By Mark Malinowski
Status: Former NHL and AHL player; current scout for the Ottawa Senators.
Ht: 6-foot-6 Wt: 220
Born On: February 17, 1957 In: Calgary, Alta.
Hockey Inspiration: “Frank Mahovlich.”
Hobbies/Interests: “I like to watch hockey. And I’m fortunate to be able to do that for a living.”
Early Hockey Memory: “I got on a bus when I was 17 to go play junior hockey and I actually got cut from the team. The next day, I showed up at practice with my equipment on and went on the ice and skated around with the team. The coach skated over to me and said, ‘Hey Archie, I thought I cut you yesterday?’ I looked at him and said, ‘You did coach. But that was yesterday!’ I went on to play 700 pro games.”
Favorite Movie: “Braveheart.”
Favorite TV Show: “Cops.”
Musical Tastes: “Country western, Shania Twain.”
Funny Hockey Memory: “If I could have kept all the stories in a book, I would have published one. I played with hundreds – literally hundreds – of great, great guys and heard hundreds of great stories and great jokes. And probably one of the funniest I ever heard came from me, when my wife (Alice) said to me one time, ‘Archie, you love hockey more than you love me.’ And I said, ‘That’s true, darling. But I love you more than I love baseball!’”
Pre-Game Feeling: “Usually nervous, because being at the top of the food chain, there was always someone gunning for me.”
Greatest Sports Moment: “Playing my first NHL game and scoring my first NHL goal (1980). The first game I ever played was in the Philadelphia Spectrum, with the Washington Capitals. It was the first time the Capitals ever beat the Flyers. We beat them 6-0 and it was the first time the Flyers had been shutout on home ice in many, many years. My first goal came seven games later against the Flyers, in the Cap Centre. I scored a goal (vs. Pete Peeters) to tie the game 1-1. The Flyers went on to score seven unanswered goals. They beat us 8-1. The team sent me down the next day (to Hershey of the AHL). I guess my job wasn’t to score goals.”
Most Painful Moment: “Probably the day I had to retire (in ’88). Because it’s a great, great game and I wish I could’ve played until the day I died.”
Toughest Competitors: “To fight against – because I was known as a fighter – there were three different eras. The first era was, without a doubt, Barry Beck, from when I was a junior until I turned pro. And then during my pro career it was a guy named Behn Wilson, who played for the Flyers, who I fought two times in my first NHL game. I actually fought Wilson on my first and second shift in the NHL. And the third toughest guy in the late era of my career was without a doubt Bob Probert. Those three guys would rank in no particular order, but in different eras were the three toughest guys I ever fought. Beck was much bigger and stronger than everybody else. One thing about Barry was he was a tremendous hockey player as well. Just a very, very fierce fighter. Behn Wilson was very mean. Unbelievably mean. As a fighter, he would really hurt you. And he didn’t stop until he hurt you. Probert had unbelievable stamina. He could take a punch and then come back and knock you out. Of all of those guys, if I had to give one the lead, it would be Probert.”
Closest Hockey Friend: “Probably another player who never played in the NHL, but was an all-time tough guy in the Western League, was a guy named Brent Gogol.”
Funniest Player: “Brent Gogol. Just like me, he was a tough guy, played every game like it was his last and had to scrap for everything he ever got. We both came from the same city. We looked at the lighter side of the game.”
Favorite Players To Watch: “That’s a really hard question. I could come up with about 25 names. I like players who play the game very hard and two ways: Players who give everything they’ve got every night. That doesn’t mean they’re not skilled, because there are many players in the NHL who are very skilled and do that. That’s the type of player I like to watch. A guy who, when you walk away from the game you say, ‘I really got my money’s worth tonight.’”
Most Admired Qualities in People: “Loyalty is No. 1. Loyalty is No. 2. And loyalty is No. 3.”
Worst Injury: “Probably concussions. And a broken heart from the day I had to leave the game as a player (retired from the IHL’s Saginaw Hawks in 1988).”
Click HERE to read more Getting to Know stories.
For more features from the world of sports, check out thebiofile.com.