The Virtual Hot Stove
The Virtual Hot Stove
Meet The Personalities
Meet the personalities featured in the Virtual Hot Stove, drawn from the hours of interviews with leading journalists, experts and athletes conducted for Hockey: A People's History.


A sociology professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal, Anouk Bélanger specializes in sports as spectacle and urban entertainment. She earned a doctorate from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C., with a thesis on the collective memory associated with the Montreal Forum. Bélanger is a hockey history buff and one of the few women to examine hockey's role in our society from a sociological standpoint.

back to top ∧


A native of Trois-Rivières, Que., Jean Béliveau is considered one of the greatest Montreal Canadiens players of all time. A veteran of 18 seasons with the Habs and the winner of 10 Stanley Cups, the eloquent former centre has become one of hockey's most famous ambassadors. In addition to his vast NHL experience, Béliveau had a first-hand look at the rise of hockey in Quebec from the 1940s 1970s.

back to top ∧


The most successful coach in hockey history, and perhaps in all of sports, Scotty Bowman won a record 1,244 regular-season games and nine Stanley Cups during his legendary career behind the benches of five NHL teams. Born in 1933 in Montreal, Bowman led his hometown Canadiens to five Cups in the 1970s. He added another with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 1992 and three more with the Detroit Red Wings -- the last in 2002 -- to become the first coach in the four major North American pro sports to capture championships with three different teams.

back to top ∧


Born in Hamilton, Ont., Stephen Brunt is one of Canada's most respected sportswriters and commentators. The lead sports columnist for The Globe and Mail, Brunt has authored several books and is a fixture on national sports talk radio shows and television panels. He has been nominated for several National Newspaper Awards, and in 1988 received the prestigious Michener Award for public service journalism. Brunt's latest book, Searching for Bobby Orr, takes an in-depth look at the life of the hockey legend.

back to top ∧


Born in 1937 in Sainte-Justine, Que., Roch Carrier has seen his work, ranging from poetry and folktale collections to novels, short stories and scripts, published more than 50 times. His writing has garnered numerous awards, including the prestigious Grand Prix Littéraire de la Ville de Montréal in 1980 for his work Les enfants du bonhomme dans la lune, and the Stephen Leacock Award in 1992 for Prayers of a Very Wise Child. A lifelong fan of Maurice Richard and the Montreal Canadiens, Carrier is the author of the famous children's story Le chandail de hockey (The Hockey Sweater), an excerpt of which appears on the Canadian five-dollar note. Carrier is a member of the Order of Canada.

back to top ∧


Love or hate the former Boston Bruins and Colorado Rockies coach, Don Cherry has become an English television legend and a Canadian cultural icon since his popular between-periods segment Coach's Corner debuted on Hockey Night in Canada in 1980. A former NHL coach of the year, Cherry has ruffled some feathers with his trademark blunt analysis, but his unwavering commitment to speaking his mind and defending Canadian hockey have endeared him to millions of fans across the country. Cherry's years of experience as a hard-nosed minor league player and bench boss make him a one-of-a-kind witness to the development of professional hockey.

back to top ∧


Born in Hamilton, Ont., Ken Dryden became one of the greatest goaltenders in NHL history during his brief career, backstopping the Montreal Canadiens to five Stanley Cups and earning the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goalie five times in his seven full seasons. Following his brilliant career on the ice, Dryden, who owns a law degree from McGill University, juggled business and legal careers while writing several books. The Game, Dryden's first-hand account of the 1979 Montreal Canadiens, was nominated for the prestigious Governor General's Award. After a brief tenure as president of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Dryden began a political career with the Liberal Party of Canada. He was elected to the House of Commons as the member of parliament for York Centre (Ont.) in 2004 and won re-election in 2006. A passionate advocate for the improvement of the national hockey system, Dryden chaired the 1999 Open Ice Summit, which explored changes to Canada's grassroots programs.

back to top ∧


A native of New England, journalist Jack Falla is the author of Home Ice, a collection of essays detailing his construction of a full-scale backyard rink, which he dubbed the Bacon Street Omni. A former staff writer for Sports Illustrated, Falla teaches sports journalism at Boston University.

