THW Exclusive: Rich Pilon Talks Arbour, Isles and More

TheHockeyWriters.com’s Patrick Hickey Jr. chats with former New York Islanders defenseman Rich Pilon, who discusses his career and the impact he left on the game.

A 15-year NHL veteran, Pilon was known as a tough as nails, stay at home defenseman who wasn’t scared to mix it up with anyone. Amassing 1,745 penalty minutes during his career, Pilon faced off with everyone from Bo Probert to Eric Lindros and is regarded as one of the most physical players of his era.

Chatting about the late 80s Islanders to the magical 1993 team that beat the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins to capture the Patrick Division, Pilon lets us know what was so special about that group of players and the Nassau Coliseum during the playoffs. Pilon also shares his thoughts on a few players on the current-day Isles and his future, in coaching.

Listen in Below:

THW Exclusive: Rich Pilon Talks Arbour, Isles and More

Nassau Coliseum, New York Islanders, NHL

Mick Vukota Talks Islanders, Arbour, Fighting

The New York Islanders have had plenty of enforcers and tough guys in their history, from dynasty members Clark Gillies and Garry Howatt, to lesser-known brawlers the likes of Ken Belanger and Eric Cairns, but Mick Vukota, with 1,879 penalty minutes in the orange and blue, found a way to become a force on the Island and in the NHL.

From his infamous battles with Tie Domi and Craig Berube to his time on the Islanders in the ‘80s and ‘90s, the undrafted Vukota saw plenty of players, coaches and owners come and go and leave their mark on the franchise. From the first place Islanders of ’88, who were defeated by the upstart Devils, to the magical ’93 team that beat the two-time defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins without their leading scorer Pierre Turgeon, Vukota’s tenure with the team was an intense one.

In this exclusive interview with TheHockeyWriters.com, Vukota discusses his time in the WHL, playing with future teammate Travis Green, to the different effect Isles head coaches Al Arbour and Mike Milbury had on the youth of the Islanders. Vukota also discusses the changes in the game and how the deletion of fighting all together isn’t necessarily a good thing.

Click the Link Below to Listen in:

Mick Vukota Talks Islanders, Arbour, Fighting

Bernie Nicholls

THW Exclusive: Bernie Nicholls Talks Career, the Hall and Life After Hockey

Not many NHLers can say that they’ve had a career the likes of Bernie Nicholls. With 475 goals and 1,209 points, a Stanley Cup ring as a member of 2012 Los Angeles Kings coaching staff and time on the ice with the likes of Wayne Gretzky, Luc Robitaille, Dave Taylor, Marcel Dionne and Chris Chelios, Nicholls did it all.

The “Pumper-Nicholl”

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Drafted in the fourth round of the 1980 draft, Nicholls spent a season in junior and lit up the AHL with 41 goals in 55 games before getting a call-up to the Kings, where he scored 14 goals and 32 points in 22 games, lighting the spark on an eventual 16-year NHL career.

Nicholls was more than a flashy offensive threat during his career, though. A member of the Kings, Rangers, Oilers, Devils, Blackhawks and Sharks, Nicholls has played virtually every role a player can, from top line center to elder statesman counted on to play shutdown defense.

In this exclusive interview with Nicholls, listen to the master of the “Pumper-Nicholl” talk about his career, the changes in the game since his playing days, his thoughts on his place in hockey history and what he’s up to now with All Sports Market, a sports team stock market website where people can own stock in their favorite team. Nicholls even imparts some words of wisdom to this year’s draft class, letting them know what to expect mentally and physically once they get to the NHL level.

Listen in on the Conversation:

 

Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens, NHL

THW Live: Living That Fantasy Life

After a few weeks off for the holidays and to get over illnesses, THW Live is back for 2016 in a big way.

In the first episode of the New Year, Mike Straw is joined by The Hockey Writers’ Fantasy Editor Andrew Forbes to talk everything fantasy hockey. From overcoming the loss of Carey Price in your lineup to who you should be targeting as your league trade deadline approaches, this episode of THW Live has everything you need to know if your into being a General Manager.

Other topics include:

  • Ryan O’Reilly underrated?
  • Who from the Panthers should you pick up?

Be sure to leave questions in the comment section below. You can also reach out to us on Twitter at @MikeStrawWrites, @AndrewGForbes and @TheHockeyWriter. Use the hashtag #THWLive for your questions to be answered on a later episode.

You can find THW Live! on iTunes and Stitcher Radio as well!

And don’t forget to go back and check out past episodes of THW Live as well as The 4th Line on the official THW Radio page.

Brendan Gallagher’s Return – a Relief to the Canadiens

Brendan Gallagher Returns at the Winter Classic:

Brendan Gallagher set his own timetable for a return, as he said that he wanted to be back for the 2016 NHL Winter Classic, and he was. While team doctors thought that the recovery process for his hand injury suffered in late November would keep him out of the lineup until mid-January, Gallagher was adamant about wanting to return by New Year’s day. John Lu of TSN was one of the first to report that Gallagher had resumed practice with the team on Boxing Day, which was a great sign for the Canadiens and their fans. There was a communal sigh of relief from fans, as they saw Gallagher take the ice for practice.

Gallagher injured his hand after blocking a Johnny Boychuk slapshot on November 22nd. He fractured two fingers that required surgery, and he was out indefinitely. Seeing Brendan Gallagher back on the ice is a good sign for desperate Habs fans, as the team has slid down the standings in his absence. With Gallagher sidelined, the Canadiens saw their average goals scored per game drop from 3.61 GPG, to only 1.82 GPG. This steep drop in goals-for is a clear indicator of Gallagher’s importance to the Canadiens’ attack. Without one of their main scorers, and leaders, the Canadiens had been suffering. Canadiens fans have now realized just how important Gallagher is to the team.

Gallagher’s triumphant return at the Winter Classic saw him score a goal, and add an assist – in a 5-1 Canadiens win. His return from injury sparked the Canadiens offence, which had struggled since he went down in November. At the beginning of the 2015-16 season, the Canadiens surprised many when they announced that Brendan Gallagher had been added as an alternate captain on the team. Through his absence, and now his return, the hockey world can be sure that Gallagher is truly a leader both on and off the ice for the Canadiens.

Brendan Gallagher is the ultimate example of a player who you love to have on your team, and who you hate to play against. This year, though, he proved that he was more than just an agitator, as he showed that he had offensive flare and leadership qualities that will surely make him a part of the Canadiens’ core for the foreseeable future.

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The Habs look to rebound from a very lacklustre December, as they will attempt to ride the momentum from a big win on New Year’s day through the second half of the season. Having Gallagher back in the lineup is a relief among all Habs fans, as he is a proven performer, and a fan favourite.

The Canadiens rewarded Gallagher for his excellent play with a contract extension last season. He is now locked up until 2020-21, with an average annual salary of $3.75 million. This deal count turn out to be quite the steal for the Habs, as Gallagher is proving to be extremely valuable to the team, and as he is proving to be one of their best point-getters. Gallagher has tallied 21 points through 23 games thus far this season. The Canadiens are counting on Gallagher’s production to continue, as they have experienced scoring troubles as of late.

The Habs received some bad news in the last day or so, as they were informed that Carey Price still wasn’t even able to skate with the team. As they await the reigning league MVP’s recovery, the Canadiens look to turn around their recent struggles with Gallagher back in the lineup.

Ryan O'Reilly

THW Live: Here Come The Buffalo Sabres

It’s time to talk about the Buffalo Sabres. It’s the longest episode of the show to date, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t great conversation to be had in the latest episode of THW Live. Join Mike Straw and his guest Ryan Wolfe of the Better Live Than Dead podcast as they talk about Ryan O’Reilly, goaltending and the great general manager Tim Murray.

Is this team ready to compete for a playoff spot? What should they do with Matt Moulson to get him to produce? There’s just so much to talk about that 15 minutes couldn’t hold it all.

Be sure to leave questions in the comment section below. You can also reach out to us on Twitter at @MikeStrawWrites, @WolfeBLTD and @TheHockeyWriter. Use the hashtag #THWLive for your questions to be answered on a later episode.

You can find THW Live! on iTunes and Stitcher Radio as well!

offer sheet

THW Live: What’s the deal with Nashville?

After a week off, THW Live is back at it with the focus on the Nashville Predators. Host Mike Straw is joined by THW Nashville reporter Dan Mount to talk about what the biggest issues are that plague this team.

Who on the team could be dealt this year to get the team over the hump in terms of the playoff race? Is Shea Weber’s time in the Music City coming to an end? What about the future contract of Filip Forsberg? All of this is answered in the latest episode of THW Live.

Be sure to leave questions in the comment section below. You can also reach out to us on Twitter at @MikeStrawWrites, @DanMountSports and @TheHockeyWriter. Use the hashtag #THWLive for your questions to be answered on a later episode.

