So, you grew up in Phillie and you're a Flyers fan, right?
Mmm hmm. Large. I was born in Buffalo, moved to Philadelphia in '77 and quickly became a Flyers fan after I was at a game at the Spectrum, in the 700 level against the Buffalo Sabres.
In the 700s level?
Oh yeah, you know, up top in the bleachers. That's when I quickly became a Flyers game, after the Sabres scored and I jumped up. My dad said that maybe wasn't a great idea... After that game they won me over.
Even though you've moved away? I just talked to Alan Thicke before and he said it's become a regional thing for him - but you stayed a Flyers fan regardless.
Completely, yeah, orange and black. I know a lot of the players, I know the coaches and I've maintained a sense of loyalty to the organization and to the players that have come and gone that I've seen, from the Lindros days up until the allegiance of Richards and Carters that have now been separated this past year with all those moves. I've become friends with a lot of the players and still am. It's a strong organization... as hard as it was for me to stomach the moves they made this past off season.
What are your feelings going in to this season for the team?
Definitely a sense of excitement because you have a totally new look for the Flyers this year. They really stretched the boundary as far as signing a goaltender for so much money, putting their future in between the pipes - which, for me, was a gutsy call. There are a lot of minors out there that you could have probably got for less.
What about you, are you as intense with your training for your celebrity games? Do you also play in any leagues consistently?
Yeah, I play on and off. My son is in the travel hockey programme so that takes up a lot of mine and my wife's time. But when I don't have 6 am practices on Saturday or a game that starts at 8 am on Sunday I'll play for a league with a bunch of pick up guys, with some other celebrities.
Is there anyone that you've played with that was the biggest deal for you?
Well, yeah, you rub elbows with a lot of NHL players. I do some work with the NHL and I know a lot of players and have been on the ice with some of them.
How old is he now?
He's 9. He just turned 9, so he loves the game. It actually comes from enthusiasm maybe because I'm such a passionate hockey fan. That bleeds over in to him, maybe. It's great to see him take the ice, a lot of fun.
Do you have a first hockey memory?
You know, when I was a kid growing up in Buffalo and I went to the Aud, where they played games. For me it was the French connection, watching those people play on the ice. I'm dating myself now, it was pretty far back! Being at those games with my father and going to the Sabres club in the back, looking at the Sabres logo with the sword and the buffalo, the bison, was really impactful for me... and the old organ they played!
You know, my dad told me, watch the speed of the game change when the Canadiens hit the ice. It was true, it was such a faster game. I would go to these games with my dad and watch these players be a part of the auditorium, the old aud in Buffalo. And then again in Philadelphia, being at the Spectrum. Growing up, being in high school, being able to see some pretty remarkable Flyers games. Bobby Clark, Bill Barber. He scored his 1000th goal against - I think - the Boston Bruins and being there and, you know, seeing players and the organization change from the early '80s all the way through to now has been quite an experience for me.
And being at games with my father and my son now. It's always been great, I've seen some pretty great games.
Do you have any rituals or superstitions when it comes to seeing the Flyers through the season?
You know, when I'm at work in my trailer I do have the hockey package so it's constantly on. I see every game. They're always on, I always get my NHL alerts on my iPhone.
What app do you use?
It's the GameCenter app from NHL. I'm constantly getting alerts and updates and scores and when it comes to the time of the playoffs, hockey for me - especially the trade deadline - I'm kind of a nervous wreck trying to figure out what moves are going to be made. And then when the playoffs are on I'm pretty manic! My wife will definitely say, the jerseys go on. I've made it a ritual now, you know I've been directing some shows now, my new thing is going to be on the first day of shooting whatever I'm directing I'm going to be wearing my Flyers jersey. Yeah, my new ritual. I'll have it proud, wearing that on the first day of directing.
What will you be directing next?
I'm directing an episode of a show called Finder which is a Bones kinda copycat show. I've done a few Bones in the past as well as an Angel episode. I'm just starting to make that cross-over.
When you're the director and you have influence on the schedule, what's going to take preference, hockey or work?
Oh, hockey! I got my jersey on! I got all my alerts, I have my GameCenter. All I have to do is press 'mute', call 'action!' and then continue on with the day. It's a beautiful experience!
Sounds like you've got it all planned out... how long have you been playing?
I've been playing for almost, close to ten years now. Growing up in Buffalo I wish I played, but I never got the chance to get up at 6 am. It would've been fun. I sucked at football, and got into hockey. It's tough, it's tough! You really have to give them a shout, the number one person in all this is moms. They really are. Those are the people that lead the NHL in my mind. Being October, and breast cancer awareness month, it's nice. I'd love to see all the players with pink laces on, pink on their face, pink on their sticks. I appreciate the moms.
Jaden's 9, does he have NHL dreams?
Oh, of course he does! He said yesterday he wants to be an NHL player! Look, the odds of making any kind of athlete in any profession are very slim. His first and foremost is his studies, family and sports are next. That's how we run our household.