Ken Daniels knew he wanted to be a sports broadcaster when he was a 10-year-old boy growing up in Canada. That’s when he started listing to Foster Hewitt’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts on the radio.
“My parents would send me to bed early before the game ended on television,” Daniels recalls. “So I took my little yellow Panasonic transistor radio and put it under my pillow.”
That memory is one of many Daniels recalls in a new book. “If These Walls Could Talk:Stories From the Detroit Red Wings Ice, Locker Room, and Press Box” covers Daniels’ early life, but deals mostly with his 20 years as the play-by-play voice of the Wings’ television broadcasts.
One of his favorite stories involves legendary coach Scotty Bowman, who led the Wings to three Stanley Cup championships in 1997, 1998, and 2002. Daniels says the team was visiting Los Angeles one year. He and a group of friends were at a bar talking to some women when Bowman entered the room around midnight, and started calling out the marital statuses of each man at the table.
“Scotty said, ‘he’s single, he’s single, he’s divorced, he’s engaged,’ then he turned around and walked out.” Daniels says. “That was Bowman. Just out for a late-night stroll around midnight, trying to create some havoc.”
Daniels co-wrote the book with Bob Duff. Click on the audio player to hear the conversation with WDET’s Pat Batcheller.