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Sport Kevin Allen: After 34 years, I’m lucky USA TODAY let me tell hockey’s stories – near and far

18:45  19 december  2019
18:45  19 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Today we work harder, work longer hours, and are more stressed than ten years ago. E: And I got divorced after thirty years of marriage. F; So we were both single again. David Let me think, I haven’t done an exam for a long time but when I was a student I used to study better in the morning.

Today , the old-fashioned idea of ‘boring Belgium’ has been well and truly forgotten, as Last year , for instance, artist Anthony Antonellis had a chip put in his arm that could store and transfer Rehearsals are two hours a week. Will somebody please tell me when I am supposed to get my homework done?

When I showed up for my first day at USA TODAY on a Sunday morning in the spring of 1985, I was officially on loan from the Port Huron (Michigan) Times Herald.

Kevin Allen wearing a suit and tie© H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY Kevin Allen

I was told to use a desk belonging to staff writer Cindy McConkey, who was off covering a United States Football League game.

Within 60 seconds of sitting down, the phone rang and a familiar voice asked to speak to Cindy.

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

“Sorry,” I said. “I’m told she is on assignment. Can I take a message?”

“Yes,” the man said. “Tell her George Steinbrenner returned her call and I’ll be at my Florida number until Tuesday.”

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Write a story about a day with your family. Write a story starting with the following sentence: I was having dinner at home one evening. A year after its invention, Thomas Edison improved on the model by attaching a solid-carbon button inside the mouthpiece.

This task is very effective to check the students' ability to understand the proper lexical skills for learning English.

After jotting down the message, I turned to editor Don Collins and said, “I need to work at a place where George Steinbrenner returns your call on a Sunday morning. How do I go from 'loaner' to staff writer?”

Collins laughed. But 14 months later, I was working permanently for USA TODAY, not the Times-Herald. I’ve thought about that day often this past week as I contemplated that my USA TODAY career is ending after 34 years. Friday is my last day.

The details of my departure aren’t interesting or unique. You’ve heard the story before. Shrinking industry. Staff reduction. Many friends have left the business under similar circumstances. Now it’s my turn.

Rather than dwell on those events, I choose to be grateful for the years I’ve had at the nation’s newspaper. From the minute I sat in a USA TODAY desk, I was proud to be Kevin Allen of USA TODAY. I refuse to revise my feelings just because my time is up.

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" Let ' s tell the young man at once." The reporter looked up. "Mrs. Oslow' s new novel," Cliford announced proudly, "will be ready in another month." And when we came to Gaze' s house he told me the Cartwrights' story . " I 've known Mrs. Cartwright for over twenty years ," he said slowly.

As far as I ' m concerned, this is the best college to study at. There study at than this one. (rather). Tina said she was pleased I had let her know what was going on. The size of the population is unlikely to change much in the near future. It' s impossible that you saw John last night - he' s in the USA .

I’ve enjoyed an incredible run. Thirty-three Stanley Cup Finals. Ten Olympics. Pushing 800 NHL playoff games. Except for Zdeno Chara and a handful of others, most current NHL players weren’t born when I started writing about the NHL for USA TODAY.

When Keith Tkachuk started playing in the NHL in 1991, I had already been the national writer for six seasons. Today, his sons Matthew and Brady have been in the NHL a combined six seasons.

Pierre McGuire et al. racing each other on a snow covered slope: Kevin Allen went © Dennis Wierzbicki, USA TODAY Sports Kevin Allen went "Inside the Glass" with NBC hockey analyst Pierre McGuire.

DECADE'S BEST: People, places, things that have changed NHL

LOOK BACK: Kevin Allen's USA TODAY stories through the years

As USA TODAY’s NHL beat writer, I’ve been to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Rimouski, Quebec, Tokyo, the Arctic Circle, the Swiss Alps, Austria, Norway, Italy, France, Russia, an ice rink in Mexico City, Fenway Park, Dodger Stadium, Wrigley Field, the Montreal Forum, The Big House, Martin Brodeur’s summer home, Mike Emrick’s TV booth, Maple Leaf Gardens, Boston Garden, Mellon Arena, Chicago Stadium, The Spectrum, Caley Chelios’ radio booth, Chris Chelios’ restaurant, Mario Lemieux’s backyard, Inside the Glass with Pierre McGuire and Bob Hartley’s hometown of Hawkesbury, Ontario.

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Today the world so rapidly; things never stay the same. Excuse me I a public telephone. Is there one near here? As far as I know Mike Italian for quite some time, but he still doesn't understand very much.

Вставьте в нужной форме глаголы) If you (1 — like) stories I (2 — tell ) you a true story . Sailors (4— consider) the presence of dolphins near ships to be good luck . 1— like, 2— shall tell , 3— happened, 4— was reading, 5— climbed, 6— entered, 7 — went, 8— was, 9— turned, 10— heard, 11

As the late Johnny Cash would say, I’ve been everywhere, man.

I was in Pittsburgh the night Jaromir Jagr skated through half of Chicago’s team to score a tying goal in the 1992 Stanley Cup Final. I was in Philadelphia in 2010 when Patrick Kane celebrated the Cup-clinching goal that nobody saw. I was in Buffalo in 1999 when Brett Hull placed his skate where it didn’t belong. I was in Norway in 1994 when Peter Forsberg scored the goal that put his face on a postage stamp.

I’ve seen Bob Gainey check, Denis Savard dance and Bob Probert punch like he was Muhammad Ali. I’ve chronicled Nicklas Lidstrom’s greatness, Scott Bowman’s genius, Patrick Roy’s aura and Chris Chelios’ desire to win.

