Mike Milbury might just be the most hated man in sports broadcasting.
The New England Sports Network (NESN), Hockey Night in Canada, and NHL on NBC analysts lashed took a shot at the Detroit Red Wings and their Joe Louis Arena on air last night.
Milbury threw shade at the Wings’ beloved arena saying that it was “a dump the day they opened it and it’ll be a dump the day they close it.”
Mike Milbury getting all sentimental about Joe Louis Arena – “a dump the day they opened it and it’ll be a dump the day they close it.” pic.twitter.com/5sBfVUUWVV
— John Niyo (@JohnNiyo) January 19, 2017
But if you’re surprised by Milbury’s statements I’m inclined to wonder where you’ve been the past 30-plus years. Mike Milbury has always been a controversial figure. Whether it’s on the ice, behind the bench, in the board room, or as an analyst, Mike Milbury has always illicited strong criticism from fans, friends and media alike.
What else would you expect from a man best known for hopping the glass, brawling with fans and beating a man over the head with his own shoe?
Seriously, that happened.
So it is in honour of Mike Milbury’s ridiculously inflammatory nature The Game Haus brings you, from our haus to yours,
Mad Mike Milbury’s Most Memorable on-air Moments
3) The Shoe Incident
There is a strong parallel between Milbury’s television persona and his style of play.
Blunt, raw, and not always easy to watch.
He wasn’t a talented scorer, or a gifted play-maker, but he had his attributes. Most notably, his rough style of play.
In 754 career, regular season, games Milbury amassed 49 goals 189 assist and a whopping 1552 penalty minutes.
On December 23, 1979, Milbury would be involved in perhaps the most iconic hockey fight in history, ubiquitously known simply as the ‘Shoe Incident.’
After an on-ice brawl between the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers broke out, a Rangers fan assaulted one of Milbury’s teammates and attempted to take his stick. The brawl spilt over the boards, over the glass, and into the stands.
Milbury, making his way up the rows, managed to grab the foot of an unruly attendee. He ripped off the man’s shoe and proceeded to beat him over the head with it.
It was truly a career defining moment.
2) John Scott, All-Star MVP
The 2015/16 All-Star game will go down in history.
Not for the talent that competed, though. No. On the contrary.
It will long be remembered as the All-Star game high jacked by the fans for the sake of John Scott. And while fans rallied around the journeyman NHLer, Mike Milbury did not.
Milbury, apparently disgusted by Scott, detested the grinder. Which is surprising given the way Milbury played the game.
For what it’s worth, John Scott has never beaten anybody with their own shoe. At least not on live television.
1) Bob McKenzie with a Zinger
It’s no secret that Mike Milbury’s tenure with the New York Islanders were trying times for both the franchise and Milbury alike.
Hired as their head coach in 1995, Milbury was quickly promoted to general manager and filled both positions until handing over head coaching duties to Rick Browness in 1997.
His time with the Islanders organization is best characterized by the questionable decisions he made with the team’s assets. The bulk of the criticism Milbury received as General Manager stemmed largely from the poor quality of trades he made while managing of the Islanders.
Under the leadership of Milbury the Islanders traded away some of the NHL’s most elite talent, including: Zdeno Chara, Wade Redden, Bryan Berard, Eric Brewer, Darius Kasparaitis, Bryan McCabe, Olli Jokinen, Todd Bertuzzi, Tim Connolly, Jean-Pierre Dumont, Raffi Torres, Roberto Luongo and Tommy Salo.
During an on-air segment, where Milbury was voicing some highly (hypo)critical opinions about Brendan Shanahan’s hiring by the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, NHL Analyst Bob McKenzie struck him right where it hurts. In the feels.