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Bentivenga: Fischler inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

In his time covering professional hockey, Stan Fischler has become an icon in the world of sports media and a staple of the New York sports media community. His award case is impressive to say the least, including eight New York Emmy awards and the 2007 Lester Patrick Award, given to personnel who provide outstanding service to hockey in the United States. Now, the Hockey Maven can add another title to his already star-studded resume. 

On Thursday, Fischler was unveiled as one of the three inductees to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, as a part of the Class of 2021. The Maven was inducted alongside former Philadelphia Flyers forward Paul Holmgren, and Peter McNab, who currently serves as the TV color commentator for the Colorado Avalanche. 

“I’m grateful, very grateful for the honor,” Fischler said after the news broke. “I have three priorities in life. My first priority, by far, is family, followed by health and hockey. Hockey has been apart of my life since my father took me to a game in 1939 and I never stopped going {to hockey games}.”

There aren’t many names ahead of Fischler when it comes to talking about people deserving of being dubbed a U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer. His famed career (which spans over eight decades) started back in 1954, when Fischler began serving as a publicist for the New York Rangers. He then went on to write for the Brooklyn Eagle (later turned New York Journal-American) until 1966, and made the jump to broadcasting for the New England Whalers of the WHA in 1973. Two years later, Fischler joined MSG Networks, and the rest has been history. 

In his 40+ year career with MSG, Fischler has been on deck for eight total Stanley Cup championships (four with the Islanders from 1980-83, one with the Rangers in 1994, and three with the New Jersey Devils in 1995, 2000 and 2003). His television broadcasts also earned him several Emmy awards (as mentioned earlier), including one for outstanding on-camera talent and sports reporting, as well as another for “best program/ feature segment”, called “Five for Fischler”.

If Fischler’s broadcasting career sounded impressive, his career as a writer will sound even more so. Over 100 hockey books have Fischler’s insignia on it in some form (via either serving as author or co-author), including in works like “The Hockey Book”, “Hockey Chronicle”, and “Cracked Ice: An Insider’s Look at the NHL”. His writing has also appeared in multiple notable publications, including The New York Times and Sports Illustrated. In fact, Fischler’s writing even earned itself a place in the 1999 book “Best American Sports Writing of the Century”. Today, Fischler continues to put out articles for his blog “The Fischler Report”, as well as contributing weekly pieces for the Islanders, Devils, and NHL’s websites. 

In addition to all he’s done on a personal level, Fischler continues to be both a positive influence and guiding figure to young people looking to get their foot in the door with sports media. Over the years, The Maven has taken many interns under his wing that have eventually made it big in the sports media industry themselves. Some of those interns include several members of the Islanders’ media community, like Mollie Walker (New York Post), Arthur Staple (The Athletic) and IslesBlog’s own Rob Taub. 

“The trick is, it’s never been work, it’s always been fun”, Fischler said, when asked about his illustrious career. “To say I’ve been working is a joke. It’s my life’s laugh is just doing hockey every single day”. 

Well, I guess the old saying is true: if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. Congratulations, Stan!

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Carter on Twitter at @cbentivenga14

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