Archive for November, 2012

5FW NHL Alumni Interview: Mark Laforest, Part 2

November 29, 2012

Flyers goaltender Mark Laforest is among those featured in In The Game’s “Broad Street Boys” set.

In Part Two of 5 For Writing’s lengthy interview with former NHL goaltender Mark Laforest, Laforest and I talk about his tenure with the Flyers under Mike Keenan and subsequent stints with the Maple Leafs and Senators.  But Laforest also speaks openly about his bouts with alcoholism and depression, and how he’s been sober for the past 14 years.

Mike Ashmore, 5 For Writing: So, the Flyers got to the playoffs in your first season there, and you actually ended up winning a playoff game in relief of Ron Hextall.  What do you remember about that?

Mark Laforest: “We were playing, and I’m an avid smoker of cigarettes (laughs).  (Mike) Keenan used to freak on me all the time, right?  He’d catch you in the skate room having a smoke and he’d just freak on me.  So it was Game 4 at home, we were up two games to one, but we were down 4-1.  And Mike came in the room, and he goes, ‘You’re in.’  And I was like, ‘Really?’  It was the third period, we were down 4-1…4-2…4-3, we scored late to make it 4-4.  I made a save in the dying seconds, and went in the dressing room.  It was 4-4, we came out and I think they might have rattled one off the post early on me, and then Murray Craven I believe scored the goal.  I went down the other end, and we were all excited being up three games to one.  I get in the dressing room and sat down, and I started to shake.  That’s when it started to hit me.  I looked at my hands and they were shaking, and Mike came in and he was so freaking happy and he goes, ‘Smoke ’em if you got ’em.’  (Laughs).  I had a smoke right in the room, I didn’t even have to go into the skate room, it was awesome.  But that’s the way Mike was.  If you’re winning, man you’re golden.  Soon as you start losing, oh boy.”

5FW: I grew up as a Rangers fan, so I’ve certainly heard some stories about what it was like to play for him…did he have the “Iron Mike” borderline a-hole persona even at that time?

Laforest: “Oh my God, I think he was at the peak.  Some guys were pissed at him, there were guys that just didn’t like him.  He played mind games with you.  He was incredible.  He’d yell at somebody, then he’d slam the door and then he’d open it up…he was all over Scott Mellanby the one day, oh my goodness.  He was horrible, but that was the way Mike was.  He ended up getting fired because we got beat out in the first round against the Caps.”

5FW: He didn’t end up staying in one place for too long, did he?

Laforest: “No.  He got four years in Philly, and of course I thought I should have played in Philly, that playoffs.  I ended up playing again when Ron got pulled in the second period of Game 5.  It was 4-1, and we got beat 5-2, I think.  I gave up one, so I thought I’d play Game 6, I didn’t.  I thought I’d play Game 7, I didn’t.  I was pissed.  But that’s what you want to be.  The backup goalie wants to play, you don’t want to sit there.  I did not want to sit there, I wanted to play.  It didn’t work out that way.  But we had Ron Hextall.  Conn Smythe trophy.  Oh my God, he was a heck of a goalie.  Oh my goodness, he was good.  I’d love watching him play because he was intense.  The next season, we went to the semis and I didn’t get to play in the playoffs and sat on the bench.  Then the writing was on the wall when they got Ken Wregget for two first rounders.  I remember Kenny, he was staying at the hotel, and I would pick him up every day.  And he goes, ‘Trees, you’re incredible.’  And I go, ‘Why’s that?’  And he goes, ‘Here I am, taking your job and every day, you pick me up from practice on time.’  (Laughs) I get along with a lot of people, I don’t have problems with getting along with people.  And he was part of our team and I was going to make him feel welcome even though I knew he was taking my job.  But I got an opportunity with Toronto after that.”

5FW: So let’s talk about that.  You got to go to another Original Six team…and they had, was it Allan Bester and Jeff Reese at the time?

Laforest: “They had Bester and Reese and Peter Ing was just coming out of college.  I think he was holding out for more money.”

5FW: Oh wow, Peter Ing!  I remember him…and wait…Peter Ing was holding out for more money?  Oh my goodness.

Laforest: “(Laughs) I don’t know for sure, but they were having trouble signing him.  So that’s when I got traded there, and of course being in season like every year, I got sent down.  Jeff and Allan struggled a little bit, and I came up and we turned it around and starting playing well, but then I got hurt.  And I missed 5-6 weeks almost, and when I came back I played really well, but I couldn’t get a win.  We’d lose 2-1, 3-2.  I just couldn’t win the last three or four starts I had, so when it came down to the playoffs, I didn’t start and we went out in six games I think to St. Louis.  And that was pretty much near the end of it.  Then I got traded to New York.  Neil Smith, my GM in Adirondack when we won the Calder Cup, traded for me.  And I go, ‘Neil, what the heck?’  That wasn’t the word I used.  But you’ve got Vanbiesbrouck and Richter, what the heck are you doing to me?  (Laughs).  I said, ‘You’re killing me.’  And he goes, ‘We need insurance, you’re insurance.  I’ll take care of you, don’t worry about it.  You’ll go down to Binghamton.  We have a new team, and we’re going to make them good.’  And that was that.  Barring injury, I wouldn’t play in New York, or (there would be a) trade and I would.  But it never materialized until John went to either Philly or Florida.”

5FW: So it was in Toronto where you got hurt from slipping on ice…

Laforest: “That’s my story and I’m sticking to it…”

5FW: We’ll leave it at that, then.  So ultimately, you didn’t end up getting back to the NHL until the 1993-94 season with Ottawa.  How difficult was that to have to ride it out in the minors for that long not knowing if you’d get another chance?

Laforest: “Oh heck yeah.  I can’t remember…I won the best American League goalie again for the second time in Binghamton with the Rangers, and then I got drafted (in the expansion draft) by Ottawa.  Their general manager, I was near the termination date to sign a contract, and I never got a contract to sign to have a year left.  So they said I was a free agent.  They traded for another goalie, and I didn’t get to go to camp and it was a mess.  I ended up playing in the United League trying to stay in shape, and then finally the coach down in New Haven, where Ottawa’s farm team was, they were getting killed every night.  And it was, ‘Well, how come Trees isn’t here?’  They finally settled on giving me lots of money to play in the minors, because I was going to sue them.  I was pissed.  I had lawyers going.  I ended up getting a fair shake and playing in the minors, and the next season is when I got called up and ended up going up to Ottawa.  I’d been out of the league for four years.  We played nine games on the road, they were all road games, and I saw old teammates in warmups.  I saw Adam Oates in Boston, and he couldn’t believe I was still alive.  (Laughs).

‘I played hard.  I drank too much, all that stuff.  Just hanging around with different people, and it wore me down.  But now I’ve been sober 14 years and life is good.”

5FW: Well that’s certainly something to be proud of.  A lot of people aren’t so lucky…

Laforest: “It was so hard when the career was over.  To all of a sudden go from being a part of an organization and a hockey team where you’re with a bonded bunch of guys, and now you’re alone.  There was alcoholism.  At the time, it was depression.  It was everything, and oh was it hard.  But I was fortunate to run into some of the right people at the right time, and I got myself some help and I’ve been on that path for 14 years now.”

5FW: You’ve certainly read a lot of the stories about the enforcers in the game running into tough times when it comes to situations like that over the past few years.  Is it more of a widespread issue in hockey than just that group?

Laforest: “Than just that group?  I would say probably.  We know that one out of every four or five Americans go through bouts of depression.  You’ve got 20 guys on the team, so that means that three or four — at some point, whether it be as teenagers or adults or post-career — are going to have that kind of problem.  It’s bound to happen, it can’t not happen to a group of 20, I don’t care how strong you are mentally.  There’s things that just happen.  I believe that it’s huge in the real world, and I think it’s a prevalent in pro sports.  We get shocked when it happens to the extreme; when guys don’t get help, like football players and hockey players and baseball players.  It happens every year when someone takes their own life.  We get shocked because they were superstars and all that, but we’re normal human beings, we just have a talent.  Whether it’s throwing a football or a baseball or playing hockey.  It’s bound to occur in a dressing room.  I’ve learned a lot about that kind of stuff in the past 14 years, and it’s just got to be there, it’s just not talked about.  It’s just not talked about in the real world.”

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

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5FW Originals: Evaluating The 2012 Frozen Apple Game (Jacob Trouba Edition)

November 26, 2012

 — Jacob Trouba.  Not really sure what else there is to say.  For someone like myself, who has a decent understanding of the prospects at the college level but focuses more on the pro game, I come to a game like this with a few guys I’m keeping an eye while hoping that someone — anyone — jumps out at me.

If you read my preview, you saw I noted that Trouba was the biggest prospect of the bunch — nearly 20 NHL draft picks were in this game — and it didn’t take more than a few shifts to see that this kid has the skill set to be a very successful NHL player.

The ninth overall pick of the Winnipeg Jets in the 2012 NHL Draft (behind Nail Yakupov, Ryan Murray, Alex Galchenyuk, Griffin Reinhart, Morgan Rielly, Hampus Lindholm, Matthew Dumba and Derrick Pouliot), Trouba is just 18 years old and is listed at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds.  While he often uses his size to his advantage and plays a very physical game — but does so in a smart fashion — he doesn’t skate like a big guy.  Trouba uses a smooth stride and carries a lot of speed through the neutral zone, and also has good hockey sense.

On one play, Trouba breezed through the neutral zone with ease and fired a hard shot that got blocked and deflected behind the net.  Instead of losing focus, he didn’t miss a beat and followed his shot.  Trouba is a solid puck-moving defenseman and seemed adept at making the first pass.

I exchanged a few tweets last night with long-time NHL analyst Billy Jaffe, who was one of the broadcasters for the game, and he said that Trouba was probably two years away from being ready for the NHL, but only because of the natural maturation process…there’s no sense in rushing him, he is only 18.  Of course, it would be nice to at least have the opportunity to see if he could handle the game’s top level — I think he could but don’t disagree with Jaffe’s point — but that’s a different story.

Trouba was the star of the show in my mind, even despite his Wolverines losing to Cornell, 5-1.

Cornell had a few standouts, but nobody at Trouba’s level…I thought Brian Ferlin had some nice moments for the Big Red.  A fourth round pick of the Boston Bruins in 2011, Ferlin showed some good offensive upside but still looked a little raw at times.

I was also interested in seeing Andy Iles last night, and while he didn’t disappoint, he didn’t get tested too particularly often so it was hard to get a real feel for his game.  He made the saves he needed to make and showed me somewhat of a Tim Thomas-like mentality in that he’s very aggressive and never gives up on the play.  His head first dive to break up a play about 40 feet from his net was certainly one of the highlights of the night.

In the other net, I was pretty disappointed in Steve Racine.  Racine’s puckhandling skills were particularly poor, and while he didn’t have a chance on a few of Cornell’s goals, he let in a pretty inexcusable five hole tally that never left the ice.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

5FW: 2012 Frozen Apple Photo Gallery

November 25, 2012



Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

5FW Live Coverage: 2012 Frozen Apple

November 24, 2012

5-1, Final. Will have some photos and impressions from seeing both teams live later on…

9:35 PM — 3-0 Cornell after two. Michigan has had some extended time in the offensive zone, but hasn’t done much with it. Trouba continues to impress, while I’ve barely noticed the Wolverines’ Boo Nieves, who was drafted by the Rangers in the second round last year.

Andy Iles was tested for the first time in the second and made some nice saves, all while wearing a special camo jersey that will only be worn for that period and will be auctioned off to benefit Wounded Warriors.

8:50 PM — 1-0 Cornell after one…Jacob Trouba of Michigan probably the best player on the ice for either team, though. There’s a lot to like about that kid, you can see why Winnipeg took him 9th overall last year.

Joel Lowry had the goal for the Big Red, and…well, Steve Racine hasn’t been too impressive to me through 20. Shaky when handling the puck, and the goal never left the ice, just beat him clean through the legs. Clean shooting lane, but that can’t happen.

8:00 PM — Lines are as follows…

Cornell

Mowrey-Axell-Ferlin
Lowry-Miller-Knisley
Esposito-Bardreau-McCarron
DeSwardt-Mihalek-Tiitnen

Willcox-D’Agostino
Birch-Ryan
Gotovets-MacDonald

Iles
Kanji
Hogan

Michigan

Di Giuseppe-Treais-Nieves
Guptill-Lynch-DeBlois
Copp-Selman-Sinelli
Moffatt-Rohrkemper-Hyman

Bennett-Trouba
Clare-Moffie
Szuma-Chiasson

Racine
Rutledge
Janecyk

7:00 PM — Welcome to The Trentonian’s 5 For Writing’s coverage of the 2012 Frozen Apple game between Cornell and Michigan at Madison Square Garden. I’m going to try to update this as often as I can through the night — the game starts at 8 — and should have some stuff post-game as well.

Stay tuned here for frequent updates.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Preview: 2012 Frozen Apple (Michigan VS. Cornell)

November 23, 2012

The Trentonian will be covering Saturday night’s Frozen Apple matchup at Madison Square Garden between Cornell and Michigan.  While it’s still an exciting matchup, it looked a lot better on paper at the beginning of the season, considering each team has taken somewhat of a nosedive in the rankings since the start of the year.

Cornell, who was fourth in the country when they fell to Princeton at Baker Rink, now finds itself 13th.  And the Wolverines are lucky to be ranked at all, sitting 19th in the latest USCHO poll despite a 4-6-1 mark, which puts them as the only team under .500 in the Top 20.

Between the two teams, there will be 19 players who’ve been drafted by NHL teams on the rosters.

CORNELL (8)

D: Nick D’Agostino (’08, R7, PIT), Braden Birch (’08, R6, CHI), Reece Willcox (’12, R5, PHI), Joakim Ryan (’12, R7, SJ)
F: Brian Ferlin (’11, R4, BOS), Joel Lowry (’11, R5, LA), John McCarron (’12, R6, EDM), Kirill Gotovets (’09, R7, TB)

MICHIGAN (11)

D: Brennan Serville (’11, R3, WPG), Jacob Trouba (’12, R1, WPG), Lee Moffie (’10, R7, SJ), Jon Merrill (’10, R2, NJ), Mac Bennett (’09, R3, MON)
F: Phil Di Giuseppe (’12, R2, CAR), Luke Moffatt (’10, R7, COL), Zach Hyman (’10, R5, FLA), Boo Nieves (’12, R2, NYR), Kevin Lynch (’09, R2, CBJ), Alex Guptill (’10, R3, DAL)

Trouba was selected ninth overall by the Jets in the most recent draft, and is considered to be the biggest prospect of those listed here…Merrill has yet to play this season due to a cracked vertebrae and that’s unlikely to change tomorrow…Although none of the goalies on either roster have been drafted, Andy Iles could be a coveted free agent if he chooses to leave after his junior season (a la Keith Kinkaid at Union) or finishes out his eligibility next year.  He’s posted a 2.09 GAA and .923 save percentage for the Big Red this year and has played every second for them between the pipes…Rumson, NJ’s Ryan leads Cornell with six points…The Big Red have 15 different players with at least one point and have utilized a more balanced attack than Michigan, who is led in scoring by forward A.J. Treais, who has a 9-5-14 line in 12 games.  Between Treais, Guptill and Bennett, the Wolverines have been a little more top-heavy in scoring, as each has already tallied double-digits in points.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

5FW NHL Alumni Interview: Mark Laforest, Part 1

November 11, 2012

Mark Laforest (Photo via FlyersHistory.com)

Through the help of Dylan Wade of the NHL Alumni Association, The Trentonian and the 5 For Writing blog has been granted access to the wide array of players available through that fantastic organization. Recently, I had the privilege of spending nearly an hour on the phone with former Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators goaltender Mark Laforest.

Laforest, known to most simply as “Trees,” is a two-time winner of the “Baz” Bastien Award as the best goaltender at the AHL level, and won a Calder Cup in Adirondack in 1986. He played in 103 NHL games over the course of six seasons, most notably picking up a playoff win for the Flyers in 1988.

Our first NHL Alumni Association starts with asking Laforest just how he picked up his nickname, but delves into quite a few different topics as it unfolds…without further ado, 5 For Writing presents our interview with Mark Laforest.

Mike Ashmore, 5 For Writing: So, I guess the most logical way to begin this would be to ask about your nickname, “Trees.” Laforest…forest…trees, I get it. But who stuck that one on you?

Mark Laforest: “That was in 1983 training camp with the Adirondack Red Wings, Randy Ladouceur. I told him I didn’t like it.”

5FW: I guess that’s why it stuck…

Laforest: “That’s when he gave printouts to the whole room that the new guy is “Trees.” And now my kids use it when they can’t get my attention. My parents are the same way.”

5FW: Working your way through all the leagues you did — IHL, AHL, ACHL — and all that to get to the NHL like you did, did that make it all the more worthwhile that nothing was really handed to you to get to that top level?

