TheThirdManIn~Radio “INTERVIEW: STEVE LUDZIK”
Monday August 23, 2010 ~ Right-click to download here
Steve Ludzik has done it all. From achieving an elite level in junior hockey with Niagara Falls to overcoming Crohn’s disease to become the Blackhawks’ second-round pick in 1980. Ludzik was a key component of the Blackhawks teams throughout the 80’s. He went on to transition into coaching after a brief stint with the Sabres and Rochester in the AHL, as well as a year of playing in Austria. Ludzik twice reached the International Hockey League finals with the Detroit Vipers, winning the Turner Cup (IHL Championship) in 1997, defeating the Long Beach Ice Dogs; and losing a 7-game series with the Chicago Wolves the following season. In the NHL, Ludzik coached the Tampa Bay Lightning from 1999-2001, and after a year leading Don Cherry’s Mississauga Ice Dogs (OHL), he assisted Rick Dudley behind the Florida Panthers’ bench and coached their minor league affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage. In recent years, Steve has been a popular on-air personality on television and radio with The Score in Canada and on TSN. And now, he’s penned a book about it all.
Ludzik has truly “Been There Done That.”
Always entertaining and gracious with his time, Ludzik spoke to us for an hour about his career, his teammates and the game he’s given so much to. His book is truly outstanding and a great read for any Blackhawks’ fan, and certainly followers of those teams full of character over the course of the 80’s. “Been There Done That” (co-authored by Steve Wilson) is crammed full of stories you don’t want to miss. Stories, about, but not limited to, Ludzik’s great friend Steve “Grandpa” Larmer, Orval Tessier, Robert Jesse Pulford, Mike Keenan, Dr. Louis Kolb, pranks amongst teammates, officiating a midget wrestling match and a stories of the blatant arrogance of the 80’s Edmonton Oilers you’ve probably not heard anywhere else. Its a book full of history and humor. You can purchase a copy now at Ludzy.com.
As for tonight’s show…. Click player below to listen here
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Ludzy talked openly on anything and everything, including….
– Being stricken with a life-threatening illness at age 16
– 2 1/2 months in hospital; stages and long road to recovery
– Legendary Derek “Turk” Sanderson
– How Steve Larmer was almost cut the year he won the Calder Trophy
– Making $25 a week
– Deck stacked against Ludzy
– Adjusting his game for the jump to NHL
– Comparing Ludzik’s conversion to plight of current prospect Evan Brophey
– How good were the 80’s Blackhawks?
– Lop-sided rivalry with hated Minnesota North Stars
– North Stars he disliked most
– The Great Denis Savard
– Smokey Blackhawks’ dressing room
– Pully lifting cigs during practices
– The ‘real’ Bob Pulford
– Ludzy’s first meeting with Pulford
– Why Larmer nearly quit hockey a month after he was drafted & how Ludzik convinced him to continue
– The popular Orval Tessier
– How the “feather-ruffler” is doing these days
– Why Tessier and Don Cherry couldn’t stand one another
– The “heart transplant” spout-off
– How that incident changed Tessier
– Making friends and enemies in hockey
– Surprising story about a young Wayne Gretzky, I guarantee you’ve never heard
– Stress of staying on top of his game and in the NHL
– Moment Ludzik knew he wanted to get into coaching
– Playing for “Iron” Mike Keenan. Thoughts on Keenan as a coach.
– His father’s influence
– Being “Mr. Hockey” Gordie Howe’s last coach
– Funny story about Gordie’s bad memory
– Alexander Ovechkin and ‘larger than life’ characters in hockey
– Being fired in Tampa by GM and great friend Rick Dudley
– The 1997-98 IHL Finals series with Chicago Wolves
– Great appreciation for Chicago fans
– Thoughts on NHLPA in his day; players he is most-concerned for; the Kovalchuk contract controversy, and whether Ludzik thinks the league and player’s association is headed for another dreaded stand-off.
All that and so much more, including the revealing of our Superstar’s true identity. Steve is a tremendous guest and with so many things we’ve yet to cover with him, we’ll get him back on later on this season. After Steve leaves the show, we discuss Cristobal Huet’s new place of residency for the upcoming season, as well as Antti Niemi’s remaining options. And a few other topics as well, including the old Norris Division hockey rivalries and Gary Bettman’s hero, David Stern.
Photo credit : Flickr: Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame (2009)
Join us next week, Tuesday August 31st, for our next show at BlogTalkRadio.com/TheThirdManIn
I will also be the guest on next Monday’s HockeeNight PuckCast, which you can hear on their site beginning Monday night, August 30th or at TalkShoe.com.