It’s a slow news day and we have posted anything yet today at HOTSPROTSTAKES.com so I figured I would share one of the greatest moments in hockey history with you today.
It’s January 22, 1996 and the Chicago Blackhawks have traveled to Canada’s capital to take on the host Ottawa Senators.
Not exactly an exciting game on paper, because the Blackhawks were one of the Top-3 teams in the Western Conference, but still way behind both Colorado and Detroit, while Ottawa would go on to finish with only 41 points for the whole season. Needless to say, it wasn’t a game with huge implications.
We go to the action, and as you could have guessed, Chicago looks like it is skating rings around the hapless Senators. We have no idea what point in the game this is, because in 1996 TV broadcasts didn’t have permanent score or time overlays. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in 21 years of broadcasting.
Let’s roll the clip.
Again, you see Chicago looking pretty impressive with their puck movement by 1996 clutch-and-grab standards, and then Eric Daze lets a wrist-shot go from in close and Sean Hill makes the block to prevent a great scoring chance.
And then things get good.
Pat Foley and Dale Tallon, who were a tremendous announcing duo, begin breaking down the play when a second angle is shown and we see that poor Sean Hill takes a shot right to the ol’ twig and berries.
Let’s review some of the highlights:
40 seconds in: Tallon has just realized that Hill took a puck to the pills and tries to think of some way of explaining it.
51 seconds in: Foley has just finished saying, “I said he got it in a bad spot.” At which point Tallon remarks, “Uh not his knee, maybe his wee-knee!”
1 minute 14 seconds in: There is a full 20 seconds of silence in the booth, all you can hear is Pat and Dale snickering like a couple of fifth graders who just heard “wee-knee” for the first time. A full 20 seconds before Pat can barely say anything, again trying to remark about how great the passing was.
And that’s the greatest moment in hockey broadcasting history.
For those wondering about how the game turned out, Chicago went on to win 7-3, with Daze collecting two assists. Seriously.
Despite the puck to the pills, Sean Hill went on to play in the NHL until 2008, playing for eight teams and amassing 876 career games, registering 298 career points and over 1,000 penalty minutes. He even broke 30 points on four occasions, not bad for playing most of his career in the dead puck era.
But he will forever be remembered as the guy who got hit in the “wee-knee” during a game in 1996.