back to top ∧


The man who put his hometown of Brantford, Ont., on the map, Wayne Gretzky rewrote the NHL record book during his 20-year career, racking up an astounding 894 goals and 1963 assists in the regular season. A four-time Stanley Cup champion and two-time Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the nucleus of the great Edmonton Oilers teams of the 1980s, Gretzky won the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player an incredible eight consecutive times with the Oilers from 1980-1987. "The Great One" sparked a surge in the popularity of hockey on the U.S. West Coat after being traded in the summer of 1988 to the Los Angeles Kings, with whom he won his record ninth MVP award in 1989. The general manager for Canada's gold medal-winning 2002 Olympic hockey team, as well as for the 2006 team, Gretzky is currently the head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes.

back to top ∧


Originally from Toronto, Richard Harrison is the award-winning author of four books of poetry on a wide range of topics and ideas. Known for challenging readers to think differently about both hockey and poetry, Harrison famously brought those two seemingly disparate worlds together in his book Hero of the Play, which was once featured on CBC Television's Adrienne Clarkson Presents. Harrison's riveting verses have been read aloud at the Hockey Hall of Fame and the Saddledome, home of the Calgary Flames. A die-hard hockey fan, Harrison recently completed a trilogy of poems about the Stanley Cup.

back to top ∧


A warm and familiar face on Hockey Night in Canada, Dick Irvin has been a mainstay of the CBC's broadcast team for four decades. Best known for his play-by-play coverage of Montreal Canadiens games, the Regina native called Habs games on radio for more than 30 years. The son of Hockey Hall of Fame member Dick Irvin, Sr., the younger Irvin has covered close to 3,000 NHL games on both television and radio, and in 1988 received the hall of fame's Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for excellence in hockey broadcasting. Irvin has also displayed his wealth of hockey knowledge by penning In the Crease: Goaltenders Look at Life in the NHL and The Habs: Behind the Bench.

back to top ∧


Born in 1951 in Thurso, Que., Guy Lafleur electrified Montreal Canadiens fans with his speed and finesse in the 1970s and 1980s. While spearheading the Canadiens' offence for 14 seasons, "The Flower" became the first player in NHL history to notch at least 50 goals and 100 points in six consecutive seasons. A three-time scoring champion and two-time winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL's most valuable player, Lafleur led the Habs to four straight Stanley Cups from 1976 to 1979, capturing the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 1977. Known for his outspoken nature, Lafleur is a valuable witness to the modern history of hockey.

back to top ∧


The national host of Hockey Night in Canada since 1987, Ron MacLean is perhaps best known as the sober (and witty) counterweight to the fiery Don Cherry. A veteran amateur hockey referee and a versatile sports commentator, MacLean has covered the Summer and Winter Olympics since 1988 while lending his broadcasting talents to countless other major sporting events.

back to top ∧


A Vancouver resident, Michael McKinley has penned several hockey-themed best-sellers, including The Magnificent One: The Story of Mario Lemieux, Hockey Hall of Fame Legends, Putting a Roof on Winter and Etched on Ice. He has also written for The Guardian (London), The Los Angeles Times and Sports Illustrated. McKinley was selected by the CBC to write the English-language book that will accompany the Hockey: A People's History television series, set for publication in October 2006.

back to top ∧


Danièle Sauvageau is one of the best-known figures in women's hockey. As head coach, she led the Canadian women's team to its first-ever Olympic gold medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games. A veritable pioneer, the Deux-Montagnes, Que., native was the first female analyst on La soirée du hockey and the first woman to serve as an assistant coach in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, joining the Montreal Rocket for the 1999-2000 season. A member of the Montreal Urban Community Police Department, Sauvageau also served as a hockey analyst for Télévision de Radio-Canada at the 2006 Torino Olympics.

back to top ∧

Hockey on Radio and Television

Canada's Game

The Will To Win

Hockey's Greatest Rivalry

The Summit Series

The Great One

Women in Hockey

Broadcast Sponsors: