that stand out. As a player, playing in the Miracle on Manchester game and winning the series vs. the Edmonton Oilers in 1982. I believe it is still the biggest upset in NHL history (difference between teams in regular season points).
Two come to mind as a broadcaster. Adam Deadmarsh’s (Wing Killer) OT winner vs. Detroit at STAPLES Center. STAPLES has never been that loud. But the one that gave me the most satisfaction was the Kings game 7 win on the road in the 1993 Semi-finals in Toronto. That series was the most physical series I have ever watched in person and it was just fantastic to go in and win in their building in game 7!
Q: What did you do this summer for fun?
Well, I did a lot of traveling. My wife Susie and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary, so we took a big trip to Europe. Since we are both wine lovers, most of the trip was based around wine regions. Though, we started in Prague to celebrate a good friends (we are God-Parents to her and her husband’s 1st daughter) 40th Birthday. Then we moved on to the Barolo region of Italy where we visited some of the world’s most prestigious vineyards, included a tasting with Angelo Gaja in Barbarseco. I have to thank a couple of people for helping plan the trip, especially the Barolo portion. Many thanks to William Goodacre of “Tastes of Italy” www.tastesofitaly.co.uk and Ian Blackburn of “Learn About Wine” www.learnaboutwine.com for all of their help in planning.
Then we moved to Portugal to visit the Port wine region on the Douro river. Then on to the Rioja wine region of Spain, then to Madrid and finally stopping in my hometown of Coniston, Ontario, Canada on the way back. Also spent 3 days in Napa and Sonoma for some wonderful wine and cuisine as well as checking out some grapes in the Sonoma Coast AVA. Busy, busy, busy. Great summer!