Mick Vukota played 574 career NHL games, scoring 17 goals and 46 points with 2,071 penalty minutes. In this week’s Q&A, Vukota talks about being a roommate with Marc Bergervin, his first NHL goal and more.
Status: NHL right winger from 1987-98 with New York Islanders, Montreal and Tampa Bay.
DOB: Sept. 14, 1966 In: Saskatoon, Sask.
First Hockey Memory: “My dad taking my skates off after a game on an outdoor rink and holding my frozen feet in his hands rubbing them. It hurt so bad once I could feel them again. They were way better frozen.”
Hockey Inspirations: “Honestly…my mom and dad. I didn’t know it at the time as much, but their work ethic set the standard for how hard I worked at something I loved.”
Last Book Read: “Haven’t had the time to enjoy a good book in a while. I used to read all of the John Grisham series.”
Greatest Sports Moment(s): “Our playoffs run in ’93, beating the Pens in overtime, Game 7 in the Igloo. And my first Patriots game was at old Foxboro and it was the snow game with the ‘tuck rule’ on Brady. Watching that place go from, ‘Oh, here we go again’, to hysteria was pretty cool.”
Most Painful Moment: “Losing to the Canadiens in the ’92-93 playoffs. We had something special that year.”
Most Memorable Goal: “I should say the hat trick. But I remember the first. In Hartford. Slapshot inside the blueline of the right side. Scored on Steve Weeks. They pulled him after that.”
Favorite Sweater: “Always liked the traditional Islanders blue jersey.”
First Famous Player You Met Or Encountered: “Gordie Howe. I’ll never forget it. I was playing junior in Spokane. He was god-like.”
Funny Hockey Memory: “My roommate Marc Bergevin. We were driving to the rink in the morning and he says to me, ‘I don’t think this is going to work out.’ I said, ‘What? I thought we were getting along great.’ He said, ‘We are, it’s your girlfriend, she’s gotta go.’ She left that evening. Best roommate ever.”
Strangest Game: “Pre-season in Tampa before they had a team. Playing in St. Petersburg. The ice was horrible. We were playing the Bruins. In the warm-up, Chris Nilan kicked a hole on the ice so the Freon started leaking and we couldn’t play the game. An hour later, both teams were at the Yucatan Stand. Great night.”
Funniest Player(s) Encountered: “Marc Bergevin, Darius Kasparaitis.”
Fiercest Competitor(s) Encountered: “Mark Messier.”
Embarrassing Hockey Memory: “Any of the ESPN promos I did. Barney Rubble – what an actor. I sucked.”
People/Personality Qualities Most Admired: “Integrity. Al Arbour. He taught me as much as my father about integrity.”
Favorite Sport(s) Outside Hockey: “I love NFL football and follow the PGA tour.”