By Chris Block
On Wednesday, I was honored to be joined by four friends of the late, great 25-year veteran of the Chicago Blackhawks beat, Tim Sassone.
Sassone was 58 when he succumbed to illness on March 25, 2014.
53 weeks from that day, his friends, former colleagues and competitors assembled to pay tribute to Sassone, one of the greatest sports writers Chicago has known.
I am joined by Al Cimaglia [Sirius/XM Radio] and Brian Hedger [NHL.com] for the bulk of the show. Cimaglia and Hedger swap stories of Sassone’s influence and generosity, while sharing their personal experiences and thoughts on the man each called a friend.
Then I welcome Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune, Sassone’s closest friend on the Blackhawks beat. Kuc and Sassone worked alongside each other from 2007 up until Tim’s passing.
For the first ten minutes of his segment, Kuc helps us dissect the big news of Wednesday. We discuss Patrick Kane participating in his first Blackhawks practice since fracturing his collar bone five weeks ago, and speculate as to what Kane’s timetable for return looks like now.
Then, Kuc shares his experiences working alongside his great friend.
Hedger and Cimaglia stay with me a give their reactions to Kuc’s comments and more on Sassone at and away from the rinks.
Finally, I sit down with Lindsey Willhite, formerly a teammate of Sassone’s at the Daily Herald. Lindsey is now the Public Relations Director for the Chicago Wolves. He shares his experiences meeting and learning under Sassone, following Tim around the day the Blackhawks won the 2010 Stanley Cup in Philadelphia and the time he answered Sassone’s desk phone at the Daily Herald offices and it was Jeremy Roenick on the other end of the line.
In closing, I give my thoughts on the impact Tim Sassone had on me and talk about having the opportunity to work alongside him myself and my regret in the last interaction I had with Tim.
Click to listen below, or Right-Click Here to Download the MP3 file
*Note for those who subscribe to our podcast through ITunes, and those who listen at our BlogTalkRadio.com page or a BTR associated player.
Due to the length of this podcast, the BlogTalkRadio version was edited down. The file was too big to upload there. The first half of the Kuc interview on current Blackhawks news is edited out of the Blog Talk version. The music outro and the end is also cut out on the Blog Talk and ITunes versions for uploading purposes.
**Below are clips of some of the individual interviews
Chris Kuc talks Patrick Kane, the new guys, the Hawks & Joel Quenneville and all the day’s news. [Download Kuc Pt 1]
Part 2 – Kuc talks Tim Sassone [Download Kuc Pt 2]
Lindsey Willhite discusses what Tim Sassone meant to him, more [Download Willhite]
Show Closing – Chris Block on Tim Sassone [Download closing]
**I’ll add a few more selected audio clips from the Hedger-Cimaglia portion of the show later on Thursday. If you have a favorite story or segment of the show that you think should be highlighted, drop me a line and let me know.
**Also, after listening back while editing the show together, I noticed I failed to introduce myself at the top of the show. It is me you’re listening to. Instead of re-cutting a show open, I left it as is. 150 shows and I still don’t know how to do this. That’s one reason to keep going.
Thanks everyone for taking the time to listen.
I hope everyone enjoys the discussions. I did. Again, I am very grateful to Kuc, Hedger, Cimaglia and Willhite for taking the time to talk and tribute Tim Sassone for everyone.