Part II: Interview with the Wolf Pack’s Bob Crawford

By Dan Canavan

Here’s Part II of my interview with Bob Crawford, voice of the Hartford Wolfpack.  Click here to read Part I of the interview.

Dan Canavan: As you get ready to call a game, what is your average game day experience here at the XL Center?

Bob Crawford: On game day, I usually start off the morning working with my game day assistant to put together all the media related materials such as game notes and stats, and press credentials.  At this time of year, we will begin to see more NHL scouts in the building as the big league clubs approach the trading deadline, and we are obviously working with the league to process those requests.  Typically, the team will have a morning skate around 10:00 a.m., and if the visiting team is already in town, they will also have access to the rink before noon.  I will usually attend the morning skates to pick up interviews or other interesting story lines that I can use later for on-air discussions or during intermission reports.  That process usually takes me through lunch, and I typically use the afternoon hours to study the visiting squad’s personnel and become more conversant on issues relating to that team.  Around 4:00 p.m., I will head back up to arena and film a short video with the Wolf Pack coaches, which is unique to that night’s game.  I will then grab a quick dinner and head up to the booth to call the game. 

DC: This organization has always put a strong hockey product on the ice, qualifying for the Calder Cup playoffs for 12 straight seasons.  Who are a few current players that stand out on this year’s squad?

BC: Well, it’s hard to not notice Corey Locke, who is having a great offensive year.  He has a ton of skill, and he is a great offensive player in this league.  He can make something out of nothing, and not being a big guy, he finds a way to get it done.  The big question for Corey is whether he will have an opportunity to make the jump to the next level. 

In goal, we have Chad Johnson, who is real nice prospect.  For a big goaltender, he plays under control, stays in position, and reads the play well.  He squares up to the puck, and doesn’t make a lot of flashy saves.   Johnson also has a real calm demeanor, which I think will help him in the long run.  He has a lot of raw talent, and like all prospects, he will need more time to develop.

Jordan Owens is also fun to watch.  While he isn’t a scoring machine, he is a great skater and is a solid physical presence.  If he can make it to the big leagues, he will go up as a role player. No one heard of him when he came in on a try-out, but he is now on a two-way contract.

Dale Weise is also a dynamic player.  He has great size, and skates well.  With regard to his physical play, he just doesn’t hit people, he goes through them.  He wasn’t drafted until he was 20, which is a little older than most of his peers, but his numbers are starting to trend up, which is obviously important. Dale has the whole tool box, but he needs to become more consistent and continue to grow as a professional, which you can say about most of the players in this league.

DC: As ctsportslaw.com has continued to reach new readers, we routinely receive emails seeking advice on how to start a career in the sports industry. Do you have any advice for those looking to break into the industry?  

BC: The most common and effective path these days is through internship programs.  There are fewer jobs in the sports industry as compared to other fields, which makes it very difficult to get a foot in the door.  Internship programs give students a chance to meet and work for people in the industry, which is always important to starting any career.  And once you get into an organization on any level, you need to work hard, prove that you can be an asset, and showcase a specific skill set that brings value to the group.

DC: You have watched a lot of Wolf Pack hockey in this building over the years.  Are there any moments that stand out from the rest?

BC: The moment that first comes to mind is the overtime winning goal in Game 7 of the Conference Finals over the Providence Bruins in 2000.  The Pack came back after trailing in the game to tie it up and force overtime. We had a full barn that night, and from a hockey fan’s perspective, you couldn’t ask for much more.  People forget that we were down in Game 5 of that series and should have been eliminated, never mind force a Game 6 or force overtime in Game 7.  The momentum from that overtime win carried over into the Calder Cup Finals, where we won the Championship over the Rochester Americans.  While the finals were exciting, that Game 7 in this building against Providence was special.

Also, when we moved the club here in 1997, I’ll never forget walking out into the arena on opening night.  We had over 12,000 fans here that night, and this place was jumping.  You have to remember that the Wolf Pack had just moved from Binghamton, which only had about 4,800 seats.  I remember looking out at the crowd and thinking that this was a wholly different experience.

For more on the Hartford Wolf Pack and Bob Crawford, check out Crawford’s Corner at HartfordWolfPack.com.   You can also follow the Pack on Twitter at http://twitter.com/HtfdWolfPack.

Dan Canavan is an attorney in Hartford, Connecticut.  As a featured columnist for Connecticut Sports Law, Dan regularly covers business and legal issues facing the hockey industry for.  Dan is also the Carolina Hurricanes correspondent for The Hockey Writers.  He has appeared as an on-air guest with regard to the NHL and the Phoenix Coyotes bankruptcy proceedings on CBC Radio’s World Report. His analysis and commentary have also been published in various media outlets including The National Post, The Windsor Star, The Star Phoenix, The Montreal Gazette, The Edmonton Journal, The Ottawa Citizen, The Vancouver Sun, The Province, Faceoff.com, and the Sports Litigation Alert.  You can follow Dan on Twitter at twitter.com/DanielRCanavan.  Dan can be contacted directly at dcanavan@ctsportsgroup.com.

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  1. […] Part II: Interview with the Wolf Pack's Bob Crawford « CONNECTICUT … […]

  2. […] Part II: Interview with the Wolf Pack’s Bob Crawford […]

  3. […] couple of years ago, I posted Dan Canavan’s interview with Bob Crawford, voice of the AHL team formerly known as the Hartf…, now the Connecticut Whale.  Mr. Crawford provides excellent advice for job seekers: DC: As […]

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