Sep 18, 2022
Fans of the original NHL version (1979-96) of the Winnipeg Jets, as well as the first ten seasons (1997-2007) of their subsequent incarnation as the Phoenix Coyotes, will surely remember the dulcet tones of team radio and TV play-by-play broadcaster Curt Keilback (Two Minutes for Talking to Myself: Jets, Coyotes, Tales, Opinions).
For 27 seasons - spanning some 2400+ games - Keilback was the signature voice of the since-rebranded Arizona franchise, a seemingly lone constant amidst the club's steady stream of existential change from 1970s World Hockey Association dominance, to NHL small-market competitive frustration, to (supposedly) "greener pastures" in the Valley of the Sun.
Keilback takes us on clear-eyed journey back through some of the more memorable moments of his Jets/Coyotes broadcasting career, including: the original (and much-copied) "Winnipeg White Out;" the ill-fated 1996 "Save the Jets" campaign; how he kept his job despite the Jets' impending move; the not-so-great coaching tenure of "The Great One;" and his call of "The Goal" - then-Washington Capital rookie Alexander Ovechkin's impossible-to-describe, body-prone, behind-the-back score against the Coyotes in 2006.
PLUS: we debate the current wisdom and likely future of the current Arizona-labeled version of the franchise - and whether it will EVER work!