An Email Interview with Hockey Writer and Broadcaster Rob Simpson

By Patrick Hoffman

It is my pleasure to present to you an email interview I conducted with noted hockey writer, author, and broadcaster extraordinaire Rob Simpson.

Simpson, currently the co-host of "Stellick & Simmer" on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, has been covering hockey for a very long time and has shown to be incredibly versatile. He was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to tell us about how he got into hockey, how he got a gig with NHL Network Radio, how he came to write his new book, and much more.

I hope you enjoy! 


PH: Growing up, how did you get into hockey?
RS: It was easy for me to get into hockey as a real little kid because I had two older brothers who were already very much into it. It helped that we had a pond two doors down that in those days stayed frozen most of the winter.  That was a little bit outside of Detroit. Skated when I was 5.

PH: Who was your favorite team/player growing up? What players and teams do you like to watch now?
RS: Red Wings. Now I have to love all 31 teams equally, but there is no doubt me and my family grew up rooting for a very bad Detroit team in the seventies. Fortunately they became very good later. Gordie Howe remains my hero.

PH: Considering The Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave is filled with tons and tons of hockey memorabilia, what is your favorite piece of hockey memorabilia that you own?
RS: I have a couple of Gordie Howe signatures. I never get autographs in recent years. I don’t really collect.  

One exception was PJ Axelsson of the Bruins gave me his Team Sweden Gold Medal stick after the Olympics in Torino in 2006. I actually had asked him for it half-way through the games because we were both there representing the Bruins and I figured it would be my only Olympics.  

Amazing he saved it for me. The story is detailed in my latest book.
  

Buy Rob's Book here

Featured stories about athletes including: 

NHL superstars Zdeno Chara, Joe Thornton, Steve Montador, Scott Gomez, Domenic Moore, and Nicklas Lidström, this episodic memoir is told with Simpson’s arch sense of humor.

PH: At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to work in sports as a broadcaster and writer?
RS: I covered my first Detroit Pistons game at age 15 getting postgame sound for two radio stations and I was hooked. We had a high school radio station back when not many existed; it led to a lot of opportunities.

PH: What are some of the outlets that you have worked for whether as a writer or broadcaster?
RS: I worked at TV stations in Alabama, Florida and Hawaii, all CBS affiliates, before I moved into full-time play-by-play and TV show hosting in the minors in Idaho and then Leafs TV, NESN, MSG, NHL Network, TSN and Sportsnet. Plenty of radio in between.

PH:Tell us about what it is like to be on the morning show on SiriusXM NHL Network Radio.
RS: “Stellick and Simmer” is pretty light. We’re hardcore into reporting what took place the night before and keeping people updated, but we’re pretty relaxed. 

It is a morning show after all, so we have some fun, and I get along great with Gord Stellick. It’s no-ego radio.

PH: Tell us about your new book, No heavy Lifting: Globetrotting Adventures of a Sports Media Guy. What made you decide to write it and what are you hoping to provide readers with it?
RS: A couple of the chapters were actually written 25-years ago, about the early years covering the NBA as a teenager and some of the crazy crap that came with that. There are mostly funny stops along the way, but also a couple of serious topics. 

The idea is to entertain but to also offer some sound advice regarding (not) gambling and also life-in-media thoughts. It not biographic chronologically, its individual anecdotal vignettes from Hawaii, Italy, two trips to Africa, Boston, and elsewhere.

PH: Quick, which two teams will meet in the Stanley Cup Final come June? Which teams comes out on top and why?
RS: Nashville over Toronto in the Final. Deepest team wins if they stay healthy.

PH: Is there  anything else you'd like to share with us puckheads?
RS: Enjoy the playoff action!!

PH: Quick, which two teams will meet in the Stanley Cup Final come June? Which teams comes out on top and why?
RS: Nashville over Toronto in the Final. Deepest team wins if they stay healthy.

PH: Is there  anything else you'd like to share with us puckheads?
RS: Enjoy the playoff action!!

Previously, Patrick has covered the NHL for Sportsnet.caKukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.

For comments and hip checks, feel free to contact Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com or on Twitter at @pathoffman35.