The Best of Puck the Media: As He Enters the Hockey Hall of Fame, How Our Hockey Fandom Wouldn’t Be the Same without Mike “Doc” Emrick

Editor’s Note: With the Devils honoring Mike Emrick on Friday night with a night dedicated to him, we feel the need – since we are unable to be there due to a prior commitment – to re-post this.

My hockey watching dates back to about 1995.  Just after the New Jersey Devils had won their first Stanley Cup, my father had purchased (do you still have to purchase MSG Plus separately, dad?) what was then called SportsChannel.  I’d like to say that my first remembered Devils game was against the Leafs, because that was definitely the first one I watched.  But the first one I actually have a pictured memory in my brain of?  It was a January 1996 game between New Jersey and the Islanders.  It was hockey, so it was good.  Oh, and this happened:

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Devils Minor League Affiliate Featured in Mickey Rourke Comeback Vehicle


Judah Frielander in The Wrestler

Judah Friedlander in "The Wrestler"

With it’s Bruce Springsteen-penned theme tune and Mickey Rourke’s comeback performance, it was only a matter of time before “The Wrestler” drew us in.  But after finding that photograph, we may have to get ourselves to a movie screen post haste.


The Trenton Devils are featured in the recently-released movie “The Wrestler,” which stars Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei, who have both been nominated for Academy Awards for their performance in the film.

The film is set in New Jersey and Judah Friedlander, who plays Scott Brumberg, wears a T-Devils jersey in several scenes. 

Friedlander is a comedian known for his role as Frank Rossitano on the NBC show “30 Rock”, and broke out onto the scene in 2001 as “The Hug Guy” in The Dave Matthews Band music video, “Everyday”.

Since it’s nationwide release on Friday, “The Wrestler” has received critical acclaim from throughout the country and was ranked 49th on the Internet Movie Database’s (IMDB) best movies of all-time.

Thank goodness the Devils used the IMDB rankings to show off the film’s importance.

We Appreciate Our Readers

In a post yesterday about the Rangers moving two games next year to New York’s WPIX 11, we asked the following question:

Any of our more elder statesmen reading the blog: Have the Rangers ever aired games on Channel 11?

Well, thanks to our commenter/reader Eric, we have our answer:

The Rangers aired on WPIX for a ten season span from 1948-49 to 1957-58 and then three additional seasons in the early 1960’s.

(As detailed in a 1996 book by John Kreiser and Lou Friedman, “The New York Rangers: Broadway’s Longest Running Hit”)

The late Win Elliot was the primary play-by-play man during many of the PIX years.

We appreciate the response Eric, because now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

P.C. Police Presses Charges vs. Mike Milbury, CBC


NBC/CBC Analyst Mike Milbury

NBC/CBC Analyst Mike Milbury

We’ve been wondering for awhile, in the overly sensitive culture we live in, why Mike Milbury’s use of the terms “pansy” and “pansification” in terms of NHL fighting hasn’t bugged any of the millions of special interest groups that exist across America and Canada.

Well, we have our first horse out of the gate so to speak.  The group is called Eagle Canada, a “gay advocacy organization” according to The Globe & Mail’s William Houston, who has more:

“That’s ridiculous,” said Helen Kennedy, the executive director of Egale Canada. “So it’s okay for people to go around using these slurs — derogatory, stereotypical terms against a group in society? That’s outrageous.”

Network spokesman Jeff Keay said neither Milbury nor Cherry intended to offend homosexuals by using “pansification,” a derivative of the word pansy.

“The point is, it was no way intended to be a reflection on or offensive to gay people,” Keay said. “I think the colloquial use of the term was something they didn’t associate with gay people. The way the language evolves over time, 20 or 30 years ago it would have been seen, reasonably enough, as a direct slur against gay people.

“But I think with usage now, I’m not sure the association is so immediate.”

Kennedy wasn’t buying the explanation.

“Words like pansification just further the stereotype and perpetuate the homophobic stereotype in our society,” she said yesterday.

I don’t think Don Cherry and Mike Milbury were looking to insult homosexuals with their comment, considering I don’t think Milbury or Cherry would ever admit to having spoken to one before.  Either way, I feel that Eagle Canada is taking this the wrong way.  Milbury isn’t right to use the word “pansification”, though, because A. it makes no sense grammatically, and B. it’s calling anyone who dislikes fighting a pansy.

Don’t you love it when everyone’s wrong?  We sure do.

The Return of Bucci to NCAA Hockey Play-by-Play

Pretty exciting stuff, eh?

This comes from the Q & A portion of John Buccigross’ column:


Been able to catch any college hockey yet this year?

Omaha, Neb.


I will start now. I just received word that I will be doing play-by-play of one of the four NCAA hockey regionals, probably the Northeast Regional in New Hampshire. Also, it looks like I will be doing intermission work for the Frozen Four, which is in Washington, D.C., this year. I’m really excited to be part of both assignments.

We asked Bucci this question a little while back during our Q & A, and he seemed hopeful and eager to do it again.  Should be entertaining, the regionals start March 27th, the Frozen Four is April 9th and 11th.

Rangers Move to Games to Local TV, We Need Hockey Historians Help

This comes from Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record:

MSG Network has moved two Rangers games and two Knicks games to FREE TV, which is probably good news to the few of you who don’t have cable television or subscribe to the cable sports packages. WPIX (Channel 11) will carry the four contests.
Rangers: Feb. 28 vs. Colorado; March 21 vs. Buffalo

Fair enough.  Good news for anyone in the New York market that still doesn’t have MSG.  But McMillan asks a more interesting question in his column:

For the life of me, I cannot think of the last time, if ever, the Knicks or Rangers appeared on WPIX. From 1966-89, both teams made their free TV home on WOR (Channel 9), and four games appeared on My9 last season. WNBC (Channel 4) has been assigned a couple late-season games in recent years. Naturally, WNBC, WNYW (Channel 5) and WABC (Channel 7) have carried national or regional telecasts are part of the NBA and NHL packages.

Any of our more elder statesmen reading the blog: Have the Rangers ever aired games on Channel 11?

If You Want To Hear Our Voice That Badly

We appear on “The Rink” with James Gralian and Tom Luongo for what must be a record third time.  It was a fun chat.  Listen here.