65 episodes

Mark Willand's Pro Hockey Alumni Podcast is the "Voice of Hockey Legends." The popular show celebrates hockey history with in-depth interviews and behind-the-scenes stories from the legends of the WHA, NHL and minor pro hockey. Mark Willand is an NHL front office veteran with the Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins Alumni as well as the AHL Ct Whale/Hartford Wolfpack.

The Pro Hockey Alumni Podcast Mark Willand l Pro Hockey Alumni

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Mark Willand's Pro Hockey Alumni Podcast is the "Voice of Hockey Legends." The popular show celebrates hockey history with in-depth interviews and behind-the-scenes stories from the legends of the WHA, NHL and minor pro hockey. Mark Willand is an NHL front office veteran with the Hartford Whalers, Pittsburgh Penguins and the Boston Bruins Alumni as well as the AHL Ct Whale/Hartford Wolfpack.

    #65: Danny Gare: Two-Time 50-Goal Scorer and the Captain of the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings

    #65: Danny Gare: Two-Time 50-Goal Scorer and the Captain of the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings

    Danny Gare shared the NHL Goal scoring title in 1980 with 56 goals
    Episode 65 of the Pro Hockey Alumni Podcast features 14-year NHL pro and captain of the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings Danny Gare.
    In this episode Danny takes through his youth in Nelson, B.C. to the rough-and-tumble junior days in Calgary and right through his outstanding NHL career in which he twice scored 50 goals, played in two NHL All Star games and was selected to Team Canada in the 1976 and 1981 Canada Cup tournaments.
    An undersized and scrappy winger with a wicked wrist shot, Danny is a member of the Buffalo Sabres and BC Hockey Halls of Fame and his #18 is one of six Sabres numbers to be retired by the team.
    Among the players and personalities we discuss are: Gil Perreault, Steve Yzerman, Bobby Orr, Jim Schoenfeld, Gordie Howe, Mike Rogers, Punch Imlach, Dave Schultz, Bernie Parent and many more.
    Danny remains an integral part of the Sabres family. And he is also a partner in a revolutionary synthetic ice product — Can Ice.
    CAN-ICE® is a synthetic ice surface that looks, feels and performs just like real ice, indoors and out. Endorsed by Hockey Canada, CAN-ICE® synthetic ice is perfect for any hockey player or figure skater looking to be the best they can be, and have fun doing it.
    CAN-ICE® gives young skaters a synthetic ice surface on which to play 365 days a year. In these days of expensive and scarce ice-time, CAN-ICE® synthetic ice lets kids kids lace up the skates and go… anytime they want.
    More information on Danny Gare and Can Ice can be found in the show notes.
    Can Ice
    Host:  Mark Willand
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    • 1 hr 11 min
    #64 Allan Globensky: A Feared, but Reluctant WHA and Minor League Enforcer

    #64 Allan Globensky: A Feared, but Reluctant WHA and Minor League Enforcer

    In an era that was as much about violence and mayhem as scoring and finesse,  Allan Globensky's battered fists were more valuable than his hockey stick.
    Episode 64 of the Pro Hockey Alumni podcast features Allan Globensky, a feared enforcer with the WHA Quebec Nordiques in the 1970s.
    In the early 70s, Globensky was a member of the incomparable Montreal Junior Canadiens, where her served as a popular and self-described goon on a Memorial Cup-winning squad that included Hall of Famer Gilbert Perreault and perennial NHL all-star Richard Martin.
    Allan was Selected by Minnesota North Stars in the 1971 NHL Draft, and eventually signed with the Nordiques in the fledgling World Hockey Association. Incidentally, Allan’s first coach in Quebec was the legendary Maurice “Rocket” Richard and Allan shares some fascinating insights into this revered hockey legend.
    With the Nordiques and their minor league affiliate in Lewiston, Maine, Globensky, was a reluctant gladiator who experienced the seamier side of hockey, a world of mayhem, bloodshed and insanity that made the iconic movie “Slapshot” tame by comparison.
    We’ll talk about the wild brawls and the toe-to-toe matches with some of the 70s toughest players like Dave Hutchinson, Paul Stewart, Steve Durbano and many more.
    Back then, Globensky fought because that’s what he was told to do, and it was the role the team wanted him to play. Allan is still battling, but now he’s fighting to maintain his quality of life and to encourage former teammates to seek help if they are concerned about their mental and physical health.
    Allan’s new book  “A Little Knock Won’t Hurt Ya!” Is, easily, one of the best hockey books I’ve read and I highly recommend it. I call this fast-paced book "Slapshot with a Soul.” In this well-written memoir, Allen is brutally honest and refreshingly candid about the ups and downs of his life as a hockey enforcer and the dark days he experienced thereafter.
    And’ I’ll give you a spoiler — this story has a happy ending.
    The link to ordering Allan’s book is in the show notes.
    So … What happened to Allan Globensky, the former cult hero, after the cheers of bloodthirsty fans faded away? This is his story, and it’s one that is both compelling and cautionary.
    Order "A Little Knock Won't Hurt Ya"
    Host:  Mark Willand
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    • 1 hr 10 min
    #63 KC Scouts History with Troy Treasure and NE Whalers Upset Win over the USSR in 1976.

