Dregs: From UDIO in partnership with TSN. This is episode seven of the Ray & Dregs Hockey Podcast. We've got a good one coming up with the likes of Tom Wilson of the Washington Capitals. We've got Dean Evason former teammate of Ray Ferraro who's an assistant coach with the Minnesota Wild. And Ray this is like Christmas for you man. When is the last time you traveled? It was a week ago?
Ray Ferraro: It was exactly a week. The crazy part about this is you get really comfortable at home and you're like ... I get into the routine. I'm helping out. I'm still doing my EA gigs. Today is a Tuesday so I was in the studio at EA for five hours today and doing recording there. It's not like I'm sitting around but I'm not traveling. The problem with it though Dregs is I know that means if I'm not traveling now its coming. For me, it's right after we get off to the World Juniors I just get slammed and nobody cares. That's the way it is.
Dregs: Well and I joked only half so talking about this being your Christmas because you don't really have a Christmas because of the World Juniors.
Ray Ferraro: Last year was the first ... I started doing the World Juniors in 2009. Last year was the first year I've been home. Actually I'm sorry 2012, I started the World Juniors as ... I started TSN in '08, juniors in 12 first Christmas at home and until I retire or they boot me the hell off the World Juniors one of the two. That'll be my last Christmas at home.
Dregs: Now you mentioned EA sports and I don't know maybe there's copywriter or confidentiality clauses. You can't talk about this but I mean for those listening to the podcast here, give a sense when you're standing there for four or six, eight hours I mean are you reading liners? What are you doing? "Connor McDavid what an unbelievable play." I mean is that?
Ray Ferraro: No, there's nothing to read though. In each play I don't quite understand this part. This would be of no surprise to anyone that knows me. Basically, for every scenario that could happen in the game they have a heading and it'll say, home team winning by one or something like that in the third period. Then I've got to make up five or eight different scenarios for that. Then we go onto the next one and the next one.
Dregs: Have you ever snapped? Have you ever said, "For God's sake, I can't I can't think of this eight different ways."
Ray Ferraro: The worst part is the more tired you get you can't even speak a simple line. They'll say once in a while, "But that was awesome. Could you add this?" I'll say, "I don't even know what I said." The but the most painful part about it is they do this thing or we do this thing it's called the phone book. Every word in that game that you hear, I speak it. You can imagine how long that takes. Every name has to be ... I have to say it. They do this thing called the phone book. They do it only in chunks because you'd lose your mind. I think we do it at about 300 names at a time. You just say a guy's name and then the next name and then the next name 300 times.
Dregs: By the way I still don't understand why there isn't a hockey insider as part of this.
Ray Ferraro: They're looking around for one. They can't find one. You know of anyone? No I'm looking I'm digging. I was going to go to a couple of guys but they're retired and so I'm looking for ... If you come up with somebody let me know.
Dregs: I appreciate that. I need the fourth job.
Ray Ferraro: Trust me. It's no it's no picnic. I do love it. It is super fun but man it takes away the days off.
Dregs: Speaking about the good time. We had a good time in recording interviews with Tom Wilson and Dean Evason. Evason for those who don't know, don't want to go back into hockey DB in history was a teammate of yours in Hartford. You played against him in junior, played against him a lot in the national hockey. Man I got tell you I'm giving it away here but it's just purely in promotion. There've been two interviews that we've done in the infancy of the podcast where I've left the interview and my face hurt because I've been laughing. One was with another former teammate Jeff (Ojers) and Dean Evason. Both you have this ability to take us back in time where you can appreciate the shenanigans that was happening and all that was going on.
Ray Ferraro: Well the funniest part of that. First of all Dean and I lived together as we get into ... When we were 20. We were both thought of junior. We didn't know what the hell we were doing. We lived together. It was just shambles. It was a debacle. Well he goes on and he we tell a few stories and honestly they're awesome. One of the main characters in the story. Seconds after we finished taping we sent a text to and said, "Hey, your name came up in the podcast." That went over smoothly. He's one of our favorite guys. I won't even have to tell you who it is.
Dregs: No. I know who you're talking about.
Ray Ferraro: Then Tom Wilson was awesome too. I mean he's ... I think when people listen to Tom they'll be surprised because I think the general consensus would be all Wilson. He's a knuckle dragger and he is as far from that as ... He's as tough as they come and I didn't get to ask him but I wanted to know. He must be flattered that other teams go and get heavyweight type players, big players to try and slow him down because he's a runaway train who scored 22 goals and 63 games last year.
Dregs: Well and you know what I love? I love athletes in this case hockey players with good people skills who are courteous, friendly. You don't have to be interviewing Tom Wilson. You can pass him in a hallway somewhere you can seem them in a dressing room and he's got the good sense and common courtesy again to say, "Hey, Dregs, Ray how's it going? Everything good." Just common decency.
Ray Ferraro: It's funny though, we make a picture of an athlete and the whole picture is what they do on the ice or on the field or on the pitch. We think that's exactly what they are. Then way more cases than wrong.
Dregs: We've got a couple of throat punch candidates to take us away from the ice but creative stuff. You're going to want to listen to that. Very popular segment. Ask Grey and Greg's. That's coming up later in the show. Again Dean Evason is our guests between the benches. You do not want to miss that here in episode seven. Got us a little on our social channels because that's developing a following. Truthfully I think we're a big deal. You can go online for the news and notes and pick up on some of the other episodes on rayanddregs.com. Clearly you can find us on Twitter. You were a little a rambunctious again on Twitter this week. Just sparring a little bit.
Ray Ferraro: A little bit. I mean there's there is some things that ... It's like a rock in my shoe and I should be able to take my shoe off and shake the rock out. Now sometimes it's better just to try and argue about it.
Dregs: For sure. We'll look forward to more of that.
Ray Ferraro: You'll get it.
Dregs: Follow Ray on twitter. You're going to get it on a daily basis.
Ray Ferraro: I'm trying to. It just happens.
Dregs: Well it's when you're bored and you've been off for the better part of the week so maybe you're a bit bored. You can go to @rayanddregs on Twitter as well. As mentioned visit our website rayanddregs.com. We need to thank our sponsors surehealth.ca. You can call them at 18-44-235. Sure. Indochino.com and remember to use the code Ray at checkout for a great discount there. Andy.ca. Use the code gray 50 for a substantial discount there and for our firstname.lastname@example.org for the awesome outerwear jackets for both Ray and I and as part of our guests gift package as well. Ray we're going to slide right into the top stories of the week. We went back and forth on this and that's always a good sign because that means there's lots of stuff going on and normally we like to focus on good stories and thankfully there's a lot of good stories but the individually and team stories around the league right now.
Dregs: I think from a news perspective we'd be remiss if we didn't start with the firing of Don Cherry from SportsNet and hockey night in Canada. Obviously an iconic broadcast figure. An iconic figure in the sport, period. There's no way not to be impacted by what Grape said. The outcome, the reaction both social media and otherwise. However, despite Cherry saying he didn't mean what he said in the multiple post interviews that he's done since being dismissed he set it. He didn't apologize. For me that's indefensible and for me this whole thing is sad because an 85 year old man who has been such a key part of the fabric of Canadian hockey on and off the ice will leave the industry with a tarnished reputation. Unfortunately so it's deserved based on what he said.