I’ve witnessed Pavel Bure’s explosiveness, Al MacInnis’ sizzling shot, Dominik Hasek’s crazy acrobatics and Steve Yzerman’s ability to lead like he was Norman Schwarzkopf. I swear I’ve seen Connor McDavid fly, Pavel Datsyuk turn invisible and Scott Stevens crush opponents like he was a human compactor. I saw Mark Messier carve opponents like they were Halloween pumpkins and I was present when Sidney Crosby scored a goal in Vancouver that Canadians will never forget.

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Talking about me — I ’ m not that sure as you are. I also like foreign languages, different cultures and I enjoy travelling, but I don’t think that translation or being a professor is something for me. I’d like to choose a job which would give me a possibility of travelling, meeting new people, communicate with

For a second he fell _ it, until I told him that if he was on the radio we could turn it off!!! The ancient Romans wore items of _ quite different from today ' s fashions. I know long skirts were in last year , but the _ fashion is to wear them quite short.

I feel honored to have covered the NHL when Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux were in the primes of their career. Undoubtedly, it’s a similar feeling NBA guys covering Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, but I’ve always believed that having players of Gretzky’s and Lemieux’s caliber playing at the same time is something we will never see again. It is difficult to describe how dominant and dazzling those players were in the 1980s and 1990s.

Fondest memories

I don’t have favorite stories I wrote. But I do have fond memories, like the time I had the scoop on Lemieux coming out of retirement. This was before social media. Scoops lasted more than 45 seconds.

I always had a good relationship with Lemieux. When Penguins vice president Tom McMillan informed Lemieux that I had the story, Lemieux told McMillan to give me 40 minutes in the spotlight before he confirmed it to other entities. I’ve always appreciated Lemieux giving me that respect.

My all-time favorite assignment was going to the Arctic Circle to write about Jordin Tootoo, the first Inuit to play in the NHL, in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, just below the Arctic Circle. It was July and the ice on Hudson Bay had only melted the month before. On Day 2, I went seal hunting with Tootoo.

As I like to say in telling this story, I am the least likely person in world history to go seal hunting. I visit seals in the zoo. I don’t eat them for Sunday dinner.

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But by the end of my time with Tootoo, I was far less sympathetic to the seals. They were taunting us. I swear it’s true.

a person holding a fish in the water: Kevin Allen accompanied Jordin Tootoo, right, and friend Nigel Kubluitok on a seal hunt.© Jack Gruber, USA TODAY Sports Kevin Allen accompanied Jordin Tootoo, right, and friend Nigel Kubluitok on a seal hunt.

I will remember how hard Teemu Selanne wept after winning his first Cup. I’m going to remember how much fun it was to eat bacon and eggs at Bob Hartley’s neighbors with the Stanley Cup on the kitchen table in Hawkesbury. I don’t remember if Bob cried when we brought the Stanley Cup to his parents' graves that day, but I did.

I’ve met many memorable folks in my USA TODAY career.  No one helped me more on national stories than Nashville Predators general manager David Poile. Whenever I write about a league-wide issue, Poile always has a well-considered, interesting take. He cares deeply about the game.

But here’s another fact about Poile: the next scoop Poile gives me about his own team will be the first he has ever given me. No one in the NHL plays it closer to the vest than him.

I could mention so many other general managers, coaches and players. But I mention Poile because he was GM in Washington when I started as USA TODAY’s hockey writer. I was living in Falls Church, Virginia, and he was incredibly helpful to me.

I will always have a special fondness for the defunct Cap Centre. Someone forgot to include a press box when the building was designed. A dimly lit makeshift press row was carved into the corner. I always thought to achieve true accuracy, I should interview fans in the first two rows when goals were scored at the other end of the ice.

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“According to season-ticket holder, Joe Smith, Mike Gartner deked Rangers defenseman Tom Laidlaw before putting a shot top shelf into the corner of the net.”

Another reason I have fond memories of the Cap Centre is the four-overtime Easter Epic between the New York Islanders and Capitals. I wasn’t there, at least not at the beginning, because my wife Terri was overdue with our second child. I stayed home, but when the game headed into third overtime, I whispered to my sleeping wife: “History may be made ... I have to go to the Cap Centre.”

I arrived in time to see Pat LaFontaine score the winning goal. I interviewed players, wrote the story and my wife called to say she was going into labor. My second daughter was born 12 hours later. People in the hockey world thought we should have named her “Patty.” But we named her Kelsey.

This last story offers a springboard for the real hero of my 34 NHL seasons. It’s my wife, Terri. I’ve been with her longer than I’ve been with USA TODAY.  Early in my career, a friend asked her how she put up with me being on the road 100-plus days a year.

“I knew who he was when I married him,” she said. “I knew what I was getting into.”

Over the last several months, I’ve been helping my dear friend Mike Emrick write his life story for a 2020 publishing date. We’ve found much commonality with our careers, even though his world is broadcasting and mine is writing. We’ve both felt fortunate to have careers that we’ve been allowed to do what we enjoy doing and been paid to do it. As Mike likes to say, “And we get in the games for free."

We’ve shared stories about our first jobs, particularly how poorly we were paid. I worked for the Casa Grande Dispatch in Arizona for $180 per week in 1979. Emrick had started for less.

“The joke is on them,” Mike said, “because we would have done the job for free.”

Maybe not for free, but I would have taken $140.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Kevin Allen: After 34 years, I’m lucky USA TODAY let me tell hockey’s stories – near and far

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