Laforest: “Oh, yeah. It was a hard grind. It was year after year, trying to grab on to the next level, and it was never easy. Thinking you’ll start in the I or in the American League, and then American League training camp is over and they send you to a place you’ve never heard of before. I thought it was a joke. He says, ‘You’re going to Kalamazoo.’ And I was like, ‘Where’s that by, Timbuktu?’ And he goes no, and he pulls out one of those world atlases, and he pointed to it. He had it open underneath his desk, so maybe it had happened before. It was Billy Dineen, he was the coach in Philly as well. He goes, ‘No, Trees, you’re going there.’ All right. So then you work and work, and sometimes you think there’s no hope. And then there’s a glimmer.”

5FW: Did you ever think about hanging it up early?

Laforest: “Yeah. My second year pro, I was in Adirondack and had a baby. My wife was in Adirondack, but I got sent to the Mohawk Valley Stars in Utica of the Atlantic League Coast League. And we took a bus ride in a bus that looked like Slap Shot, and I think I started the brawl. We had a bench (clearing) brawl, I got beat up so bad, my face was just one big pus. And I called my wife, and it was near the end of the second year. I said, ‘That’s it, I’m quitting. I’m not doing this anymore.’ And she said we’d talk about it when I got home, and not to worry about it and all that stuff, the way strong wives are. I got home and we continued. The next season, by December, I was playing in Detroit.”

5FW
: So I guess that leads me into that first NHL season…I know the numbers weren’t what you were looking for in 1985-86 with Detroit, but to get to be up there and playing on an Original Six team and in that building, that must have been quite something…

Laforest: “Oh my God, I can’t tell you the thrill of walking into the dressing room at 5 o’clock for a 7 or 7:30 game and seeing your name on the jersey. An original six (jersey) with your name on it, it was just like incredible. I was very fortunate that my hometown was, let’s see, like 200 miles away from Detroit. I called my parents that morning, because I flew in late night, and I called my dad right before the morning skate, and I said, ‘What are you guys doing?’ And they were kind of confused. They thought I was still in Adirondack, and I said, ‘Listen, I’m starting tonight, are you coming to the game?’ And my dad was like, ‘Where are you?’ I said, ‘I’m in Detroit.’ So my parents went to work for half a day, and at noon, they booked it to Detroit, which is only a four hour ride. When I stepped on the ice in warmups, they were about five rows up behind the net, waving, all happy and excited. As was I. I waved, but then I put my hand down real fast, because I’ve got to be a pro (laughs). It was pretty cool.”

5FW: Just stretching your arm, right? (laughs)

Laforest: “Yeah, yeah. And it was against the Flyers, too. So imagine that.”

5FW: So take me through what you remember against that first game against Philadelphia…

Laforest: “Oh my God, it was incredible. It was a decent crowd. It wasn’t full, but it was decent. There were maybe 15-16,000, I guess, something like that. And Philly was on top of the league, and we were on the bottom. It was a pretty good game, it was 1-1, and then 2-1, and then I made a save in the third period or the second period, I can’t remember what it was. Maybe it was the third when it was 2-1. And I got a standing O, and couldn’t bend my knees to get in my crouch because they were knocking so bad. I remember the referee, I can’t remember who he was, came over and looked over at me with a grin and he goes, ‘Are you OK?’ And I said, ‘No.’ And he goes, ‘OK, I’ll give you a minute, take your time.’ And I went and got a drink of water, had to breathe deeply, you know, let’s get it together. And we went on to win, 4-1. I got first star and was going to set the league on fire.”

5FW: I look at some of the names on that first Red Wings team that you played on; you see Steve Yzerman and you see Adam Oates, and then you see the record of that team, and it doesn’t really seem to piece all together. For lack of a better way of asking, why was that team so bad?

Laforest: “Well, it’s kind of hard to say. We had lots of older guys, Danny Gare was our captain. And he wouldn’t get dressed some nights. It was very dysfunctional, it was just horrible. And I wasn’t very good. I wasn’t ready to go there, but two injuries put me there. It wasn’t like, ‘Oh, he’s ready, let’s bring him up.’ It was, ‘OK, he’s up because he’s next.’ And it was a hard year. The next year, we ended up going to the semifinals. But that year was a transitional year. Mr. Ilitch had just bought the team two years prior, Brad Park was their coach and he got fired in the summer time. The next season, Jacques Demers came in and we went to the semis. That was the turnaround of that organization, I think. That was the first year in a long time that they actually did something. It had been like 10-15 years. I think from there, a lot of guys grew as men and as hockey players. That first year, in ’85, I think Stevie was 18 maybe. They were all young, we were all young.”