Ray Ferraro: Well I can only take for what I thought initially, which when he was talking about you people and the new Canadians it was kind of jarring to hear it. It didn't even take a day to think about it to say, "Gee, that was a little bit offside." Or, "That was offensive." Now I was at a couple of soccer games on Saturday. I went to the gym on Sunday. I was out and about I can't tell you how many people were not wearing a poppy and lots and lots and lots of them the majority looked like you and I. If that was the case, if the point was to be more Canadians should wear a poppy that would've been easy to make. It also would have been more ... Maybe more importantly easy to correct. It would've been easy to say on Sunday, "Hey, look that didn't come out how I wanted." I wasn't meaning the new Canadians that don't look me and you what I meant was I want more Canadians to wear the poppies. By not apologizing, by not saying it, he meant something different.
Ray Ferraro: Now my daughter-in-law and more particular her parents came from India. They are new Canadians. At one point they would have been brand new Canadians. What would they have known about a poppy? Would they have known the poem Flanders fields? Not a chance. Well, unless somebody educated them how would they ever learn? The fact that he wouldn't apologize I too find it sad. I also think Don made this final bed and he chose to stay in it. He could've gotten out of it rather easily. He would have had enough collateral to probably make this different but he would have had to mean it. He said in that interview Dregs and I can't stress it enough. He said, âI'm not sorry for what I said and I'm not apologizing.â That to me means that he's not talking about all Canadians. It's sad. It's a sad way to go.
Dregs: It is. Well put. Let's move now to the good stuff. That includes the St. Louis Blues. They are the defending Stanley Cup champions. Forget the hangover nonsense. I've never been a big supporter of that anyway. They're as strong as ever. Here's what's unique. While everyone else and by everyone I mean the teams that are trying to work their way into contention or are going through a rebuild whatever, seems to be going with the youth push. It's all about your younger players. If your stars on entry level contracts chances are you're going to be good and you're going to be good relatively soon. Yet, we look at Doug Armstrong and he's bringing in two gray beards in McGinn and Brower that probably these two men even though they're character human beings probably thought their career or their careers were over yet Doug is bringing them in, bringing them both in because he looks down on his roster and says, "I need more game experience." That tells you something.
Ray Ferraro: Well it really should. I mean it's different if you've got Connor McDavid while he's the age he is and he's the player he is. Leon Draisaitl is the same way. Austin Matthews is the same way. These are incredibly talented people and it's not like St. Louis is a bunch of 36 year olds but they are a bunch of 28 to 32 year olds and they showed last year what a big experienced team can do when they get goal tending. I thought they were going to be too slow. That's not the case. They were plenty quick enough. They played a quick game. Now you got a team that is ... They've won seven straight. Five of them are in over time. David Perron who's on his third tour of duty in St. Louis. He's got three of those five overtime goals. He looks like a force when he's on the ice. You see him plays per got off to a great start. I asked Doug Armstrong just this past week about bringing in Brower and McGinn.
Ray Ferraro: He said look, "I look around and our team is at a point where maybe a younger player could come in but we need somebody to play the role that Alex Steen who's now injured is going to be missed upon." That might be Brouwer. It might be McGinn be neither of them but they're going to get a look at them. They're not going to replace Tarasenko except that's going to be by committee but it's not going to be Klim Kostin, a 21 year old. That's not going to be. I asked Armstrong about this and I found it really interesting. Craig Berube put his lines together at training camp the way he wanted them to be. He didn't mix in youngsters. They were in different groups different lines but they were together. Armstrong was saying that he's most impressed how they've stayed on task that. It's easy, in the first month you could get off the rails a little bit you've got your ring ceremony you're going to the White House. Everybody's feeding you as the Stanley Cup champions and then reality hits and you're like, "Damn, we still got to play and everybody's really playing their ass off against us."
Ray Ferraro: I've been super impressed with St. Louis and a lot of that has to go to Craig Berube. Those guys love playing [crosstalk 00:15:14].
Dregs: They love him.
Ray Ferraro: He is a fantastic guy yet he's not afraid to ... He comes off as a super nice guy all the time but he's not afraid to put his shoe down. I think the players respect him and they respect the way that he coaches them.
Dregs: Well and talking about teams that are doing well and dealing with some adversity you have to include Colorado in that mix. Obviously (inaudible) with the big name injuries with the Landeskog and (ranin) in on the sidelines yet. Hard to look beyond Cale Makar, isn't it? The fact that at least through the early going. The quarter mark of the regular season he has to be considered the top contender for the rookie of the year.
Ray Ferraro: Well he's off to an amazing start. Gordon Miller and I broadcast his first game last year in the playoffs when he came from university and he jumped into the playoff series against Calgary and he scored eight minutes into the end of the first period. I mean we were just blown away with how confident he was, how mature he was in his game. Another guy you talk about some self awareness in the locker room, the way he handled the media because they were all piled around him. He's was the big story. It was really impressive. Now Colorado is missing as you mentioned Landeskog and Rantanen. They don't have Philip Grubauer their number one goalie. They don't have Nikita Zadorov and they just lost Pierre-Ãdouard Bellemare to a concussion, which Nick Foligno got a three game suspension too. Yet they've come out of the ditch here and they're starting to play a little better. Makar's got 17 points in 17 games. He plays 19 minutes a night.
Ray Ferraro: It's impossible not to look at this kid and see why they were so excited about him. Don't forget they drafted him out of tier two. Anytime someone gets drafted in the first round out of the BC junior league, a tier two league there are some questions but they took them at number four. It's not like they took them at 28. That's a pretty gutsy move. Their guys must've felt really strongly about what is going to be one of the finalists I think. I can't imagine how we wouldn't be for the rookie of the year this year.
Dregs: We're going to wrap up this discussion by turning a negative into a positive. I know both of us were deeply inspired by the piece that Tim Campbell wrote for nhl.com including Dale Hawerchuck and our good buddy Eddie Olczyk. Hawerchuck specifically who not that long ago was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Man was it moving to read his words and how he spoke with courage and the determination to not only survive what is going to be a lengthy battle but to beat stomach cancer. The National Hockey League by extension does deserve credit for hockey fights cancer awareness. I know you're a big part of that throughout your travels as there ... Well every team in the national hockey league will hold a hockey fights cancer night. Just your thoughts overall on what you read in Tim Campbell's piece on Eddie, on Dale Hawerchuck.
Ray Ferraro: As you get older here you start to read and hear more and more stories about people that are stricken with cancer and they're your age. It was always different when you were a kid and it was your parents age and you went, "That guy's really old." Then you find out he's 54 or 58 or whatever it is. I played in a world championships with Dale one time and I mean he was funny aside from being a terrific player but he was funny and easy to get along with. You don't know anybody. You just show up there. I mean he was awesome. The way that he spoke about this, about equating it to something really difficult in your career and that you have to fight through and there's no-
Dregs: Like a [inaudible 00:19:09].
Ray Ferraro: There's no backing up. I've played with Eddie O. in LA and I've been great friends with Eddie for a long time and I'm telling you, Dregs I'll never forget the phone call I got from Eddie. Our family was in Seattle on a little weekend vacation and it was early in the morning. I'm, like, "Hey, Edzo what's going on?" And regular phone call. He's like, "I've got something to tell you." Just the way he said that, I sat down. I was in the lobby at a hotel and he told me. Totally burst into tears as soon as he told me. Eddie's been an incredible spokesman and he will be support for Dale and for many others. Dale's got the fight in him and it made it clear in that wonderful article that Tim Campbell wrote that he knows what's in front of him but he's in battle mode. He's compartmentalizing what each stage of the fight is going to look like. We can only send our best wishes to him. He's a terrific guy. Man, this disease you hear it all the time and it's cancer.
Ray Ferraro: That's the only thing I can think of to say. I wish those people and all those fighting it all the best.
Dregs: Here stay strong Eddie, stay strong Dale Hawerchuck. Tom Wilson, Dean Evason throat punch. Ask Ray and Dregs. On the way.
Speaker 4: All right. Time for between the benches. Darren ad Dreg are in studio. I've got Ray Ferrell now on the phone. Technology shifts on the Ray & Dregs podcasts. That's just the way we roll. It's not that big of a deal and we're pleased to be joined by capital's forward. Tom Wilson. Tom how are you today?
Tom Wilson: Great. How's it going guys? All good.
Speaker 4: It's going. Let's talk about the start. Let's begin there with the Washington Capitals and now Monday you had an off game poor start versus Arizona Coyotes. It happens. Another great start overall if we generalize to the season I swapped texts with your general manager Brian McAllen over the weekend and he thinks you guys have another gear that you're going to find in the very near future. Is that an assessment that would be shared by the players as well?
Tom Wilson: Yeah. I think so. We've got some new faces this year and everyone is just coming together. We've also changed a couple of things systems wise and from the details in our games. Like any year, it takes a little bit to adjust to but I think we're coming together as a group. We had a good road trip at west. It's just the time of year where we're coming together and try to build our game. I think we're finding ways to collect points right now and like Max said just trying to find that next year to be a little more consistent.
Speaker 5: You say it's the same thing almost every year except this year has got to be different from last year. Last year you come off to the Stanley Cup championship and all the shenanigans that go on all summer. How much easier is it to prepare for this year than it was for last year?
Tom Wilson: It is. I mean the summary for it, it's a whirlwind. You just go in from point A to point B and you just get back to Washington and you get ready to do another season. This past summer, this off season you get that. You get that itch to get back a little bit more and you have that period at the end of the summer where you're really ready to get back and start playing hockey again. You're excited for the season. I think we had that feeling coming at training camp this year where we were ready to go. We wanted to get back at it and had that bit of a bitter feeling from the year before to fuel us going into a season.
Speaker 5: When you came into the league you were so young and you're playing lower down in the lineup role. You're really super physical. Now the last three years your goals are way up. You're on pace to smash that. You're 22 goals the last year. What changed? Is it just get in the game or is it understanding the game or are you just better. Better than you used to be is what I meant.
Tom Wilson: I don't know. I think even as a 16 year old going to the OHL you do whatever you can to make the league and you've got another year and you just try and grow as a player. It was the same coming into the NHL. The 19 year old and the top six were pretty stacked. We've had a pretty good team here for a while. My role was going to be a fourth-line role and I just tried to do that to the best of my ability and create energy in whatever way I could help the team win. It's been like that and just more responsibility and just growing as a player each year is what I was trying to focus on. As the coach gives you more leeway, gives you more minutes you grow and you just try and take that for what it is and build on it. I've been playing with some pretty good players the last couple of years. That definitely helps and just continuing to take more responsibility and try and turn it into something good for our team.
Dregs: Tom Ray I talked about this a couple of weeks ago episode five whatever it was and I want your thought process on it. Another veteran NHL player recently acknowledged that there's no longer fear in the NHL other than there's a fear of taking a penalty. You don't want to cost your team or there's fear of suspension if you cross the line. Players now can skate through the middle with their head down and have no concern for what might happen. Likewise, going into the corner along the boards. Has the game changed that much where that's truly the way it is now?
Tom Wilson: Yeah. I think it's definitely ... The game has definitely changed. It's definitely changing. There are guys making plays that they probably wouldn't have made on the board through the middle of the ice. Even wall plays, just putting themselves in positions that maybe they might not necessarily have made five six years back. That's the way it's going. I don't know if there's ... There definitely is an intimidation factor in hockey and I think there always will be a little bit. That was something that was a fundamental of the game. It was a big physical game. Teams back in the 70s, 80s that's how they built their teams was on intimidation and that was part of the culture of hockey. I think that's still around a little bit but it's definitely trending towards more skill, more finesse. I think you find the teams that have that physical aspect to their game and have that a bit of intimidation that's left come playoff time.
Tom Wilson: That's important. No one likes getting hit even if you're walking down the street or whatever. If you're in a game and it's going to be a tough one. It's tough building to come into that plays a factor and I think that's something our team has always been focused on is being versatile having that element of being able to play physical. Some pretty good players up front that can make you play as well. It's still around a little bit. It's the game we love. It's a physical game. I think you guys are pretty accurate saying it's trending in a different direction now.
Speaker 5: Now I did the game a couple of weeks ago in Toronto. I'm standing between the benches and you hit (inaudible) in first period and then you hit somebody I forget who ... Barry later on in the game. Because your reputation carries this, the biggest baddest guy around there's this outcry that that first hit was a suspension. I'm like, "I never hit anybody." And it frustrates me. It must frustrate the hell out of you.
Tom Wilson: Yeah. I think it is a little bit, but like I said nowadays I mean there's less contacts. Guys are taking contact a little bit differently and he just tried to screw up the boards out of the way whereas maybe five six years back you take it shoulder on shoulder and it makes it tougher on the guys delivering the hit as well. That's the way it is and you have to adopt just the way that the games adopt the different ways. I had a guy Brooke [inaudible 00:27:48]one of the best leaders and guys on and off the ice that I was able to play with. Think of the way that the game changed over the course of his career. Even a guy like [ovi 00:27:57]. It changes in a variety of different ways. That's just the way the game is changing right now. I try and keep that element to my game of being physical. There's a little bit less of it nowadays. When those hits are made there's obviously it's a bit under the microscope.
Speaker 5: You're 25 now, which is hard to believe. I met your dad in an event some years ago and you were ... It was your first year, you were 19 and I'm like, "Holy smokes, you are so young." Now you're a serious veteran. What's the most useless thing you've bought? You must have had a couple that you go, "What the hell was I thinking?"
Tom Wilson: What I bought?
Speaker 5: Yeah. It's something that you bought and you're like, "Why would I buy that? I'd never use it."
Tom Wilson: There was definitely I don't know if there's one thing where I've been ... I've been pretty smart over the years. There hasn't been a terrible purchase that I immediately regretted. You definitely live and learn and there's a couple of times where you buy a car and you wake up the next morning and you're like, "Holy smokes that one hurt a little bit." That's part of it and part of growing up. You get a bunch of money at a young age and I think you've got to have fun with it. You're out there blocking shots and playing hard so you got to be able to enjoy it as well. There's a good team of people out there looking after the young guys coming in nowadays making sure they don't make any mistakes that'll cost them financially.
Dregs: Two part question here. I don't know. The first part might be difficult to answer. Is anything from your celebration the Stanley Cup or the Washington Capitals that collectively or individually you regret. I mean you swam in fountains all over the city. To use Ray's word from earlier, there was a lot of shenanigans that land around the Washington Capitals. Anything you regret number one and who's celebration was better? The capitals or the nationals?
Tom Wilson: You guys are putting me on the spot with that one. But I think the first one we had a ringleader in Ovi who loves the good time as everybody knows. That was pretty fun because he's our leader and he was right in the mix and we were able to just follow along and yeah we jumped in the fountain. What I do regret about jumping into the fountain was I did jump and I'll slid into second base and that I was expecting at least two or three feet of water but I think it was about two inches. I had a nice scrape along the outside of my leg the next morning. With that time period there's really nothing better. You're with your best buddies in the world and you're with your team and it is the best time. It's a dream come true. You can do whatever you want and just have a great time for those couple of weeks and then you move on and then you got to wait for the reunions I guess. We had a blast.
Tom Wilson: I guess at the Nats, I'm not going to go on the record comparing the two. We definitely we're happy for them. We were generally happy and their parade looks crazy. Those guys had a ton of fun at our game. It was fun for them to come to capital one and share it with us because we got to the party with them in the room after a little bit and they seem a pretty fun group as well.
Speaker 5: What was the best thing you did with your family with the cup? I think we did with the cup.
Tom Wilson: I think what I did with the cup was pretty special time and I was looking back on it. It is a crazy day and sometimes the people closest to you are the ones that you look back and you're like, "Darn I wish I had a picture with mom and dad. A really good post picture." And it's not there because they're the ones that are sitting back that are proud and just taking it all in. There's a lot of people that are associated with that day that are just in the mix and it's a crazy time. We had an awesome day and just having them by my side, my family. At the start of the day when the cup arrives at my house and then throughout the whole day (inaudible) there and their friends and all our best friends, family and friends. That's the day that you just wish you could have 50 of and you always miss little things.
Tom Wilson: I mean my dog. I was like, "I didn't even get a picture with my black dog that I grew up with." There's this stuff that you forget when it's your first time out but I guess the only way to fix that is to try and do it again.
Male: Well, and you're on that path. You're a great part of the success of the Washington Capitals. Tom thanks for taking the time. We really appreciate it.
Tom Wilson: Thanks for having me on guys.
Dregs: Ray early in the show you mentioned something about Tom Wilson and how in some respects he has changed the game. He's not your prototypical tough guy although he can clearly play that style of game. If he's got to drop the mitts he's going to drop the mitts. He's equally effective offensively. A big part of that for me when I watch him play and this also makes him so dangerous physically is how fast he is. I mean for a big man this guy can fly.
Ray Ferraro: Well one of the problems that he runs into and I think other really big strong guys run into is the charging rules are there for a reason. Part of the problem is when they stop skating 15 feet from a player they don't slow down. They hit with such force. Wilson's made some mistakes and he's been suspended four times in his career but he's clearly changed the way he plays. I would love to have had him on my wing.
Dregs: No kidding. What, you would have scored a few more goals. 400 plus is enough.
Ray Ferraro: Yeah. 408. I mean if I had better wingers I might've got 410.
Dregs: See I was going to say 404. I would've knocked four goals off your NHL career. That's why I said 400 plus.
Ray Ferraro: Well here's the deal. One of the guys that we played with, Paul McDermott who makes an appearance in our show.
Dregs: Good one by the way.
Ray Ferraro: Whenever we would be out somewhere with other, with people that we didn't know he'd say, "Ray, so you had one 404 goals." He'd always get it wrong. What took me a long time to realize he was doing it on purpose.
Dregs: He's just being a jackass.
Ray Ferraro: I would correct him. I go no, Dermie it's 408. He'd go that's right. That's right. It took me the longest time to realize he was just ... He was yanking my chain.
Dregs: Thanks again to Tom Wilson and the Washington Capitals. Thanks to Westcomb Ray. Westcomb is partnering with the Ray & Dregs Hockey Podcast.
Ray Ferraro: It's a BC company. They make premium performance outdoor apparel, a hundred percent Canadian manufactured in BC with responsible manufacturing practices. Westcomb only uses their premium materials. They deliver unparalleled performance and comfort.
Dregs: We both checked out all the great email@example.com and of course looking forward to receiving our own jackets set that we awarded and thrilled and Westcomb is providing a jacket to Ray & Dregs podcast guests.
Ray Ferraro: Like Tom Wilson and Dean Evason. You can check out all the outdoor apparel that Westcomb home offers at westcomb.com.
Dregs: All right. Time for throat punch. Again last week episode six we talked about how difficult it is and it kind is. I for one thought it was going to be easier without picking on players or coaches or managers or referees for that matter. I thought it was going to be low hanging fruit but it hasn't necessarily been that case. I'm going to steal a page from Ray Ferraro's playbook here. You've gone the family route and I think episode six you went after the kids that didn't show up for Cade Foster's 11th birthday. Good catch by the way. How about the Leafs in the national hockey league doing what they've done to make it up to Cade Foster? I am going to throat punch the Ray & Dregs Hockey Podcast mascot Tiny. The great Dane.
Ray Ferraro: Be careful then.
Dregs: I know.
Ray Ferraro: Wait so how big is she again?
Dregs: She's about 37 inches at the shoulder and about 128 pounds. Actually small for a Great Dane but big enough. Here's the reason for the dog throat punch. I'm doing a Sens game. Holly my wife never texts, never calls when she knows I'm at TSN or working. She just knows what's the point. I get a text late in the second period. We're actually about to go into the intermission. Can we talk? I'm like, something must be up with the kids. I briefly panic. Call her. There was an incident at home. Pizza delivery, pizza delivery person shows up 15 minutes earlier than scheduled. Tiny is a bit of a nervous great Dane. Tiny normally needs to either be restrained or she's got a collar that she doesn't love. Normally if you have time you put the collar on and she's fine. She just goes about her business and she's got a place and she stays there. Well the delivery person arrives early.
Dregs: Tiny goes bananas. She's pulling Holly around a water skier throughout my house trying to get to the door. Holly has to open the door because she's got to pay the delivery person. While she opens a door with one arm, she's fending Tiny off with the other almost dislocates her shoulder in the process. What's even more insanely ridiculous Tiny, the 17 pound Shih Tzu runs between Tiny's legs my wife's legs.
Ray Ferraro: What's the Shih Tzu names again?
Dregs: Fritz. Fritz is the Shih Tzu. Yeah Fritz and Tiny.
Ray Ferraro: Fritz runs by Tiny.
Dregs: Yeah. 13 year old Shih Tzu runs underneath Tiny by my wife and bites the pizza delivery person in the shin.
Ray Ferraro: Is he okay?
Dregs: Yeah, I mean everything worked out for the best. Our kids are gone both in university. We're empty nesters and we've always been dog people until now. God love my pets. I will treat them like royalty but when they pass so too does the need to have an animal where-
Ray Ferraro: Well maybe you should get a third rate now so they have company.
Dregs: I have the third. It's a cat who lives in the basement. Anyway Tiny gets my throat punch. How about you?
Ray Ferraro: Poor Tiny. Tiny actually deserves the throat punch. I've been telling you I this people think this is easy for me to come up with a throat punch because I'm always got something that's bugging me. It's been hard. Well we taped last week and then once we finished I got in my car and drove to the airport. I had my throat punch candidate 90 minutes later.
Dregs: This is awesome.
Ray Ferraro: This is the first time in all the years I've been flying; I fly over 150,000 miles a year. For some reason we're number 11 for takeoff. Clearly we're not going to takeoff on time. I'm taking a 6:00 pm ish flight to Toronto because I don't want to take the red eye that leaves at 10:30 that gets here at 6:00 in the morning. It will be too late. I'm like, this time I don't want to do it. I just want to get a good night sleep. We're number 11 for takeoff, we're late. We're getting up there. You can see we're inching our way along and then the pilot comes on. He's like, "Sorry, folks." He's got his old pilot voice there. "We're having a problem that we've got to return to the gate for. The flight was full. They started to ask people at the gate to gate check any extra bags if you're in zones four or five because there wouldn't be overhead room.
