The two people in the world I’d most like to interview are Bobby Orr and Howie Meeker. Both had a major impact on me when I was young and the way I see hockey today is pretty much based on my Dad and Howie.
Because of the way he looks and any old video you might see, it’s easy to assume he was some kind of goof. Meeker was easily excited and jumped up and down a lot during his on camera time which is/was somewhat alarming to the viewer.
However, Meeker’s information was new, exciting and unique. Unlike the “old school” types who would show you the goals and then talk about how great everything was, Meeker would expose mistakes, get frustrated with laziness and generally act like a (very informed) fan.
It was golden. Seriously. Imagine a world in which no one has been critical of anything, ever. Then imagine a guy who looks like your Dad breaking the silence with “KIDS, DON’T PLAY LIKE THE LEAFS!”
He was wonderful. I can’t imagine what a commentator would have to do in this day and age to be as groundbreaking. Possibly someone could use unique camera angles to halt play and show you widescreen where mistakes are made (break down film on air with multi-dimension) but other than that there is no new frontier.
Howie Meeker was passionate, critical, informative, educational and hilarious.
EDIT TO ADD: From the Oilers site, an injury update:
- Sheldon Souray: Sprained left shoulder, 7-10 days.
- Ethan Moreau: Fractured left foot, 2-3 weeks.
- Joni Pitkanen: Right knee, 3-4 weeks.
- Fernando Pisani: Ulcerative Colitis, 4-6 weeks.
- Matt Greene: Fractured left fibula, 2-3 months.
- Mathieu Roy: Injured shoulder, indefinite.