Flyers defenseman Chris Pronger stopped by XM Radio's NHL Live studios in New York for a half-hour interview on Friday morning. For a brief interlude, the host threw things to their correspondent in Boston. But the mics remained hot, at least for a few minutes available in the NHL.com podcast edition (to which bat-eared tipster Andy kindly directed us).
The talk shifted to Pronger's first Game 7, as a 22 year-old St. Louis Blue in 1996. It was a big one.
Thank fucking God I wasn't on the ice. Because I would have been blamed for it. ... We got spanked in that series, we lost the first game tight, 3-2, whatever, second game we got blown out 8-1, and it was like an NBC game, or whatever it was, and, oh my God, [coach Mike Keenan] came in and ripped everybody, tore Gretzky a new ass, and I'm sure he'd never had that happen before, and that was it, he was like, I'm not re-signing here, I'm done. That was it. Mike showed up at his hotel that night—it was an afternoon game—that night showed up shitfaced at his room, he was staying at the Ritz in St. Louis.
Correspondent's bit presumably ends.
Host EJ Hradek: Hold on. We gotta go back. We'll get back to this. Laughs.
Host Deb Placey: I got married there that summer.
Pronger's speaking about Game 7 of the 1996 Western Conference Semifinals, Wings-Blues, which Steve Yzerman won with this shot in double OT:
You can understand why Keenan—who was nicknamed "Iron Mike" for his toughness on players, even while sober—would figure he needed to rip into his guys. That's some mediocre neutral-zone play. And this was after they had come back in the series. Keenan's now a marble-mouthed pregame analyst on Versus.
Anyway, we never do hear the end of Pronger's story, because the podcast (available here, if you fast-forward a few times) does not include the bits from the commercial breaks. We would really like to know what a drunk Mike Keenan told Wayne Gretzky at his hotel, but we suppose that's another story for another day.
There's one thing we have learned, though: some intern is not listening to the podcasts before he uploads them! How do you expect to earn college credit from Gary Bettman's wretched machine like that?
NHL Live Podcasts [NHL.com]