|Ken Daniels called a Wings' game from ice level before he ever did in Philadelphia. But he and analysis Mickey Redmond will finally cross the City of Brotherly Love off the list this Tuesday. (Photo by Dave Reginek) |
Last week, Ken Daniels celebrated a millenary as the Red Wings’ TV play-by-play man.
We’re not sure how many other broadcasters – short of Hall of Fame voices Budd Lynch and Bruce Martyn – have called 1,000 Wings’ games either on radio or television, but it’s probably safe to assume that those gentlemen called games from every arena in the league during their extraordinary careers.
So how is it that in his 13-plus seasons with the organization, Daniels and his broadcast partner, analysis Mickey Redmond, will finally call their first Wings’ game together from the City of Brotherly Love on Tuesday night?
“Over the years the networks have grabbed so many games,” said Daniels, who can finally claim to have called a Wings' game from all 30 NHL cities. “You have to go back before Versus even, when Fox was doing games, too.”
Tuesday will be just the seventh time that the Wings have traveled to Philadelphia for a regular-season game since the 1997-98 season, which also happens to be the year that our friends from the Great White North gave us the silky smooth articulator.
With five of the last six games played on either Saturdays or Sundays, it’s certainly easy to see why the broadcast networks would have liked the Wings-Flyers matchup for so many years. It didn’t hurt either that Detroit and Philadelphia played for the 1997 Stanley Cup and were widely considered Cup contenders throughout the next decade.
And while Tuesday will be the fourth time that Daniels has ever called a game in Philly – he’s broadcast from there for Versus and CBC – the 7 p.m. game will be Redmond’s first since his playing days ended more than 37 years ago.
Asked if he thought it peculiar that he’s never called a game with his longtime TV partner, Redmond shook his head, and said, “I don’t think so because in this world nothing is odd anymore. It’s so odd that it’s normal with the unbalanced schedule.”
Both Daniels and Redmond are especially thankful to be calling this particular Wings-Flyers contest, if for nothing else, the pre-game ceremony which promises to be very emotional.
The Flyers’ organization plans to retire Mark Howe’s No. 2 before the game, which Fox Sports Detroit will carry in its entirety.
The entire Howe family, including its patriarch, Mr. Hockey, Gordie Howe, will be in attendance at Wells Fargo Center. Also expected to attend, is Maureen McCrimmon, the widow of the late Brad McCrimmon, and the couple’s two children.
Mark Howe and McCrimmon were defensive partners and friends during their Philadelphia playing days, and again for a short time in Detroit in the early 90s.
“Just knowing that they were best friends, it’s really neat,” Daniels said. “I know that Mark wants Maureen to be there for Brad and that’s pretty cool.”Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill