Hockey has always been a longtime love and obsession of media stalwart and MSG Networks analyst Stan Fischler. While the Brooklyn native has cut back his time broadcasting in order to spend more time with his family, his love of the world’s fastest sport hasn’t dulled his passion for it.
The author of more than 100 books, including Metro Ice: A Century of Hockey in Greater New York, the Brooklyn native has a soft spot for hockey folks from the Rangers (“Mike Richter and Mike Keenan behind the bench”), the Islanders (“Trottier, Bossy, Gillies—they had a ton”) and the Devils (“Marty Brodeur and Scott Stevens”).
With the 2018-19 NHL season kicked off, the man known as The Maven not only shared which players resonated the most with him, but also slipped in quite an unconventional take on one Robert Gordon Orr.
(March 31, 1928 to June 10, 2016)
“Gordie Howe was the greatest all-around player I’ve ever seen.”
(February 22, 1965 to present)
“I loved watching Pattie LaFontaine—when he was with the Islanders. I loved his skill. He was fast and not big and he was artistic. He played the game clean. Watching Taylor Hall now star for the Devils—he reminds me a lot of LaFontaine.”
(March 3, 1968 to present)
“[Brian Leetch was] the total package. He scored that first goal in Game 7 against Vancouver and that was really the catalyst for that Cup win. I loved watching Brian Leetch as a Ranger, and I was very honored when I won the Lester Patrick Trophy along with Brian Leetch. To be on the dais with Brian Leetch and Cammie Granato and John Halligan, who was the Rangers press agent for many years—Leetch was right up there.
(March 20, 1948 to present)
“Orr was, in some ways, overrated, although that will sound strange. Orr came up a year before expansion and they didn’t make the playoffs. The next 10 years he played, he won Cups. The first one was over St. Louis, which doesn’t even count because they were an expansion team. The second was against the Rangers, which was legit. But Orr starred when the level of hockey was at its very lowest, so I take that away from him.”