    #63 KC Scouts History with Troy Treasure and NE Whalers Upset Win over the USSR in 1976.

    The KC Scouts and WHA Whalers?  It's a 70's hockey free for all!
    Episode 63 of the Pro Hockey Alumni podcast features a look back at the Kansas City Scouts NHL franchise with author Troy Treasure and my review of the historic New England Whalers upset of the Soviet National team on December 27, 1976.
    Troy Treasure’s book “Icing on the Plains” is the story of Kansas City’s attempt to integrate major league hockey into its sports marketplace — only to see it fall through thin ice.
    Painstakingly researched, “Icing on the Plains” features great hockey stories and some of the most colorful people in the game. In this interview we recall the triumphs and tragedies of this often forgotten franchise that would go on to become the Colorado Rockies and, eventually, the New Jersey Devils.
    In our two pervious episodes, you’ve heard some of the Scouts stories from Denis Herron and Robin Burns and in this episode we complete our KC Scouts trilogy with discussions about Scouts and NHL personalities such as Wilfred Paiement, Steve Durbano, Michel Plasse, Simon Nolet, Sid Abel, Dan Kelly, Peter McDuffe and many more.
    Before talking with Troy, I’ll review the New England Whalers improbable WHA win over the touring Soviet National team in 1976 — a game that was easily the top game of the Whalers WHA years in Hartford.
    Whalers center Mike Rogers helps us recall this momentous game in Hartford hockey history.
    Order Icing on the Plains
     
    Host:  Mark Willand
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    * edit note:  Gary MacGregor and the Cornwall Royals played in the QMJHL, not the OHA

    • 1 hr 6 min
    #62 Robin Burns: From Pittsburgh Penguins and KC Scouts LW to Hockey Visionary and Inventor

    #62 Robin Burns: From Pittsburgh Penguins and KC Scouts LW to Hockey Visionary and Inventor

    He might be hockey's most interesting man.
    Episode 62 of the Pro Hockey Alumni Podcast features Robin Burns — one of the most entertaining and impactful people to ever play in the NHL.
    As a left wing for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Kansas City Scouts in the 1970s, Burns was know as a fun guy, a natural comedian and the life of the party.  But Robin was also a visionary, who would eventually pioneer one of the most important hockey equipment innovations: the visor.
    After rising to president of Micron skate company, Robin founded a long shot startup called ITECH in the basement of his Montreal home. ITECH would grow into one of the three biggest hockey companies in the world. 
    This was just one of many successful business endeavors for Robin, who,  in his spare time, would also become an agent for several NHL coaches, including his cousin Pat Burns.
    We’ll follow Robin’s incredible journey from his youth in Montreal and the Montreal Junior Canadiens, to the American Southwest, Hershey, Pittsburgh and Kansas City and right through his inspirational rise to the top of the hockey business mountain. 
    Despite his entrepreneurial success, Robin remains a humble self-effacing guy and one of the best storytellers in hockey.
    Inspiration for the Robin Burns episode courtesy of upcoming show guest Troy Treasure, author of "Icing on the Plains" ... "The rough ride of the NHL Kansas City Scouts."
    Host:  Mark Willand
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    • 1 hr 26 min
    #61 Denis Herron: Vezina-Winning Goaltender; Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, Kansas City Scouts

    #61 Denis Herron: Vezina-Winning Goaltender; Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, Kansas City Scouts

