Open in App
The Hockey News

Fischler Report: Lamoriello Has Bo in Tow and May Not Be Through

By Stan Fischler,


Stan Fischler shares a 1-on-1 conversation with NHL on TNT's Kenny Albert on his play-by-play career, discusses the Islanders and Bo Horvat, and more.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


Like an electric car ready for a long trip, Lou Lamoriello is proving his batteries are fully recharged. What’s more, he may continue speeding along the Trading Thruway. Time still is on Lamoriello’s side.

The long-term signing of Bo Horvat has energized an Islanders team that – in recent weeks – threatened to fade out of the playoff race.

“This is a spark,” said Mat Barzal, who could very well team up on a line with Horvat if one agrees to play wing. “Bo is going to do wonders for us.”

Among the prime reasons for choosing the Islanders, Horvat made clear, is his admiration of the franchise’s culture and organization. The blue-collar hard work theme was introduced by GM Bill Torrey and coach Al Arbour in the 1970s and has been retained ever since. In that sense, Horvat is the perfect fit for a Lamoriello sextet.

“Bo brings it every night,” added Lou, “and plays the 200-foot game.”

The vexing question – will he trade again? That will be determined by the trade deadline. It’s quite possible that the Isles boss will decide he needs more up front.

Having known Lou since 1987, I would not be surprised if he pulls off one more blockbuster before the trade deadline buzzer sounds.
Joe Micheletti, Kenny Albert and Dave Maloney.

Courtesy of Kenny Albert


A master play-by-play genius of all sports, Kenny Albert of NHL On TNT has succeeded Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick as the NHL’s top game-describer. In an exclusive interview with The Maven, Albert tells how he got to the top, among other sizzling subjects.


As exciting as ever. At the midway point, the league was scoring at its highest rate (6.4 goals per game) in over a quarter century. There are at least 10 to 12 teams that can legitimately challenge for the Stanley Cup. The game is as fast as it has ever been, and the NHL is loaded with young stars with amazing skills.


I refer to Doc as “Hockey’s Vin Scully,” the legendary baseball announcer. Mike’s ability to paint a word picture while incorporating an incredible vocabulary – along with his encyclopedic knowledge of the sport and the passion he brought to every broadcast – made Doc a must-listen whenever he was at the mic. There is a reason he won nine National Emmy Awards for outstanding play-by-play.

I was Doc’s statistician during his brief stint as the backup radio voice of the Rangers in the 1980s. He was kind enough to listen to my broadcasts and share his thoughts and lend advice during my two seasons as radio voice of the AHL’s Baltimore Skipjacks (1990 to ’92). We were together at three Winter Olympic Games (2006, 2010 and 2014) and constantly swapped notes and pronunciations. For over a decade, Doc and I were colleagues with the NHL on NBC.

All play-by-play broadcasters have their own style. Doc was one of the many voices (in a variety of sports) I listened to as a youngster, and I tried to take a little piece from all of them. Among the aspects of our job that I learned from observing Doc: the value of preparation, as well as incorporating pertinent nuggets and anecdotes into the broadcast at the right time.


My father (Marv) and uncles (Al and Steve) all did NHL play-by-play during my childhood, and I would listen to – and watch – as many games as possible. With three teams in the New York area, I was also blessed with the ability to listen to many other all-time greats as well, including Doc, Sam Rosen, Jiggs McDonald and Howie Rose. On the radio side, longtime Islanders voice Barry Landers was outstanding. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to fill in for Barry on several occasions between 1989 and 1992. I was a fan of Larry Hirsch, who called Devils games on radio during their early years, and our radio in the kitchen – if positioned correctly – would pick up the Hartford station with the great Chuck Kaiton calling Whalers hockey.


The biggest change is all about the amount of information available to help prepare for broadcasts and the ability to watch any game at any time.