Dregs: You know this is going sideways at this point.
Ray Ferraro: This is not good. There's no reason for him to tell us about the gate check bags. He says, "We've just found out a passenger left their computer in their gate check bag and it's under the plane. We cannot take off like that. We have to go back to the gate."
Ray Ferraro: Now we go back to the gate. When they open up that front door, right next to the pilot, you know you're not going anywhere. This donkey must have gate check their bag. Then as we were sitting there delayed, went to go get it and went, "Oh my gosh, it's underneath the plane." As we're sitting there, 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minute, got to find the bag, right? I asked the flight attendant. I'm like, "What would happen if we were up in the air?" They say, well, you got to land right away. You can't have the computer under the plane like that. I'm like, "So this actually is the best scenario." Because and they said, yeah. If we were over Manitoba, we would have to land somewhere. Can you imagine what a gong show that would have been?
Ray Ferraro: Anyway, because I didn't want to get in at 6:00 o'clock, we got in at three in the morning. My throat punch goes to this passenger who in a totally honest, innocent mistake, left their computer in the bag under the plane. They get a throat punch for being a donkey.
Dregs: Unless they're a subscriber of the podcast and rate us heavily, and then [crosstalk 00:42:15].
Ray Ferraro: Then they can do whatever they want.
Dregs: Excellent. We've got to ask Ray&Dregs around the corner. A, look last week you also said that the Vancouver Canucks with the best team in Canada.
Ray Ferraro: They haven't won since.
Dregs: I know. You're taking some heat in that market. Matt (inaudible) brought it up as I was doing TSN radio earlier. It's all your fault, by the way, but there's a question about the Vancouver Canucks that's around the corner in Ask Ray & Dregs. This is becoming my least favorite part of the podcast. That's the Ray & Dregs fantasy hockey pool update. Mostly because you're beating me handsomely.
Ray Ferraro: This is not even close. This is turning into a route.
Dregs: It's not great. We'll update the fantasy hockey pool as well. You do not want to miss this. Between the benches and race former teammate, current assistant coach for the Minnesota Wild, Dean Evason. All right, we're pleased to be joined between the benches by Dean Evason, who is an assistant coach with the Minnesota Wild. Perhaps just as importantly, teammates with Ray back in the days with the Hartford Whalers. Now, Dean you played against Craig at the NHL level, of course, certainly in the Western Hockey League back in your junior days. Is there anything or something specific that stands out for you about Ray Ferraro during those wild days of the 1980s?
Dean Evason: Well, just scoring. What do you score 263 goals or something in Brandon. I mean, it was phenomenal all the goals that he scored. I probably started off nemesis from our days in the western Hockey League. I mean, I was a scorer back then. He was and we were battling all the time, but obviously became good friends and lived together.
Dregs: You guys in Kamloops had a tough team man, and we would go into that little band box and you guys would kick the crap out of us. You had 70 goals your last year, or your second last year, I guess. When you got drafted, you went from there to be like a completely different player in the NHL. How did you do that?
Dean Evason: Well, first of all, any team that has Bill (inaudible) as their coach, had to be tough, and literally we weren't ... A lot of guys in that team were not tough guys. You were, when you played for him, you had to be tough and you learn how to be tough and we learned how to fight and all that good stuff. Back in the day-
Dregs: How do you learn that? Is it just the way he coached or?
Dean Evason: You know what, well, I was telling the story the other day to one of our assistant coaches, (inaudible) Hendrickson, and after every single practice, we hit the heavy bag, right in the middle of the room, hung in the middle of the room and he tied a jersey around it. You grab the jersey and you punched with your right hand. Grabbed it and punch with your right hand 30 seconds music just crank guys are screaming, big stop, switch your gloves, put it on the other hand and you punch left handed. I am not left handed. When I fought, I started left handed all the time because of that. He taught us how to be tough that way. He also pushed us to do it in games. I could get into a lot of stories but eating raw hamburger before games and [inaudible 00:45:36].
Dregs: Come on.
Dean Evason: I swear to God. We played in Saskatoon and we had lost whatever I don't even know where we were, Regina. Went to Safeway, picked up raw hamburger in the old brown bag, brought it into the room, went around the room, opened it up, went around the room and each guy had to take a pinch of raw hamburger and eat it because we were going to be animals that night. You know what happened? We get out warm up. There's not even a puck on the ice we just skate down the other end start fighting, is just a full-fledged raw. It was unbelievable. He pushed us and he taught us how to fight. What was the second part of your question Dregs?
Dregs: I don't think there is a second part of that actually.
Dean Evason: I wouldn't have played in the NHL. I don't think. Actually you asked about playing a different style, but being a score, and I think a lot of us do. You are fortunate and skilled enough to score all through your career, but I knew I wasn't going to be a goal scorer in the National Hockey League. You find a way to survive. I mean, I was able to score. I had enough offensive ability to make it there, but I knew I wasn't going to score on a regular basis. You had to find something else to do. I worked on my defensive game work on my face off and obviously played a bit of a sandpaper game and disturber game that you have to play to stick around.
Dregs: Well, I just looked up there before you got on because I couldn't remember. You had four years of 100 penalty minutes or more. One of them you had like 170 penalty minutes. There was a little bit of grit sandpaper. You and Dale Hunter never got along either.
Dean Evason: Or a little man's disease.
Dregs: We both had that. You had it way worse, because you're smaller.
Dean Evason: Well, I'm way smaller than Dale and I'm very proud of this, but Dale and I fought three times in one period. We played in Quebec and it was my rookie year at '85, '86 whatever it was. We go on the ice, we fight, we were checking their line. It was with Michelle Gulley and one of the [inaudible 00:47:48]. We fight. We come out of the penalty box and Jack (inaudible) Evans puts me back out there, line back out there to play against them. Take face off and he looks at me, and goes, "You want to go again?" "Sure." We fight. Go back in the penalty box, come back out fight again. Three times first period, it's unbelievable. I couldn't move my neck for two weeks. He's 200 and some pounds. I'm 175 soaking wet. He did it. And I coached in Washington after that with him. That's one of the first things reporters asked. They said, what do you do and he said the same thing.
Dean Evason: We were trying to survive. Just trying to survive in the game and I'm proud of ... I always say I got 1,000 and people are like, that's awesome. You've 1,000 games. No. I got 1,003 penalty minutes.
Male: You have any aches or pains or anything?
Dean Evason: I have aches and pains, Craig. Sorry Craig. I got a lot of aches and pains, but not necessarily from hockey.
Ray Ferraro: You were drafted by Washington. I was drafted by Hartford and our farm team was in Binghamton, New York. We shared. Back then teams shared. Somehow, I don't even really remember. I don't know if you know. We ended up as roommates in an apartment. How did that even-
Dean Evason: I don't know. It gets a funny thing like you said. You and I battled, not battle necessarily like physically one on one, but you were scoring west. I was scoring in west. I think we had drafted. If you look back, I think we had drafted. You were first. I think we're right next to each other.
Ray Ferraro: Because I 88th.
Dean Evason: I was 89th.
Ray Ferraro: I didn't know that.
Dean Evason: You were drafted one ahead of me. I actually, Paul McDermott, Paul McDermott actually Paul Fenton used to remind me of that all the time. He was like, you remember Ray? He was drafted by Hartford one pick ahead of you. I was like, "Yeah, whatever."
Ray Ferraro: It was (inaudible) Hartford.
Dean Evason: I thought it was more Washington, but anyway, they had good ... No, and then I get [inaudible 00:49:53]. I don't know how we ended up ... We got there. I don't know if we were last two, but that-
Ray Ferraro: Hell of an apartment.
Dean Evason: Crappy, little apartment that we-
Ray Ferraro: Do you remember how much we paid?
Dean Evason: No.
Ray Ferraro: 460 bucks furnished.
Male: Come on.
Ray Ferraro: Completely furnished. Except we went to buy beds.
Dean Evason: Did you have a waterbed?
Ray Ferraro: Yes I did.
Dean Evason: I think I remember going into your waterbed, but anyway I can't probably [crosstalk 00:50:23]. You and who else? When Ray got called up he got called a lot, right? I stayed down for most of it, but the best about (inaudible) was that car. We shared a car.
Dregs: Brand new Cadillac?
Dean Evason: No, it was a Ford Matador and we nicknamed it the bull.
Ray Ferraro: We bought this car without test driving it. It was in the ladies driveway.
Dean Evason: Yeah. It was like 500 bucks, maybe 400 bucks something like that. It was the worst car in the world, great, big (inaudible) car. Why don't you tell the story about the-
Ray Ferraro: You're going to tell about the end of the year, because you really looked after the car at the end of the year.
Dean Evason: Of course I did.
Ray Ferraro: There was a guy on the team, Mike Hoffman. He had a 1970 Cadillac. This thing was about three blocks long. We'd be at a stoplight and he would come rolling up and see us and just drive right into the back of our car. Just smash it. We started doing the same to him. Well, there was a trip where our girlfriends were down and they were in the car. Hoffy thought it was us, (crosstalk) just rolled straight into the back of them.
Dean Evason: Became our wives and then now we're both divorced, but anyway, go ahead.
Ray Ferraro: Maybe it was because of him. Anyway, this car was such a piece of shit that guys would walk by it and just kick the door for something to do. They would dance up and down the side of the door. Guys would walk over top of it if it was on the way to the rink. It was a terrible vehicle but we paid 480 bucks for the apartment. 500 bucks total. This is total for the car. Then at the end of the year-
Dean Evason: You got to tell the story with the girls.
Dregs: This is going to be good.
Ray Ferraro: The movie?
Dean Evason: No, the girls dropped us off one day, they were both there at same time, and they drop us both off. They drop us off and they're driving out of the parking lot in Binghamton. (inaudible) and Mike Hoffman, they were room together and they [inaudible 00:52:43]. They saw the car and they went flying over there and hammered the car. The girls were driving away. Don't you remember that? They came in, they go. Who was in the car because we just smashed into your car? We're like, it's our girlfriends from back home.
Ray Ferraro: He'd be thrown in jail if that happened now.
Dean Evason: I know. At the end of the year, Ray, you had got called up right at the end of the year you weren't there. I was still in Binghamton. I actually got traded. No, I hadn't got traded yet. Anyway, yes, I did get traded.
Ray Ferraro: You were traded to her by the end of the year.
Dean Evason: I was traded by the end of the year. I go back, and I'm still playing with Binghamton. I got to pack the apartment up and the car and obviously, you had all your clothes and stuff. We didn't have furniture to get rid of, but so I had no idea what to do with the car. I loaded all our pots and pans and whatever we had bought to live in that apartment in the car. I can't remember who I gave the key to, but I just parked it on the street, locked it up and just left. It sat there for about two months. I get a call from a cop in Binghamton. Said and back in the day, no cell phones and stuff. I don't have no idea how he contacted me, but he goes, "Is this your vehicle? I took the license plates off and I think I just throw them in the garbage." Just whatever. Well, whatever it's just there. Anyway, the cop calls me, he says is this your car? I said, "Yeah. It's my car."
Dean Evason: He says, "You got to get it off the street." I said, "Well, I'm in Brandon, Manitoba right now. I can't get to Binghamton, New York, sorry." Anyway, he goes, "Well, what the hell do you want me to do with it?" I said, "Well do you want it?" He said, "I've got like a 16 year old kid." I said, "The key is with so-and-so." It might have been with a realtor or something. Anyway, he took the car.
Ray Ferraro: Think of what a piece of crap it was that it was two months and nobody noticed it was on the street.
Dean Evason: It was an awful, I think it was-
Ray Ferraro: You what I remember about that apartment too, because we had that big window in front. We're two 20 year olds. We never lived on our own before. Of course we have a basketball hoop in the front part and Paul MacDermid was one of our favorite teams. His son, Curtis, plays for Los Angeles. He's an absolute giant of a man.
Dean Evason: He's as big as him. Paul is very big now though.
Ray Ferraro: The (inaudible) has-
Dean Evason: The other way.
Ray Ferraro: (inaudible) anyway, he's a big, aggressive guy. As he's playing basketball, his ass hits the window and shoots out. He blows out the front window of our apartment with his ass. Now, the only thing we've got looking out onto the street is plywood until we can get this thing ... I don't know when they fixed it or how they fixed it. We were there for eight months. It was some of the most ridiculous fun to have because I couldn't cook, Dean cooked. He'd get his recipes from his mom and whenever there was extra grease in the pan, he would throw it out the window.
Male: Got to leave it there.
Dean Evason: We poured it out the window in the kitchen. Not even thinking so later you look down, you open the window you looked down, there's grease all down the side of the building. Our favorite food if you remember. I was thinking about this when you asked me to come on couple days ago whatever. I'm like jeez, [inaudible 00:56:07]. Our favorite food was shake and bake pork chops.
Ray Ferraro: Yeah, (crosstalk) I forget that.
Dean Evason: That was my go to. That was not my mom's recipe, but we ate very well.
Ray Ferraro: He can bake. Man, I forgot all about that. What was that stuff?
Dean Evason: They still sell it?
Dean Evason: Listen to Dregs the farmer, oh yeah.
Ray Ferraro: I played in Atlanta. We won 14 games. We sucked. We were terrible. You played in San Jose in their expansion season, 17 wins. George Kingston, one of the nicest people on the planet was your coach. Give us something from San Jose.
Dean Evason: Well, I wish you'd look it up. I think the second year we only won 11 games.
Ray Ferraro: You went backwards?
Dean Evason: Yes. I think the first year I was talking to Bruce Boudreau about this the other day because we played in San Jose the other night. You got stories, whatever, this and that. I never played there. I played in the [inaudible 00:57:06]. I'm sure. I know we had 17 wins the first year and I'm pretty sure we had 11 the next year. I think we did go backwards. They tried to turn it over into a lot of the kids the second year and too quickly from our expansion days. We weren't, the Vegas Golden Knights expansion team.
Ray Ferraro: It was quite a roster.
Dean Evason: We were misfits for sure. You know what? I have a lot of good friends still from there. It was obviously an experience to go to an expansion team and certainly a wonderful area to live and stuff.
Ray Ferraro: You're right. 17 to 11 wins.
Dean Evason: Correct? You don't forget that.
Ray Ferraro: 11, 71 and 2.
Dean Evason: Days are hard. I do remember losing in the island. Obviously the islanders were very good still back in the day there. Going to that hotel, it's right off of the parking lot at Nassau there. Kelly (inaudible) going up to the front desk and said, could you order 24 beers up to our room please? Him and I were roommates. We literally just sat in our beds, moved the lamps and the phones and everything, put the case of beer in the middle of the, and just sat there and drank the entire case and just stared at the walls. Literally stared at the walls going, "What the fuck are we doing here?"
Ray Ferraro: I got to get you to go on this story, Dean. This will be your last one. Minnesota is in Los Angeles. You guys got your rookie dinner, you said, tonight so the guys will go out and have some fun. We had our rookie dinner 100 years ago, staying at the Marriott Hotel. We went wherever we went. The next day we had the practice. In Culver City, remember that rink? The ice wasn't flat.
Dean Evason: It was hilly. It's like wavy. It was unbelievable.
Ray Ferraro: We went to The Palm Restaurant, I don't know if-
Dean Evason: It was The Palm, wasn't it?
Ray Ferraro: The Palm. Yeah. Everybody gets well deep into whatever they're doing. The next day we've got to get dressed at the Marriott Hotel, and ride in the shuttle vans all the way to the rink.
Dean Evason: With our gear on, helmets everything.
Ray Ferraro: Now, there's a couple of things. I'm going to prompt you to see if you can remember. Our two goalies ended up in a fun fight in the locker room. They had all their gear on and there were locker box punching. Do you remember the goalies?
Dean Evason: Well, I would assume it would be [liut 00:59:38].
Ray Ferraro: No, it was Sid, peter [crosstalk 00:59:40].
Dean Evason: Sid and-
Ray Ferraro: Kay Whitmore.
Dean Evason: Kay Whitmore. I just saw him the other night.
Ray Ferraro: Now, one of our now part of the lead front office. The story I wanted to tell is there was a teammate of ours that had a problem on the ice.
Dean Evason: Well, he must have ate ... Okay. I was about to say 15, but he probably ate 10 shrimp cocktails. Because back in the day, I mean, it was like, "We're going to stick it to the rookies." I mean all the initiation stuff went away, which was good. It was rookie dinner and they just paid. People would order like $300 cognac and bottles of wine that were ridiculous. The guys would go, "I'm going to have a shrimp cocktail." He had 10 shrimp cocktails, plus his meal plus the alcohol. The player, can I say the name? I could say.
Ray Ferraro: Well, do you think he would mind? (crosstalk) Why don't you say he was a big right winger?
Dean Evason: Big right winger and his son plays for the Los Angeles Kings. We were doing some kind of a tracking back checking drill. He was back checking, and somebody was back checking on him as he was going down the right wing wall, because he was a right winger, and he got pinched off into the wall. Got squeezed off, got hit, and he lay there. We went over and thought he was hurt. He says, "No, I'm not hurt but I just shit my pants." I mean, you eat 10 shrimp cocktail, and that's not going to come out very pretty and didn't. He had to go right off the ice. Oh my gosh. Back in the day, hopefully the guys are a little smarter at our group tonight.
Ray Ferraro: I purely will. I got to tell you, people wonder about the Whale, and they know us from the emblem still, which is one of the greatest of all time. We had an unbelievable group of guys. Many of them are still coaching. Yourself, Joel Quenneville, Ron Francis, of course the GM in Seattle, Dave Tippett and Edmonton, and it goes forever. We had an unbelievable group of guys. We all go grew up together. We all are kind of in the same stage of life. Some of my favorite stuff from my career was back in Hartford. You're a big part of it, buddy and wish you all the best with you and the wild this year. You guys are starting to track a little better now.
Dean Evason: Yeah. We're starting to play a little bit better. There's for sure wonderful, wonderful times in Hartford. Like you said, we had a great group. You and I, we definitely grew up together for sure. I don't know if we ever grew up, but we were together when we were young. How's that?
Ray Ferraro: You bet. It's awesome.
Dregs: Dean. Thank you.
Dean Evason: Okay guys, appreciate it.
Dregs: Between the benches is arguably now my new favorite thing of any podcasts that I listened to only because the characters that you were associated with, are associated with played with who are still part of the game and willing to tell the stories like Dean Evason just did. I could listen to that every day, all day long. I mean, this guy is a class act. Then we'll get to Dean in a second. Because there was some toilet humor involved in the conversation with Dean, did you catch the bizarre scenario with our NBA guys at TSN over the weekend?
Ray Ferraro: Yes, I did. It doesn't matter how old you are, that is still funny.
Dregs: There was a time, and you and I both remember not that long ago at TSN. Really, it's the craze of social media. If that had happened, and it did back in the day, there's zero chance our bosses are allowing that to get blasted on social media. Instead, we get three of the most respected humans in sport broadcast, period. Rod Black, Leo Rautins and Sam Mitchell killing themselves because I assume it was Leo must have had a burrito for lunch. Is that what we're assuming?
Ray Ferraro: I think that's generally how that looked like it played out. Now, I'm on overdrive with the guys every day. O'Neill was talking Monday about how he eats brown beans out of the can for a snack.
Dregs: Oh no.
Ray Ferraro: The people, the good people at Kraft sent him a gift basket. He ate on the air a can of brown beans with a spoon. He just dives in and eats it. I can only wish noodles and Hayes good luck for the rest of the afternoon.
Dregs: That's not going in well, at any point for Mrs. O'Neill, his kids, anyone within 50 yards.
Ray Ferraro: That's the old term. That's going to be a crop duster.
Dregs: Dean Evason, one of the good guys there, right?
Ray Ferraro: He's awesome. Man, he was tough. Not a big guy.
Dregs: No pound for pound, he was really tough.
Ray Ferraro: Just an awesome teammate, for myself. I mean as you heard, we lived together our first year. Just think our car was $500. The whole car, not part of it the whole thing.
Dregs: Did you split it 250 each or?
Ray Ferraro: Yeah. Just think our expenses for that first month we had to pay 250 for the car and 250 bucks for the apartment.
Dregs: Were you worried about gas? I mean, if Dean put in 20, did you have to give him 10?
Ray Ferraro: You know what? Dean made $22,000 that year. I made 20,500. We were pinching pennies, man. That was an awesome story.
Dregs: What was the cars nickname again?
Ray Ferraro: The bull.
Dregs: The bull, was it the Ford Matador? Is that what it was?
Ray Ferraro: AMC Matador.
Dregs: Matador, that's what it was.
Ray Ferraro: They didn't have a long shelf life the Matador. I don't think.
Dregs: I get it. Hold on. See, this was your idea and I'm giving him full credit for it because you've had two really good behind the bench guess, or between the benches. Behind the bench would even be funnier. (Ogi) for starters, and now, Dean Evason, do you have any idea not to put you on the spot in episode eight, because it's a tough act to follow.
Ray Ferraro: I know where I'm going next.
Dregs: You just don't want to promote it because you got to make sure-
Ray Ferraro: I got to make sure that he can do it. Episode eight will feature one of the most bizarre characters in the game.
Dregs: All right, that's good stuff. Let's go to ask Ray & Dregs and we teased it earlier talking about the Vancouver Canucks. Look, Craig brings it up and I did earlier. In episode six, Ray, you said that the Canucks are the best team in Canada. It doesn't matter what they've done of late. At the time of the broadcast here, they're slumping. Do you feel that they have the best chance to make a run and potentially bring the cup back to Canada for the first time since the (inaudible) in '93 or to the Oilers, the Leafs maybe the Flames realistically have an equal or better shot of making that happen. Craig says his money is on the Oilers.
