The 23 Worst Interviews in NHL History
Our favorite players and announcers bring us the game we love from October to June, putting their best effort on camera for all to see. Sometimes, however, "circumstances happen" off the ice, away from the action. That was the decidedly less popular bumper sticker from the 1990s.
Whether a couple of dudes get mismatched in front of a camera and microphone, there may or may not be an ample supply of adult beverages or someone just shoots their mouth off, this is a collection of some of the worst and awkward moments caught on tape.
The following 23 slides are a combination of awkward and terrible interviews, with some equally awful media included. My cover photo is the king of the awkward interview himself, New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella. Tortorella has some allies in the New York media, but he could care less if he makes any enemies in the Big Apple.
Some of these clips I had seen before, and some are gems that had been buried on the interweb, presumably to be dug up and dusted off by yours truly. Some are hard to watch, and others you just can't believe your eyes and ears.
While I realize that when I compile a list of any sort, I invariably exclude someone or thing. If you are inclined to comment to make a suggestion, please attach a link so that we all may revel in your find as well.
Henrik Lundqvist and Stan Fischler
Stan Fischler has been doing interviews long enough to not seem like he wants to hop in King Henrik's lap and ask for a pony for Christmas.
However, Lundqvist seems to be the only one aware of the two that Stan is being drawn in by a Swedish tractor-beam of handsomeness. Not uncomfortable to watch at all.
Sean Avery with Some Bitter Beer Face
Sour grapes. No chance. Someone with Avery's game goes through supermodels like a Sports Illustrated photographer. Or not.
Funny thing is, Avery's mouth probably cost him a Rolodex of phone numbers, and this can probably be looked at as the beginning of the end of his "storied" NHL career.
What the...Stop It, Stop It Now!
Technically, this qualifies as an interview. I see a microphone, it's obviously on camera and there are people listening. Technically.
I've flagged Kris Versteeg for his rapping skills before with a link, but this Stanley Cup parade performance garners his his own slide. You get the feeling that toward the end (if you make it that far) even he wishes he had never started this.
I really do like Kris Versteeg, so we'll make this his last appearance on here. Free-styling Fergie in an interview deserves some kind of notation. Specifically, the "Don't let this happen to you" type of interview.
Versteeg had a big year in south Florida, so I'm sure he could give a squirt that this video even exists.
Sticking with the Fergie theme, Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman lets us know a little too much about himself when his phone goes off mid-interview.
Some of us have specific ring tones for specific callers; I wonder who was calling? Maybe that's his default. Hmmm.
Jeff Carter Couldn't Look Happier to Be in Columbus
OK, I know it's easy to look at these clips after the fact and say how irked and indifferent Jeff Carter seems after being traded from a Stanley Cup contender to Columbus. It was the worst-kept secret in the NHL that Carter wanted out of Ohio before he even showed up for the press conference.
Turns out, Carter's season ended up OK after all. He got reunited with an old coach and a few old teammates and won the Stanley Cup. Chances are, those thoughts were not racing through his head while this tape was rolling.
Pretty Much Any Don Cherry Interview...
Not being raised on Don Cherry, I never acquired a taste for him. Pretty much anytime I do hear him speak, the knowledge he does have is typically frosted with opinions that closely resemble excrement. In my opinion, of course.
Obviously, he has some staying power because no one who dresses like that could stay on television for so long.
Because We All LOVE Pierre McGuire!
I think everybody has that guy at work or at the bar who literally has to correct you when you are in mid-sentence. Regardless of whether you actually like that guy or not, you still want to punch him in the neck.
After watching this clip, I wanted to put Darren Pang in my shirt pocket so he could have a front-row seat to me punching Pierre McGuire mid-larynx.
More Creepy Pierre....
Players just seem to love McGuire and his close-talking interview style.
"Have fun Buff." Restraining order?
Last One from McGuire (I Promise)
Unless I find something that approaches this in terms of creepiness, this will be the last you see of Pierre McGuire in this slideshow. First of all, why is he standing so close to Darren Dutchyshen?
There's a good bit of room on set, so the personal space boundaries are clearly compromised. What he says after the Hal Gill discussion trumps everything else. Fast forward to 1:55 if you're impatient.
Oh Torts, Thank You for Bringing It Every Day!
John Tortorella could probably fill every slot in this slideshow with his archive of rants and animated press encounters. He comes off like a smug, arrogant, bully, but these are all things I remember from my coaches over the years, making it hilarious to me.