You can find THW Live! on iTunes and Stitcher Radio as well!

THW Live: How About Those Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens have been nothing short of amazing during the first portion of the 2015-16 NHL season.

They lead the lead in goals, their goaltending has been nearly perfect and the defense is playing at levels we haven’t seen before. However, the big question on everyone’s mind is whether the momentum can be sustained.

THW Live tackles that subject as Mike Straw speaks with Canadiens writer John Benedetti about the team, and if anyone at all even has a shot at catching them in the Atlantic Division this season.

Tune in now to hear what we have to say, and don’t forget to subscribe to THW Live! on iTunes. Also, we want to hear your thoughts so contact us on Twitter @TheHockeyWriter, @MikeStrawWrites or @JBenedettiTHW using #THWLive. Your comments and questions could be used on an upcoming episode of the show.

THW Live: Reviewing the first quarter of the NHL season

The 2015-16 NHL season is a quarter of the way finished, and if we’ve learned anything so far, it’s that you can never predict what’s going to happen. The Montreal Canadiens and Dallas Stars are the top teams while the Anaheim Ducks and Columbus Blue Jackets have struggled mightily out of the gate.

This week’s episode of THW Live! takes a look at the season so far, and host Mike Straw and THW senior writer Marcy Di Michele give their thoughts on what has happened. What teams are the biggest surprises and disappointments? What about the players?

Tune in now to hear what we have to say, and don’t forget to subscribe to THW Live! on iTunes. Also, we want to hear your thoughts so contact us on Twitter @TheHockeyWriter, @MikeStrawWrites or @MarcyTHW using #THWLive. Your comments and questions could be used on an upcoming episode of the show.

Dougie Hamilton

THW Live: What’s Wrong With The Calgary Flames?

The Calgary Flames were the sweethearts of the NHL last season. With countless third period comebacks and exciting players like Johnny Gaudreau, Sam Bennett and Sean Monahan, everyone thought the Flames were set to rise into a top team in the Western Conference for years. Unfortunately, that just hasn’t been the case.

Calgary has gotten off to a poor start even with players like Gaudreau and Monahan playing well. No matter what, they just can’t seem to string together multiple wins at a time.

In the latest episode of THW Live!, we talk about the problems plaguing the Flames with reporter Ryan Pike. What has been the biggest issue for the team’s lack of success this season, what needs to happen to fix the ship and how long until a major change happens in the organization?

Tune in now to hear what we have to say, and don’t forget to subscribe to THW Live! on iTunes. Also, we want to hear your thoughts so contact us on Twitter @TheHockeyWriter, @MikeStrawWrites or @RyanPike using #THWLive. Your comments and questions could be used on an upcoming episode of the show.

The 4th Line Podcast: Rob Vollman

It’s episode 52 of The 4th Line Podcast presented by The Hockey Writers, and the guys bring a very special guest to the masses for their birthday episode.

The guys chat with Rob Vollman, author of the Hockey Abstract (www.hockeyabstract.com), as he gives them a crash course on advanced statistics in the National Hockey League. They also talk about the news of the week in the NHL, celebrate Jagr’s mullet and Virtanen staying, decide if the Habs can win without Price or if the Dallas Stars are actually a good team and more on this 1st birthday episode!

Coming from Calgary, AB and Nanaimo, BC, Carl and Joel provide their own unique and fun view of hockey. Every week the guys share their thoughts on the news of the week, have a variety of guests from the world of hockey and spend some time in segments like Kangaroo Court, The Rant Shack and The Hot Seat. So, tune in every week to hear the latest from the guys and their guests, and get a view on the game you can’t find anywhere else.

You can also find The 4th Line on Soundcloud, iTunes and Twitter.

Jaromir Jagr

THW Live Episode 1 with Steve Goldstein

As the industry expands into a more multimedia-based approach, the only way to survive is by branching out. That’s exactly what we are doing here at The Hockey Writers with the introduction of our new show, THW Live!

With THW Live!, our readers and listeners will get the best interviews, the best insight and the best conversations in the world of hockey podcasts from host Michael Straw and his guests. In this week’s debut episode, Mike is joined by the voice of the Florida Panthers Steve Goldstein.

[RELATED: Ranking All NHL Broadcasters]

Goldstein talks about his start in the business, what it’s like to call Jaromir Jagr games, the biggest moment of his career, and more! He also gives a his thoughts on what it’s like calling games in a “non-traditional” hockey market like Florida.

So tune in now, and be sure to keep an eye for the podcast on iTunes in the near future.