Tag Archives: Detroit Red Wings

Episode 088: Mark Howe – The Influence Of A Father

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Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Mark shares some of hisEpisode 088 fondest hockey memories including;


Mark began skating at the age of 2 pushing a chair around a pond and is one of four children born to Gordie and Colleen Howe. Mark and brother Marty played much of their hockey together, from minor hockey to pro.

His professional career began with the Houston Aeros of the WHA where he played not only with Marty, but also with his father who came out of retirement to play with his sons. Mark would go on to play for the New England & Hartford Whalers before making his way to Philadelphia where he played for ten seasons. He finished his career with the Detroit Red Wings in the 1994-95 season.

Mark was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 14, 2011. On March 6, 2012 the Philadlephia Flyers retired Mark’s #2.

During Mark’s professional career he played in 1355 games and averaged almost a point per game (combined WHA & NHL totals).

Links: Mark Howe’s career stats

Episode 083: Gregg Pilling – Memorial Cup Champion

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Today’s guest was part of the one of the greatest junior team’s in Episode 083hockey history, the Edmonton Oil Kings, winning a Memorial Cup playing alongside Glen Sather and Pat Quinn.

After finishing is junior career Gregg went on to play in the minors before coming a coach in the minor leagues.

Gregg shares some of his fondest hockey memories including

Links: Gregg Pilling stats

Episode 063: Val Fonteyne – From Wetaskiwin, Alberta To The NHL

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Today’s guest grew up in the prairie town of Wetaskiwin, Alberta. Episode 063He had a very successful junior career with the Medicine Hat Tigers and eventually went on to play in the NHL. Before making his jump to the NHL he ended up playing senior hockey, which back in his day there wasn’t a whole of difference between senior hockey and the National Hockey League.

The pay check back then wasn’t all that big, in fact the starting salary for an NHL player was $7000 per year. Players definitely didn’t play the game for the money, they played the game because they loved it.

He began his NHL career with the Detroit Red Wings back in 1959 and finished his NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins and wrapped up his professional hockey career with the WHA’s Edmonton Oilers at the age of 41.

Links: Val’s Hockey Stats
             The Metro Prystai Story

Episode 058: Andra Kelly – Wife Of NHL Legend Red Kelly

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While the game of hockey is largely a male dominant sport, have you ever stopped to wonder what life must be like for the wife of an NHL player? Today’s guest knows very well what that is all about.

She is the wife of NHL legend Mr. Red Kelly.

She traveled the world is an that accomplished figure skater before eloping with Red in 1959.  She used to skate for the Hollywood Ice Review.

It was a lengthy courtship. In fact, prior to their marriage, Andra went overseas for more than a year and left her engagement ring with her father along with instructions to “Give it back to Red,” while she was gone.

Andra shares what it was like living in L.A., during Red’s short time there as head coach and her more than Fifty-five incredible years that her and Red have spent together.

Links: Red Kelly Episode 002
             Red Kelly Episode 003
             The Metro Prystai Story

Episode 055: Metro Prystai – NHL Legend

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One of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had was getting to meet Episode 055Metro Prystai. In my endeavour to do an audio history of the Melville Millionaires, I was introduced to “Marvellous Metro,” that was his nickname when he played hockey for the Moose Jaw Canucks.

At the time, I didn’t have a clue who Metro Prystai was. All of that changed as I got to interview Metro and eventually write his biography. One of Metro’s old team mates was hockey hall of famer Bert Olmstead. Bert corrected me one time when I suggested to him that Metro was one of the top junior player’s of his day; Bert said “No, he wasn’t one of the top, he was the top.”

In today’s episode, you will hear the first and fifth chapters from the audiobook biography of the late Metro Prystai. Which includes

which saw the Detroit Red Wings sweep their opponents in the playoffs. That was coincidentally the first time an octopus was thrown onto the ice in Detroit. Eight straight wins – eight tentacles.

You’ll also hear hear about the many run-ins that a young Metro Prystai would have with the gangsters of Chicago. I encourage you to get the rest of the audiobook version. It’s available as a “pay-what-you-want,” version. No donation is too small. Accept this opportunity to get to know one of the greatest guys who has ever played the game.

Links: The Metro Prystai Story

Episode 047: Dennis Polonich – Tenacious And Determined

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At a towering five and a half feet tall, you might find it difficult to Episode 047think that today’s guest was a force to be reckoned with. Born and raised in Foam Lake, Saskatchewan, he made his way to the Flin Flon Bombers of the Western Canadian Hockey League.

During his two seasons with the Bombers he made a name for himself which got the attention of Detroit Red Wing’s scouts which led him to be drafted 118 overall by the Red Wings in the 1973 NHL Amateur Draft.

His tenacity and his dogged determination made him a valuable player on the Detroit Red Wings.

Link: The Metro Prystai Story

Episode 023: Millionaire Memories – With Tim Cheveldae

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Today’s guest grew up right here in Melville, Saskatchewan and justEpisode 023 like many young men that grow up here, he had aspirations to play for the Melville Millionaires. He got that opportunity at a very young age before moving on to play in the WHL.

He got drafted by the Detroit Red Wings. When the Red Wings called him up to play

He would  later go on to play with the Winnipeg Jets.Today’s guest on The Heart Of The Rink Hockey Show is Mr Tim Cheveldae.

Links: The Metro Prystai Story

Episode 019: Millionaires Memories – With Don Abel & Ted Lindsay

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The history of the Melville Millionaires hockey club is rich with manyEpisode 019 hockey greats getting their start in this small Saskatchewan town. They include the likes of Ron Hextall, Eddie Shore, Chris Kunitz, Brian Propp, Kelly Buchberger and many, many more.

There is one family from this community that really stands out when it comes to hockey – Abel. Sid, George and Don Abel grew up in this rural prairie town. Sid is a hockey hall of famer having a hugely successful career in the National Hockey League. George and Don would play for the local senior team, the Melville Millionaires. George won Olympic Gold in Oslo, Norway in 1952.

In today’s episode of The Heart Of The Rink Hockey Show we visit with Don Abel and Ted Lindsay.

Links: Melville Millionaires – The Story Behind The Team
             The Metro Prystai Story