By Brian Metzer
It has been a while since we’ve been able to run one of George Von Benko’s great interviews.
Between the lockout and the fact that he has been very busy with his obligations to the University of Pittsburgh’s women’s basketball program and writing great books, we just hadn’t been able to catch up. We finally got a chance to catch up a few weeks back and he informed me that his usual pre-playoff chat with Ray Shero was schedule and that we’d be able to get it up here on the site as we do on a yearly basis.
The two sat down together last week and Shero talked very candidly about many topics surrounding the Penguins as the season hits its conclusion. Here are a few of the highlights that I particularly enjoyed.
- Shero addresses the trades that he made at the deadline, including deals that brought Douglas Murray, Brenden Morrow and Jarome Iginla to town.
- The importance of acquiring Tomas Vokoun and his value to the club. He also addressed the relationship that Vokoun has developed with Marc-Andre Fleury.
- He talked about all of the adversity that the team has been through, not only this season, but over the past several. Specifically in terms of the injuries that have hit his superstars such as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
- The value of the players who have stepped in to fill different roles during the adversity.
- One of the best parts of the interview regarded the Matt Cooke situation. First off, his turnaround over the past couple of seasons, the Erik Karlsson situation and then the comments made by Jack Edwards when the team was in Boston last weekend. The word idiot was used and it was outstanding.
- He talked about the pressure of heading into the playoffs with such a stacked team.
- The fact that it isn’t easy to come off of a week of essentially meaningless games and have to just in against a team that has had to play meaningful hockey all the way down to the wire.
- Shero also addressed some past failures and if they are concerned about who they will match-up against in the first round.
It was another outstanding chat between George and Ray Shero, but if you have listened to these in the past, you know that is pretty much the norm for George.
You can listen to the full interview via the player that is embedded below.
If you a fan of sports, which I am assuming that you are if you are reading this blog, then you should check out George Von Benko’s new book — “Sports Talk.” You may remember his previous efforts, which focused on a number of local sports icons, called “Memory Lane.” Well this one was inspired by a box of over 200 old taped radio interviews that George conducted with a number of national sports icons.
“Sports Talk” and Von Benko’s previous two books are available at all Bradley’s book outlets in western Pennsylvania, selected Barnes and Noble stores and at the Uniontown Public Library.
He has upcoming book signings from 3-7 p.m. June 14 at Bradley’s in Washington Crown Center Mall and also 3-7 p.m. June 15 at Bradley’s in Uniontown.
George is a sports historian and is always good for a story that I hadn’t heard before. You can here him weekly on his sports talk show on WMBS-AM radio in Uniontown that airs from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.