Keep on keepin' on Torts!
Hey Biz, My Eyes Are Up Here
At about 1:20, Bissonnette does some gratuitous eye-molesting of NHL Network reporter Heidi Androl. Never mind the acknowledgement that Biz-Nasty was mooching on Giroux's coattails and the NHL's dime, he was probably the only fifth-liner at the awards show.
This is why we follow him on Twitter.
Awesomely...Weird, but Mostly Bryz-Tastic
This clip doesn't qualify as a traditional interview, but again, the presence of cameras, microphones and an audience makes it relevant. This is the episode following Ilya Bryzgalov's ascent to "Universe Philosopher."
In this sequence, Bryz manages to creep out his teammates by comparing his Siberian husky dog to a beautiful blonde woman. Wait, what?! Yeah, no language confusion there. Those are his words, folks.
The Interview Bomber
There are some people that just love to be the center of attention, regardless of someone else's accomplishments. Hockey players are accessible in their locker rooms to the media and the clips are a candid peek into what happens behind the scenes in the NHL.
Ryan Kesler seems to enjoy the camera, especially when it's not directed at him. For the most part, his teammates seem to understand this. You can go either way on this one. If you like Kesler, it's funny, if you don't, you want to throw a pipe wrench at him.
Captain Serious Meets Snooki?!?!
Let me say first that I love Jonathan Toews, but he just doesn't seem like a natural in front of the camera. His awkwardness on camera, combined by the orange awfulness of an Oompa Loompa called Snooki makes this clip almost unbearable.
Please stick to growing weird sideburns and playing hockey, Toews.
Hey, Jordin...Your...Yeah...Your Nose...Is...Yeah, You Should Go Get Fixed Up
This clip pretty much speaks for itself. Kind of dumb to have the guy who just got popped show up for the intermission interview, but I suppose those things might be pre-arranged.
Kudos to Tootoo for keeping his seepage at bay for so long.
Hey, Camera Guy, Please Stay Close on the Face; We Don't Need the Wide Angle
If you are anything but a Flyers fan, this video is just awkward. The wide-screen cut-away that shows of Ron Hextall's "man-foliage" makes the interview awkward, but this isn't unusual for sports interviews.
For Flyer fans, it is an unbelievable look at one of the signature players in franchise history. A lot of people forget how good Hextall was in spite of the crazy. He nearly stole a Stanley Cup from the Oilers in 1987.
Who Doesn't Love Some Dany Heatley? Dany Heatley Sure Does!
Nobody seems to love Dany Heatley more than Dany Heatley, and here's an awful interview so that you can learn more about him and love him more. He's a bleeping superstar, you know?
I also found an overdubbed version of this clip that is even funnier.
"Setting Up the Play"......
You'll have to wait a bit for it, but this interview takes a terrible turn at 2:27. It gets weird and awkward, and really makes no sense. Iginla is a pro and fights through it, but it's clearly odd for everyone.
Here's some bonus viewing for you Calgary fans that I found. You're welcome!
Not an Interview, but This Has to Fit in Somewhere
I found this when I was perusing clips and felt that it needed to somehow be included. Phil Esposito, Ron Duguay, Dave Maloney and Anders Hedberg rocking the tucked-in jersey look. Gold.
Don't want to leave the Stanley Cup champions out, so here's a little blast from your heritage, Los Angeles.
Oh Panger, We Know What You Meant...but...Holy Jumpin!!!
Most awkward slip ever. Darren Pang single-handedly undoes 40 seconds of praise for P.K. Subban with a horrible fail.
Paul Steigerwald-Hobey Baker Joke
OK, it's been almost 100 years since Hobey Baker died while test piloting a plane, but to some it might still be too soon to make light of. Paul Steigerwald and his broadcasting partner seem to think that the reference is mildly inappropriate, but they can't stop laughing about it.
Stan Lee, Please Stick to Spiderman
Listen, this may or may not be an interview, but it is this biggest colostomy bag of conceived garbage ever associated with the NHL. If I was trying to introduce someone to hockey and they saw this, they would probably cut my pizza into bite size pieces and offer to help me when I tie my shoes.
I don't blame you if you don't make it through the 3:42 mark. It all came crashing back to me when I was subjected to it at the All-Star game last year. I can't be mad at Stan Lee; this is what he does for a living. Shame on you, NHL.