MALM÷ Ė In Part Two of our interview with TSN's Ray Ferraro, the former NHL star discusses his World Championship memories, Kevin Dineen's new coaching gig, and more.
Click here to read Part One.
What are your memories from playing at three Worlds, including winning silver medals in 1989 and 1996?
In 1989, it was at the new Globen Arena in Stockholm, a beautiful rink. And we had an incredible team. The Oilers had lost in the first round, so we ended up with Mark Messier, Glenn Anderson, and Grant Fuhr, three guys who werenít often available. Iíd scored 40 goals that year, and I was on the fourth line with John MacLean and Andrew McBain and Kirk Muller. We were kind of the tenth, eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth forwards, and we all were coming off 40-goal seasons.
The team was really good. But we lost 5-3 to the Russians. What I remember is that their fourth line had these three kids. We were playing against them, and halfway through the period, we were like, ďWho the hell are these guys? Theyíre unbelievable and they look like theyíre 10.Ē It was Alexander Mogilny, Pavel Bure, and Sergei Fyodorov. It wasnít like information was flowing back and forth. We didnít know who they were. Just 18- or 19-year-old kids. That was an incredible team. The top end was Igor Larionovís line.
In 1992, things didnít go well for us. We finished out of contention. In 1996, in Vienna, we went to a shootout in the semi-finals against the Russians. Their first shooter scored, and our first four guys missed. I was the fifth shooter. As I was going on the ice, Marty Brodeur, who was our backup goalie, said: ďIím not sure if your move works against this goalie, Andrei Trefilov.Ē My move was, Iíd fake to my forehand, go to my backhand, and either go between his legs or around his feet. But Trefilov would back up and spread into a V, taking away the bottom of the net. I remember going out to the blueline and thinking: ďI donít really have another move Iím comfortable with.Ē So I made that move and it worked, and then Yanic Perreault and Paul Kariya scored.
We got into the finals, and we lost with 19 seconds left to the Czechs. It was 4-2, but it was a 2-2 game with 19 seconds left. I would have loved to win for obvious reasons, but also, my hometown of Trail, BC has this connection to the 1961 Smoke Eaters [the last Canadian amateur team to win a World Championship]. I would have loved to have brought a gold medal back to sit alongside those guys.
What do you consider your career highlights?
Honestly, the highlight was all of it. I donít remember ever wanting to do anything else.
I would have loved to win a Stanley Cup. Iíd love to have the days back when I went to the rink and thought, ďMan, this is hard,Ē or, ďI feel cruddy tonight,Ē or, ďIím upset with the coach.Ē I wouldnít want to have all them back, because I can look back and say, ďYou know what? I think I gave what I had.Ē Iím more than a little content with my effort.
Growing up, my dad got up every day at 5 a.m. to go to work. Iíd hear his truck start right below my bedroom window. When I was in minor hockey, Iíd have to start at 4. Heíd come in through the side door of the arena, like one minute after 4, waiting for puck drop. Iíd look at the side door and heíd always be there. If Iíd worked any less than I did, I doubt Iíd have gotten anywhere. I look at my career, and it was blue-collar, hard work. I found a way to produce. Everywhere I went, somebody said, ďToo small, too slow.Ē It didnít matter. I loved everything about playing in the NHL.
What do you think about your former Hartford Whaler teammate Kevin Dineen getting selected to coach Canadaís Olympic womenís team at this late stage?
He was an incredible teammate. You talk about a guy who would do anything to win, and Kevin was the guy. I know for a lot of people look at Kevin getting hired here and they say, ďHeís never coached womenís hockey.Ē But since he retired as a player, Kevinís been a career coach. He coached in the AHL for close to a decade before getting his job in Florida. From being married to [American women's hockey legend] Cammi [Granato] and watching her play and train, I know that of course there are differences between the womenís and menís game. But at the core, today the game is about puck possession. Itís about playing with speed, as a team. Those are all things Kevin was good at as a player, and stresses as a coach.
Those girls will find out, if they havenít already, that heís an incredible person. Theyíll like playing for him. To know Kevin is to like him. I think heíll do a terrific job. It was an awkward and difficult spot to be dropped into. You canít, I would assume, change too much of the philosophy 50 days out from the Olympics. Heíll probably tweak a few things. He might look at the game a little bit differently from his predecessor. But you canít change everything.
What are you and Cammi planning to do during the Olympics?
Cammi was going to do the womenís colour commentary, as she has the last few years, but the Olympics are in Sochi and we have two small kids and itís a three-week commitment when you count getting over and assimilated. It just wasnít going to work for her as a mom. She wasnít going to go for three weeks without the kids. Sheís still very tightly connected to the girls on that team. There are still some left that she played with. Whatís incredible is the girls who have reached out to her and said she was an inspiration to them. Iím really proud of her, and I think it makes her feel good.
Sheís so humble. Iíve got to prompt her to put out her gold medal from the 1998 Olympics. Otherwise, she would have it somewhere hidden away. Thatís the first Olympic gold medal ever awarded to a female hockey player. She was the team captain. I think that should be in a place of prominence. But thatís just not the way she is.
Iím not working either, so weíll get a three-week break, which happens never. I think weíll try to get somewhere sunny for a week, and then weíll take the kids up to Whistler. Theyíve never skied before, and weíre so close. I wonít ski because Iím awful. She will.
Finally, what advice would you give aspiring hockey broadcasters?
First, I would say define in your head what your style is going to be. You canít get in a car with no destination and just drive. If thatís how you broadcast or do anything, how will you get to your destination if you donít know what itís supposed to look like? Realize that when you screw up, youíre never as bad as you think you sound, and youíre never as good as you think you sound. Youíre going to make mistakes. With Twitter, people love to jump on you for them. They have the comfort of sitting on their couch, and they can rewind it on their 60-inch TV. Youíre watching it live. Learn to have a little bit of gray area in what you do.
Second, be honest about what you see. Donít cheer. Iím a Canadian, and I hope Canada always does well. But I donít particularly care who wins. Itís not my job to care. My job is to call what I see. There will always be people who say, ďOh, you cheer for that NHL team,Ē while theyíre watching because you make a comment thatís in opposition to their favourite team. I donít have a favourite team. My name never goes on a Stanley Cup. Iíll never be awarded a gold medal. So the winners win and the losers lose. Iím supposed to broadcast. As a broadcaster, thatís the fairest way you can be.
Canada may make a play thatís not very sharp, and you have to say it, in my opinion. For instance, Jonathan Drouin is a wonderful player. In the first 10 seconds of the game against the Slovaks, he hits a kid in the head. Heís not trying to, but he does. And I have to talk about it. I canít just say, ďOh, itís a bad break.Ē Itís not. He hit him in the head. It doesnít mean I hope Jonathan Drouin has a terrible day. He made a play that I have to talk about. I think if youíre not honest in your calls, people are far too savvy not to see through it. And then you just become a shill. Iíve never done anything like that in my life and Iím not going to start now.