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Alumni Reunion: Manny Legace

Wednesday, 07.4.2012 / 12:00 AM ET / Fan Zone
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Alumni Reunion: Manny Legace
Manny Legace was drafted by Hartford and made his NHL debut with Los Angeles, but it was with the Red Wings that he hoisted the Stanley Cup. (Photo by Getty Images)

There were 16 goaltenders taken after Hartford picked Manny Legace in the eighth round of the 1993 NHL amateur draft, so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that none of them developed into league all-stars.

What is surprising is that Legace is the only goalie – of the 36 selected that year, including Jocelyn Thibault, Kevin Weekes, Tommy Salo, Norm Maracle and Patrick Lalime – to have his name etched on the Stanley Cup.

Though he never played a game for the Whalers, Legace managed to play in more than 350 NHL games with Los Angeles, Detroit, St. Louis and Carolina. He played in parts of six seasons for the Red Wings and enjoyed a career year when he posted a 37-8-0 record in the season coming out of the NHL lockout. But his most memorable time in Detroit came as a backup to Dominik Hasek during the team’s run to the Stanley Cup in 2002.

Though it’s been a few years since he last played in an NHL game, Legace has continued his craft spending a season in Germany and American Hockey League stints in Peoria, Chicago, San Antonio and Springfield.

Legace, who still maintains a residence in metro Detroit, sat down with DetroitRedWings.com to reminisce about his playing days with the Red Wings:

QUESTION: Do you keep in touch with any of your former Red Wings teammates? If so, who?

LEGACE: “I work out in the summer with Nick Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom before they head back home to Sweden.”

Q. Which of the current Red Wings is your favorite? And why?

LEGACE: “Probably Nick, because he’s so laid-back. You call him and he can be there in five minutes. … As big of a hockey player and hall-of-famer that he is, he’s just a down-to-earth guy.”

Q. What was your favorite memory as a Red Wing?

LEGACE: “Winning the Stanley Cup in 2002.”

Q. Which of the guys you played with was the toughest?

LEGACE: “No question, Darren (McCarty). He just grinded it out every night. He wouldn’t back-down from a soul, and would fight any heavyweight. But he would never fight a lightweight. … He had respect for the game. He probably was the toughest.”

Q. Who was the funniest?

LEGACE: “(Chris) Osgood and (Kirk) Maltby liked to play practical jokes. But that was just in a little click; you never saw them picking on the big guys.”

Q. Who had the biggest heart?

LEGACE: “Probably (Kris) Draper or Malts. They just gave 100 percent every night and would stick their heads in front of slap shots. That’s why they were the Grind Line; there was a reason for it.”

Q. What was your favorite restaurant in metro Detroit?

LEGACE: “I like the China Café in Novi. But when we do come downtown it’s usually to the Detroit Brew Company, because my buddy is the manager there. … The Roma Café is another one.”

Q. How has the NHL changed since you played?

LEGACE: “The game has gotten faster. They’ve changed the rules where you can’t clutch and grab. You can’t slow teams down, and that’s thanks to New Jersey and the way they used to play by clogging up the neutral zone. You couldn’t even get a shot on Marty (Brodeur). When they changed the rules to knock down the stick-work and the holding, the game just exploded with speed.”

Q. Toughest team (other than the Red Wings) when you played?

LEGACE: “Seems like whenever we went on the west coast it was tough. Like San Jose, I always played well against them in Detroit, but I’d go there, I’d just didn’t do well against them. I don’t know, maybe it was the building.”

Q. Who did you sit next to in the dressing room?

LEGACE: “I sat next to Ozzie until he went to New York, and came back, and then to St. Louis and came back. … Ozzie is a good friend, and we’ve had a lot of good laughs.”

Q. What do you love most about the game?

LEGACE: "Just competing, the whole preparation of it. The harder you work at it, the more you get out of it. If you take the game lightly, and believe that you have it conquered, it will come up and bite you. If you dedicate yourself and work hard, the more you’ll get out of it.”

Q. Who had the greatest influence on your career?

LEGACE: “Probably my parents, who have always been there. Night and day, game in and game out, I knew that they would be there.”

Q. What advice would you give to kids playing today?

LEGACE: “Just work hard. Whatever you put in, you’re going to get out.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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