    Denis Herron won both the Vezina and Jennings Trophy during a stellar 14-year NHL career.
    Goaltender Denis Herron is our guest on episode 61 of the Pro Hockey Alumni Podcast.
    From 1972 to 1986 Denis played 14 NHL seasons, which included the three stops with the Pittsburgh Penguins, a "trial by fire" stint with the expansion Kansas City Scouts and three solid campaigns in Montreal, where he won both the Vezina and Jennings league trophies.
    We cover a lot of ground with Denis and he tells great stories about former teammates, coaches and GM’s.  Denis also reveals which player was —  in his words — “the most talented player by far he ever played with.”  (Just a hint it’s not Mario Lemieux or Guy Lafleur).
    We greatly appreciate all of you who have subscribed, rated and reviewed the PHA podcast on iTunes and Apple Podcasts.  You have helped make the show become more visible to fans around the world.  In fact, we are now ranked among the top hockey podcasts in the US and Canada. 
    Host:  Mark Willand
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    • 51 min
    #60 Dennis Maruk: The Forgotten 60-Goal Man of the Washington Capitals. OT: Hartford Whalers, Boston Bruins and more.

    #60 Dennis Maruk: The Forgotten 60-Goal Man of the Washington Capitals. OT: Hartford Whalers, Boston Bruins and more.

    Only 20 men in NHL history have scored 60 or more goals in a single season.
    A sometimes forgotten member of this select club is an undersized, take-no-prisoners centre named Dennis Maruk. And it’s only fitting that Dennis is our guest on episode 60 of the Pro Hockey Alumni Podcast.
    As a junior in the OHA, Maruk was the one of the greatest players in London Knights history, but his 5-8 height scared off NHL teams until the second round of the 1975 Draft, where he was chosen by the woebegone California Seals.  After a standout rookie season in Oakland, Maruk and his mates moved to Cleveland,  where he continued to star while the franchise floundered.
    After just two seasons in Ohio, the Cleveland Barons were merged with the Minnesota North Stars in 1978, but Maruk was dispatched to Washington after 2 just games.  It was in DC where Maruk would emerge as one of the NHL’s premier centers, scoring 50 goals in 1980-81 and following that with the incredible 60-goal, 76-assist campaign in 1981-82.
    Maruk led the improving Caps in scoring in 1982-83, but was traded back to Minnesota and slotted as the team’s 3rd line center.  Amidst reduced playing time, Maruk adjusted to his new role would become one the Stars top post-season performers in the notorious “Chuck Norris” Division in the 1980s.
    As chronicled in his riveting 2017 autobiography with author Ken Reid, Maruk’s post playing days took him from hockey superstar to behind the wheel of a service ship in the Gulf of Mexico,  to carrying bags as a bellhop at an Aspen hotel, to setting up furniture for Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, to working as a farmhand for musician John Oates.
    And ultimately Maruk’s life path took him to a life-and-death decision at edge of the Grand Canyon.
    Dennis is a great interview and you’ll love his recollections of a fascinating career and life.  Among the teammates, coaches and opponents we discuss are:  Gilles Meloche, Bob "Hound" Kelly, Ryan Walter, Jean Pronovost, Kent Nilsson, Herb Brooks, Charlie Simmer, Bryan Murray and more.
    After our talk with Dennis, stick around for "PHA Overtime" with this week's news and notes from our Facebook pages featuring the Hartford Whalers, Boston Bruins, World Hockey Association and Pro Hockey Alumni as well as a postscript to the Maruk interview.
    Host:  Mark Willand
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    • 1 hr 14 min

Customer Reviews

Jyacoub1016 ,

Love it

Thanks Mark for doing this amazing podcast. So many great and interesting stories straight from those who lived it. Great access to the formate players of my youth.
Once again, great podcast and thanks for putting in all the effort for some wonderful interviews.

Markstarr21 ,

Great perspectives....all in their own words...

The perspectives shared in the PHA podcasts are not just interviews of former players but great reflections sharing their hockey memories, the stories....and ultimately their love of the game...great job Mark Willand....these podcasts are terrific!

Peter in Raleigh ,

Great Podcast

This is by far my favorite hockey podcast. Keep up the good work Mark! How about a conversation with Nick Fotiu, or Jack Carlson? Kevin Dineen? Skip Cunningham? Thanks for doing this!

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