In this week’s Getting To Know, Chicago Blackhawks goaltending coach Jimmy Waite talks about the greatest save he ever made and one especially embarrassing blooper that finds its way onto Top 10 shows on a near yearly basis. He also tells a little known story about Montreal Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin.
Status: Former NHL goaltender from 1988-1999 for Chicago, San Jose and Phoenix. Currently serves as the goaltending coach for Chicago Blackhawks.
Ht: 6-1 Wt: 180 pounds
DOB: April 15, 1969 In: Sherbrooke, Quebec
First Hockey Memory: “Going back with my brother, just going to the rink all the time. And I remember the novice team didn’t have the goalie, he was quitting, so my brother and I walked about ten miles to get to the rink just to be able to say: I want to play. And I think I could be all right (as your new goalie). And that’s a fond memory with me and my brother (Stephane) walking all that distance just to try to make the team. It was cold out there, we had to walk through the fields. I really wanted to play I guess.”
Hockey Inspirations: “For me growing up, watching the Montreal Canadiens, that was my inspiration. I was such a big hockey fan, Montreal Canadiens fan, watching Ken Dryden growing up, he was my idol. That was my inspiration to play.”
Last Book Read: “Marc Levy, it’s a French book, a French title.”
Greatest Sports Moment: “Was, first of all, getting drafted by the Blackhawks in ’87. But playing with the World Junior Championship when we won, we beat Russia in Russia to win the gold medal.”
Most Painful Moment: “I would have to say the one year I was in Chicago when I got sent down, I remember that being a very bad moment for me because I thought I was going to be there the whole year and then suddenly you get sent down. You have to get back to work and pick yourself up to the NHL. So that was a tough moment for me.”
Favorite Uniforms: “Who else than the Chicago Blackhawks [smiles]? I really like all the Original Six sweaters, they’re nice and simple. The Blackhawks logo is the best in any sports.”
Favorite Rinks To Play: “I used to love the old St. Louis arena. The atmosphere there was unbelievable, it was loud. The old St. Louis arena was my favorite to play in.”
Funniest Players Encountered: “Oh, Marc Bergevin, no doubt. He was my teammate, every day it was something else with him. He’s the funniest guy I’ve been around.”
Fiercest Competitors Encountered: “Dirk Graham, he was a great captain. And that guy showed up every night. You knew he would get your back and he was just fearless out there. I loved the way he was about such a team player. Dirk Graham was great.”
Strangest Game: “Well, I’ve had many weird goals against me. I remember in LA, I just went out to play the puck and obviously it just came back in and just the way it happened…I went behind the net, I tried to get back in my net and fell on my back. That video plays every year in the funny goals. So I make the top ten every year with that goal [smiles].”
Embarrassing Hockey Memory: “Probably the same one. That was embarrassing, that goal. Obviously when in some games you don’t do very good, and you get pulled and you give five or six goals in a matter of a couple of periods. That’s always embarrassing for a goalie.”
Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: “Golf.”
Three Athletes You Like To Watch & Follow: “Tiger Woods, of course. I used to be a big baseball fan but since my Expos are gone I don’t follow it as much. Roger Federer.”
First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: “Jean Beliveau. We went to a little game at Montreal Forum. And Jean Beliveau was there signing autographs and I remember being so impressed that he was so tall. And such a nice man. So Jean Beliveau was the first star that I met.”
Most Memorable Save: “Against Mario Lemieux on the breakaway. At the Igloo. I gave him the glove – I gave him the whole glove side. And then he went for it. I guess when you have the guy like Mario Lemieux you want to dictate what he’s gonna do and not him. So I gave him the glove side and he went for it. And I took it up and made the big glove save. Then I remember Mario was banging his stick against the boards after that. That was my most memorable save in the NHL.”
Funny Hockey Memory: “Well, Bergie (Bergevin). When he was water skiing behind the Zamboni. That’s funny stuff with Bergie, you always had those funny stories. He was dressed up as a clown in the corner of the street. He was playing against us, actually against Phoenix and he got a big sign, ‘Go Blues Go.’ It was St. Louis at the time. And he was dressed like a clown on the corner of the street [smiles].”
Personality Qualities Most Admired: “Just good, honest people. And genuine. You know what you get when you meet them. There’s no BS and then they’re just nice people. They treat other people like you want to be treated.”
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