Ray Ferraro: Well, when I said the Canucks were the best team in Canada, I clearly stated today, the day we were talking about it. I don't think they're the best team in Canada. On that day they were. They had just scored 24 goals in five games. They were just ripping teams apart. As far as who is the best chance to make a run and win the first cup in 26, 27 years, I don't think any of those teams can win this year. I do think Calgary is a pretty good team, but man, they have not been very good. I think Toronto is a very good team, but the holes in their lineup are very obvious. Can Montreal do it, get hot at the right time and grind away at [inaudible 01:07:49]? I don't think so. I don't think there's enough there. As for the Oilers, impossible not to love their top end of their lineup, also equally impossible to think the way they're currently constructed that they're going to be good enough to make a run this year.
Ray Ferraro: I mean their goal this year is to get around the playoff spot and then push in. I mean, once you're in, I guess anything can happen maybe anything can happen. I don't really believe that. I don't think Canada has got a true Stanley Cup contender this year.
Dregs: All right, next question is a toughie. It's from Barry and Barry is wondering where we rank ... Gary Button as commissioner at one of the four big pro leagues in North America. In terms of growing league revenues, the appeal of a league domestically globally to new fans all of that. Barry says he thinks he's four in this four horse race. Says that the NHL's marketing is still so far behind the NBA, the NFL, Major League Baseball for stars and the overall game in general and says that sports league revenues everywhere are up. He has just ridden the wave. I don't take issue with it. I mean, look, Barry is entitled to his opinion. Everyone has an opinion. That's fine. That's his perspective on the four big sports. I think if you went around any show ownership and ask the 32 owners now, I think they'd have fairly high praise for commissioner Bettman, what do you think?
Ray Ferraro: I think they would. I mean, I would think that if Mr. Bettman really cared about his public persona, he could change the way that people might view him. Now, he comes across sometimes as that he knows more than everybody else. In a lot of cases, he probably does. There are times that he could show a little more humility. Sure, maybe so. As far as ranking the commissioners, I rank him number two.
Dregs: I think Adam Silver with the NBA does an amazing job.
Ray Ferraro: They have hit some really choppy waters with the stuff about China. I think he deals with it in an upfront way. I think he's got grace and a real subtle, humble style. I would have him number one. Number two, I would have Gary Bettman. I think it's easy to look at the lockouts. I was part of a strike and a lockout and I hated it and I was angry with them for both of them. However, the game has grown and a lot of it has been under his stewardship. To say he's just ridden the wave is false and doesn't give him anywhere near the credit that he would deserve. I have him at number two. Number three, I have Rob Manfred in baseball, but I don't even really like him at number three, because baseball is a mess. The games are too long. There are complaints about video review all over the place. That's on him. Part of that is on him.
Ray Ferraro: The fourth one is Roger Goodell in the NFL. I mean, in all seriousness, you and I could be the commissioner of the NFL, and that thing's going to grow. It has. I mean the problems they've had, he clumsily handled them. I would rate him as number four in the commissioners.
Dregs: There we go all four. Barry, thanks for the question. Look, anybody who sends us a question, either via Twitter or on ray&dregs.com from Australia is automatically getting some love and attention here. This is from Carl in Australia. I don't think much myself about the NHL All-Star format, but Carl wants to know should the NHL All-Star game go back to East versus West?
Ray Ferraro: You know what? I don't know. I don't think we can ever get back to an All-Star game like the ones we watched when we were kids. I don't know the games were played differently. They seemed to have a little more meaning. I don't know. Maybe it was because we were kids. I don't know. I played in All-Star game. I loved it. It was really fun. To go back to East versus West now, yes, it could be done. The All-Star game format in itself is under constant review. They're always looking for a way to make it more interesting, to have more people engaged in it. I guess what I'm saying is I don't really have a feel one way or another. I don't think going back to East versus West will make it a must see watch. It's like football. It's almost impossibility to play a real physical All-Star game and have it look like the real product.
Dregs: There it is Ask Ray & Dregs. Let's shift gears to the Ry and Dregs fantasy hockey pool, mostly because we have to because-
Ray Ferraro: I think this is important.
Dregs: Well, they sponsor interest, so that makes it important. There are people doing better than us, which we have to acknowledge. You can check out the standings in ray&dregs.com. Zach (laimy) was last episode's leader. He's now dropped a second. A fine gentleman by the name of Nicholas (beraglia) is at the top of the standings at point of this recording of the podcast. Ray, you've got 250 points. I've got 230 points. Actually, at one point I checked earlier this week, and I think you had me by 22 points. I'm encouraged that I'm closing the gap. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Ray Ferraro: That's encouraging to you?
Dregs: It is. It is. Yeah. If I can get it inside 15, then you're in trouble.
Ray Ferraro: Well, I hope you make a run. It's interesting right before I clean up. By the way, our bet in Switzerland I did tell Gord Miller this week. He said, is he really included? I said, "We'd love to have you come along and pay you. You'd be the right choice."
Dregs: He may have to pay. I was checking out some of the facilities in Switzerland hotels, costs, all of that. I don't know if the Dregger cafe can afford it this year. I don't know. It's going to be tight. It's going to be really tough.
Ray Ferraro: You have no sympathy here.
Dregs: If I'm not there, I have no problem taking you to the Niner Diner and we'll get something nice for you on the TSN compound. All will be good.
Ray Ferraro: That would be great. This is for you.
Dregs: By the way, Chester Jablonski, Chester remains in the top 25. Chester Jablonski is better than Darren Dreger and Ray Ferraro. I'm okay with that, because if that's in fact a real name Chester Jablonski, he deserves to be in the top 25.
Ray Ferraro: If it's not his real name, I suggest he go to the courthouse and change it immediately so he could be Chester Jablonski. I love that name.
Dregs: Final thoughts coming up. Wrapping up episode seven again, bit of a break for you. Ray, I'm happy. Can you still golf Vancouver? I mean, we've got snow on the ground in Toronto. Can you golf in-
Ray Ferraro: I played last week. That was my last round. Darren Pang was in town. We went out and played nine holes and it was awesome. Love that. The gray rain and skies are in and I think they're here and that's it.
Dregs: You're traveling a bit this week. You've got the Leaf game on Friday. Then what does it look like prior to episode eight?
Ray Ferraro: Well, I'm in Vegas on next Tuesday as well. The Hall of Fame game is Friday. The Boston's in Toronto, it's always a fun game because-
Dregs: It is.
Ray Ferraro: You see some of the Hall of Famers that are back for the ceremony and everybody for the inductions. For those that are being inducted this year. It's always a fun different cool vibe.
Dregs: All right, we look forward to that. Both you and I, we're not releasing details of episode eight just yet. I mean, between the benches, kind of a big deal as we've talked about. We'll announce the guest at some point this week via Twitter, likewise for our main guests. Is that a fair deal?
Ray Ferraro: Yeah. That's a fair deal. We will have that by, when is today, Tuesday. We'll have that out by Thursday or Friday absolutely.
Dregs: Excellent, all right, don't forget to rate episode seven. You can reach us on our social channels at @rayanddregs on Twitter or online at rayandgreg.com. I want to thank all those who help us pay the bills. At sure health.ca you can call them at 18-44-235-sure. Indochino.com use the discount code ray checkout. Andy.ca use the code Ray50. Westcomb.com thank you. Ray and I and all of our guests will soon be nice and warm, compliments of the outerwear from westcomb.com. You can check out all of the links to our growing list of great sponsors on rayanddregs.com. Thank you to Aaron Johnson for making us sound good, he's our producer. A big shout out as always to Tony Ferraro for bringing us the great musical touch that he does every week here on the Ray & Dregs Hockey Podcast.