When I began my NHL broadcasting career on a full-time basis in 1992, I relied on weekly publications (The Hockey News, Sporting News, etc.) as well as game notes and newspaper clips provided by the teams.

With the internet explosion beginning in the mid-1990s, all of a sudden, I could read articles from other cities on the same day they were published – and at the click of a button.

Back then, I would hardly ever have the ability to watch other games aside from the few that were nationally televised. I would study the names and numbers on paper, then see the teams for the first time during warmups.

These days, I can watch any NHL game on my phone, iPad or laptop – either live or whenever I have time. Watching a multitude of games and listening to other announcers is invaluable when prepping for my broadcasts.


I have had a lot of experience through the years bouncing back and forth between national games and Rangers radio broadcasts. During NHL on TNT games, all of us have to play it down the middle. We don’t favor either team and try to call the game 50/50 – interspersing pertinent information about both teams equally and raising our excitement level on great plays and goals scored by both teams.

If I am working a game between the Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, for example, some viewers may feel that I am favoring the Blueshirts, and my partner, Keith Jones, is favoring the Flyers, but I can promise you that is not the case.


I try to stay away from predictions because I am usually wrong. That’s why they play the games.

I was very fortunate to call the 2021 final on NBC (“Lightning strikes twice”), as well as seven others on national radio and the 2014 Cup final on MSG Radio. It will be an honor and privilege to call the Stanley Cup Final on TNT for the first time, along with my outstanding partners Eddie Olczyk and ‘Jonesy’ and our terrific production crew and studio team. Can’t wait!


It will be titled A Mic For All Seasons . And, no, I did not have a ghostwriter – I wrote this all by myself. It will be out in September.


* The NHL has no expansion plans, but if it did, my choice would be Houston. (That’s because I know Quebec City, unfortunately, is out of the question in terms of the league’s requirements.)

* There are lots of capable captains sprinkled over 32 teams, but the one who gets the least attention on a big winner is the Hurricanes’ Jordan Staal. (I’d love the lad to captain my team any time.)

* Here’s proof for why patience is a virtue, vis-a-vis coaches: At the top of every pre-season poll, Seattle’s Dave Hakstol was fingered to get the hook. Now he’s up there for the Adams Award. (He could win it, too.)

* Jumpin’ Jack Hughes wants to extend the 3-on-3 overtime to 10 minutes to limit the shootout. (Enough already, I love the shootout.)

* Crosby and Ovi teaming up with Ovi Jr. to win the Breakaway Challenge was show business at its best. (Thank you, NHL chief content officer Steve Mayer, for super creativity.)

* The Great 8 said during media’s availability that he would like to grab a beer with Sid once they both retire to look back at their careers. (That should be turned into a two-man documentary.)

*A stick tap to Long Island’s Sonny Milano for staying with it. After being released from a PTO in Calgary, he signed a minimum deal in Washington, began the year in the AHL, and now earned himself a three-year $5.7-million contract extension. (That’s a case of justice triumphs.)


The Maven’s Man in Sunrise, Al Greenberg, was there, and here’s his capsule commentary:

“For a few days, South Florida was the unlikely capital of the hockey world. Kudos to the NHL, Panthers, Broward County, the cities of Fort Lauderdale and Sunrise and a multitude of corporate sponsors for putting on a first-class event.

“The week was capped with the All-Star Game on Saturday before a sold-out crowd, allowing the fans to see the best of the best perform. The events spotlighted a non-traditional market where, thanks to the Panthers’ long-range efforts, hockey interest is booming.”

P.S. There were a ton of wonderful, human-interest sidebar stories. One of my favorites was the schmoozing of arch-rival (Rangers versus Islanders) goalies Igor Shesterkin and Ilya Sorokin. Off the ice, they’re best friends. I learned that Ilya is the godfather of Igor’s child Timothy. Their song, Friendship, That’s The Perfect Blendship .

Expand All
Comments / 0
Add a Comment
Most Popular newsMost Popular

Comments / 0