TORONTO – With all of the Hockey Hall of Fame hoopla surrounding the Red Wings-Maple Leafs game tonight, it will be easy to overlook a pretty cool event that will take place in the game.
We’re not talking about the introduction of the seven members of this year’s induction class, though that will be its own special highlight.
For the first time in NHL history, a former player turned analyst will work his son’s NHL game as part of a TV broadcast.
Ray Ferraro, who works for TSN, will be between the benches to provide analysis of the game at Air Canada Centre. It will be the first time that he’s worked a NHL game featuring his son, Landon, a Red Wings’ rookie.
The elder Ferraro admits it will be difficult to watch his son, but Landon said he won’t have a problem.
“It’s no different than minor hockey when he was there watching,” Landon said. “He watches the team, but he watches me. It’s going to be a lot easier for me tonight I’m playing. That’s my job. I just have to worry about that. I’ll be busy enough watching that. He’s the one that has to watch and critique, so we’ll see how it goes.”
While Landon says it will be easy to brush off his father’s presence, it is a first and still special for his family.
“It is the first time, so yeah, it will be a little weird the first time I see him,” Landon said. “If I’m sitting at the end of the bench and he’s standing there – they have other TV monitors in there – so you peak in there once in a while and seeing him standing there will be a little bit different. But I’m not too worried about it.”
Ray believes that Phil Sims and Bob Greise are the only other former pro athletes in North America to broadcast their sons’ games at the professional level.
The pre-game ceremony, when the Maple Leafs introduces the seven Hockey Hall of Fame inductees, including Nicklas Lidstrom and Sergei Fedorov, will be equally meaningful for the Ferraro-Granato family, who will have four relatives at ice level.
Ray’s wife, hall of famer Cammi Granato, whose brother Tony is a Red Wings assistant coach, will participate in the pre-game event at center ice.
Cammi Granato, who helped the U.S. to an Olympic gold medal in 1998, was inducted in the hall of fame in 2010.
“It’s something that most people don’t get to experience. It will be cool,” Landon said. “I didn’t get to come when Cammi was inducted because I was playing in the Western League at the time, so I could make it out for her induction. But it will be cool to see her here. She’s got another teammate going in this year, so she’s obviously excited about that. It’s going to be a fun time for everyone in our family.”