Bob McKenzie has been an NHL insider since before such a thing was even a viable occupation. And after many years, he finally has a podcast of his own to bring his valuable intelligence directly to hockey fans.
The TSN Bobcast premiered this week and new episodes will post every other Friday. In the show, McKenzie takes listener questions and answers them with a mix of inside information and educated guesses. And sometimes, Uncle Bob gets to just tell great stories from his 35 years in the business.
The first episode didn’t disappoint, with a fun tale from Nassau Coliseum, the site of the 1983 NHL All Star Game. Most everyone knows the story of the one-and-only Islanders-hosted midseason exhibition game, in which Canucks goalie John Garrett was a shoo-in for the MVP award until Wayne Gretzky scored four goals in the third period to take the trophy (and the car it came with).
But as that drama was unfolding on the ice, a young Bob McKenzie was in the press box getting hammered on cocktails. Wait. Cocktails?
As I made my way to the press box, I noticed that you could buy mixed drinks. And I thought, “Well, what the hell? This is unbelievable. You could actually get a cocktail while watching a hockey game.” This was an unbelievable revelation to this 26-year old kid from Scarborough, Ontario. So I decided, what the hell, it won’t hurt, so bought myself a rum and coke. My drink of choice.
Well, it was so good and went down so smooth as I was watching the game that I decided, well, I’ll have another one. Well, if I had one, I probably had 10. I’m not kidding. I probably had 10 rum and cokes. And by the time Wayne Gretzky was lighting up John Garrett in the third period, I was completely and totally lit up myself.
Now, I’m not sure what possessed me to do something so stupid and irresponsible. But...I...that was me. And I did it. And I’m not sure if anyone was meeting me for the first time, “Hey, there’s the editor-in-chief of The Hockey News. Is he drunk? Yeah, apparently he is.” Because I wasn’t just feeling good. I was drunk.
The Coliseum story starts at about the 24:00 mark, but the whole episode is very much worth a listen and a subscription. McKenzie talks about unsigned RFAs Hampus Lindholm and Jacob Trouba, dishes on the Penguins goalie situation and even dispenses romantic advice. Just, uh, don’t send him any of your fantasy hockey questions.
The story is much better when McKenzie tells it than when I transcribe it. It might not be as awe-inspiring as the last time we featured him on this here website, but it’s pretty close.