Mickey Redmond (with glasses) and Mark Howe dropped ceremonial opening pucks prior to the Red Wings-Flames game Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena. (Photo by Dave Reginek)
As a player, Mickey Redmond was on a Hall of Fame pace with the Red Wings, becoming the first in franchise history to score 50 goals in a season – not once, but twice in 1972-73 and again the following year. In both seasons, he was among the league’s leading scorers, trailing future Hall of Famer Phil Esposito, who scored 55 and 68 goals those seasons, respectively.
Espo went onto to score more than 700 times and conventionally landed in the Hall in 1984. And while injuries cut-short Redmond’s career it didn’t stop him from blazing a different path to the Hall of Fame.
Last week, Redmond, the Wings’ longtime TV analysis, received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award, which was first presented – ironically so at the same induction that honored Esposito – in 1984 by the NHL Broadcasters’ Association. The award recognizes members of the radio and television industry, who have made outstanding contributions to the profession and the game of hockey.
The award is named in honor of the late “Voice of Hockey” in Canada.
Redmond and newly-minted Hall of Fame defenseman Mark Howe, will be honored in a pre-game ceremony prior to Wednesday night’s Thanksgiving Eve game at Joe Louis Arena.
“It was a great, it was a whirlwind for 48 hours and it will more than likely set in and register a lot more once everything settles down,” said Redmond, referring to last weekend’s festivities in Toronto. “The fact that it was recognition for giving back to the game through broadcasting really meant the most to me because my mom and dad spent their lives giving to the game of hockey. It really meant a lot and felt good to me to be able to continue that tradition and continue to be a caretaker of the game, if you will, and to give back like my mom and dad did. That meant so much to me.”
Redmond, 63, has been a fan favorite for years with his whimsical repertoire of one-liners that he’s picked up long the way in his broadcasting career, like “Bingo Bango”, “Katie bar the door” and “No place for a nervous person”.
Dropping the puck tonight in front a raucous JLA crowd and a large TV audience isn’t a place for a nervous person either.
“I really hadn’t thought about it,” Redmond said. “I guess I try to minimize things like that when you’re in the public eye or in the middle of a crowd like that; hadn’t thought about it at all. But dropping the puck shouldn’t be a big problem, though you never know.
“I’ll just go with the flow, soak it in, just enjoy the moment, and keep the nerves down the best I can.”