5FW: Could you tell even back that then kids like Stevie Y and Oates were special when you saw them?

Laforest: “Oh my, yeah. They did stuff on the ice where you’d just go, ‘Wow.’ The quickness of Stevie from side to side, and Oatsies’ passing ability. They used to yell at him to shoot more, because every time he’d shoot, he scored. But he was just one of those guys that just loved to pass, he got a kick out of getting A’s. And then there was getting to watch Probie (Bob Probert) fight. We were roommates for years. Watching him fight and Joey Kocur, it was the start of something. But then I got traded to Philly, so I didn’t get to be around to watch it grow. But it was the start of something new.”

5FW: You did get to be a part of a Calder Cup team in that organization though, and in researching various things to ask you, I’d read that you consider that be such a special moment for you. What was it like for you to win it all at the AHL level?

Laforest: “It was incredible. We were so bad in Detroit that year, that was actually a blessing in disguise. Everybody’s confidence was down, and we were losing every night. It would be 3-2 going to the third, and we’d lose, 6-2. It was stuff like that. Getting sent down to the team we started with at the beginning of the year; Me, Oatsie, Probie, a couple other guys…we were a good team when we left there, and they kept continuing playing well. So showing up and being a part of a first place team, it was incredible. It just changed your whole attitude towards the game, it was fun to be at the rink again. Knowing that the coach, Billy Dineen, said you’re the guy and you’re the one that’s going to play and Detroit was saying that you’ve got to do something, because you weren’t that good here, you’ve got to show us something…there was a lot of pressure. You might think guys in the American League don’t get pressure as much as the NHL, but believe me, most of the pressure you put on either or is pressure you put on yourself. But it was an incredible experience. I was average in the first series, but we played so good. I got my confidence and played great against Moncton, and our team was just fabulous against the Hershey Bears, which was Ronnie Hextall and their squad. It was a great series, we had three or four overtime periods in Game 4, and it was just an amazing experience. To finish and win after a long season, there’s nothing more gratifying. I remember my son when he was 15, we were going to a Leafs game and I was driving, and he goes, ‘What’s your best day in hockey?’ And I said that it was winning the Calder Cup. That was the best thing for me. And he goes, ‘No, no, the NHL.’ And I said that in the NHL, I had a lot of great stops and I had a great time, but winning is the most important thing when you’re a pro. So, winning that Calder Cup was a huge experience. I thought I’d win it every year, one Cup or another. But that was the only one we ever won. It’s very hard, and it’s a grind.”

5FW: I know you were with the Red Wings organization for the season after that, and then you ended up getting dealt to the Flyers. How do you feel like that trade ended up affecting your career at that point?

Laforest: “Well, I thought it was on the way up. I had that year in Detroit when I won the Baz Bastien for best goalie in the minors in ’87, and I just couldn’t crack the lineup. Glen Hanlon was in net, and Greg Stefan, and Jacques Demers liked them. They played well, but I felt like I was being held back, in my opinion. And then, having the opportunity to go to a new team, with Hexy being the number one, you know it was the next step. Like my whole career, grasping for that next step. So the next step would have been to backup somewhere, and I got that opportunity in Philadelphia. For me, it was like any trade, you were disappointed and you’re asking why, but then you realize somebody wants me and it’s a new opportunity. So for me, after getting traded there, it was a great thing for me. I was very, very excited to be a part of the Flyers. They’d just been to the Finals and Game 7, and I thought I could help them.”

In part two of the three-part chat, Laforest and I discuss his time with the Flyers, eventually moving on to the Maple Leafs, and much more…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Update On 5FW Future…

November 5, 2012

There will continue to be content here.  It’s been an interesting process in determining which direction I want to go with this blog…I was always going to go forward with it, but the past few weeks have been an experiment into what does and doesn’t work.

So for now, I’ll maintain this as an avenue to showcase my non-Titans game coverage, as well as any features I choose to pursue.  There are still all the features I’ve done the interviews for that you’ll see on here, as well as stories down the road as well.

The blog hasn’t necessarily received the support I’d hoped it would, but hopefully the NHL lockout will magically end and perhaps all that will change…

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com