Thursday, October 1, 2009

100 RANGERS GREATS interview

By Rick Morris

This interview, exclusive to The FDH Lounge Multimedia Magazine, is part of the 21st Century Media Alliance coverage of the release of 100 RANGER GREATS -- and another exclusive interview at fellow 21st Century Media Alliance member Outside the Boxscore can be found here. Russ Cohen of Sportsology and Card Corner Club is one of the co-authors and he provides the answers for these questions.

1 How did this book come to fruition, from the initial kernel of an idea to the assembling of the team to the distribution of labor involved?

Adam Raider called me one day and asked if I wanted to work on a book with him and then we decided on this topic, but when we wanted to rank the older players, we knew we needed additional expertise that only John Halligan could supply. Thankfully, he agreed to work on this project. The book took over a year to construct and then almost a year to get it out on the market.

2 Talk about the process of determining where players would be slotted on the list and how in a collaborative atmosphere you could get consensus on spots 1-100.

First, we made a list of well over 100. Then we started to whittle down the players based on a mathematical formula and then additional factors, like time of service with the club, fan appeal, team awards, league awards – and after five or six conference calls, we had a consensus.

3 How did you address the issue of comparing statistics and accomplishments across different eras?

It’s nearly impossible, but you have to do your best and try to realize which eras were high-scoring and which ones weren’t.

4 In making the determinations, how much did individual accomplishments play into the slotting and how much was based on substantive contributions to team success?

Team success wasn’t a big factor. Sure, winning a Cup looks great on anybody’s resume, but in a book like this, individual accomplishments are huge. But if a player could make his teammates better, that weighed heavily in his favor.

5 In addition to the actual information and analysis, this coffee-table book is very striking visually with the striking and very beautiful photography. How did you acquire the rights to use all of these images?

John Halligan had many of the images and the New York Rangers gave us permission for many others. After that, a few nice photographers granted us usage rights and we purchased the rights for some of the shots from the Hockey Hall of Fame as well. The publisher also purchased some photos, so that was a collaborative effort as well.

6 As a Red Wings fan, I am also appreciative of Original Six history of this nature. Talk about some of the material in the book that will be of interest to those with an interest in hockey heritage in general.

Well, there are tremendous pictures of Gordie Howe, Stan Mikita and many other great players who played against the Blueshirts on a regular basis. The profiles include a lot of information about Stanley Cup games, and that means that a lot of people’s favorite teams also get mentioned in this book. Much of this material and many of these photos have never been seen before.

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