Greetings from San Francisco!!
Sorry for the delay, but due to my travel this was delayed.
You asked, I asked and here are 20 questions with Nick Kypreos:
TSM: From on ice player to hockey insider, was this always in the works? Did you think this would be your post playing career?
NK: You can never predict the future. Especially in a tough competitive industry like broadcasting. Unlike playing hockey, media side has very little turnover and not many job openings. Having said that, I did really enjoy and respect the coverage we received as players and I always thought in the back of my mind, that would be a great post career job.
2. TSM: As you look around the city today, and you spend time at rinks and parks, how have things changed from when you were a kid to now that you are a parent from a sport perspective?
NK: Other than technology, from a kids playing perspective nothing has really changed. Same game and the same passion from the kids who play. The glaring change is parents attitudes. With so much vested in their children (ie time/money) it’s as if the game owes them something back. Like a pro contract or a scholarship. The pressure we put on our children is the biggest change I see.
3. TSM: What’s the most common thing people ask you when they notice you in public?
NK: When are the Leafs going to win the Cup? As if I have some crystal ball or something. Hahaha.
4. TSM: The sports world is dealing with a concussion crisis right now. The results of late have been somewhat tragic as athletes are taking their own lives. As someone who spent some time in the sin bin, what do you think the solution should be?
NK: The top doctors and scientists don’t have a solution , how could I. The good news for anyone struggling is we speak about these type of issues better and more frequently than ever before. I encourage anyone out there who is battling to reach out to a loved one, friend or hot line. Talking it out is the best solution I can think of.
5. TSM: ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith threatened a pro athlete on national TV. Would there be any circumstance where we’d see such a crazy thing in Canada?
NK: No. I can’t think of one.
6. TSM: Any changes coming to the on air product for NHL on Sportsnet ? I seem to recall Scott Moore giving a interview somewhere in print or online suggesting that you guys would have more defined panel crews ? Is that true ? Or will it be exact same set up as last season ?
NK: I can’t speak for anyone other then myself but I can tell you for the 2nd straight year I’m involved in Wednesday night hockey with MacLean, Pang and Millard hosting. And Saturdays it’s Hockey Night in Canada with Hrudy , Friedman withStrombo hosting. 2 great panels a week with fun guys. How lucky am I?
7. Pete Rose was very critical about both Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista leaving playoff games for pre-cautionary reasons. Any thoughts?
NK: Yea. Pete Rose should wake up and smell 2015.
8. TSM: In what ways do you think the Sportsnet hockey “product” has improved since the deal and where is there room for further improvements?
NK: It has changed so much for the better especially since I broke in 1998. Today we are moving on and off the desk and interacting with the viewers more than ever before. No Sports panel can hold viewers for 5 min while sitting at a desk. Those TV days are over.
9. TSM: Nick, was Mark Hatcher the meanest defenseman you ever saw in the OHL?
NK: Never seen a guy that big in my life ‘ let alone on skates before meeting Mark. Mark off the ice was the nicest ‘ most gentle guy you would ever meet. I really enjoyed my time not only with Mark and Kevin but the whole entire Hatcher family.
10.TSM: Best coach you ever had and why?
NK: Bert Templeton in North Bay. Didn’t matter if you were the top guy on the team or on the 4th line. If you didn’t follow team rules he sent you home. He would not just sit you out a game , I mean your bags were packed.
11.TSM: Best teammate you ever had and why?
NK: Loaded qustion. Too many to answer. I found a way to get along with them all. That’s how 4th line players stay in the league.
12.TSM: Favorite road city and why?
NK: New York City. My first visit there with the Washington Capitals my teammate Dale Hunter gave me the best advice. ” Don’t take a bite out of the Big Apple cause it will bite you back “.
13. TSM: When not on the air, you like to ______________?
NK: Play chess against computer on my pad.
14.TSM: Fans would be most surprised to learn?
NK: I was a big soap opera guy growing up. I was even invited by legend daytime actor Michael Zaslow to make an appearance on Guiding Light when I was a member of the New York Rangers. It was Emmy worthy.
15.TSM: What’s the one thing that surprised you the most about the adjustment to media from player?
NK: While many of the people in the media compete against each other for scoops and stories , they are like players in a way that they are a fairly tight knit fraternity. They majority minus the rare oddball all get along with quite well.
16.TSM: Clearly as an ex-player you know things and still hear and see things that would be juicy to report but are probably off base- how do you decide whether to report it or not?
NK: If it’s off base I don’t do it. I like to report on things that effect your team. Ie trades, injuries, coaches and General Mangers getting fired. I’ll avoid tabloid reporting I’ll save that for TMZ. My #1 rule is never sell out a source for the sake of a story. I think you must always protect a source no different then you would a star player.
17.TSM: What did you think of the Maple Leafs offseason moves?
NK:I’m fine with it. In a salary cap world the only way you get better is to draft well and develop. Sorry Leaf fans this will take a while.
18.TSM: Any other career aspirations.
NK: None presently. I’m still trying to get a grasp the one I have.
19.TSM: How do you prepare for your on air shows?
NK: Lots of phone calls and visit to the rinks. While coaches and mangers set the tone, the player stories are the only ones that really matter to the fans. So I talk to them as much as I can.
20.TSM: How’s it going on social media these days? Doing a little more proof reading before hitting the send button ???
NK: Very dangerous these days. Your life can change in a second with social media. I’ve even softened up on ” those f#%ers at TSN!!