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Mark Hardy

Mark Hardy spent two seasons as an assistant in Chicago from 2006 to 2008.  (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Mark Hardy spent two seasons as an assistant in Chicago from 2006 to 2008. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

Status: NHL defenseman from 1979 to 1994 for the Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers and Minnesota North Stars. Served as an assistant coach from 1999 to 2010 for the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks.
 
DOB: Feb. 1, 1959 In: Semaden, Switzerland
 
Early Hockey Memory:
"I remember the outdoor rink growing up in Montreal, in the Pincourt section. I remember my first game when I was four. My dad (Lee) told me when your team gets the puck, to go stand in front of the other team's net, you'll have a good chance to score. Then everybody was yelling at me to get out of the zone - offsides. They had to explain the rule to me. I wasn't quite familiar with the offside rule at that age."
 
Hockey Inspirations:
"My dad was one of them. My mother was a figure skater. She taught me how to skate. I grew up watching the Montreal Canadiens. Larry Robinson was a big inspiration. And Bobby Orr."
 
Last Book Read:
"The Morning Comes & Also The Night. By Byron MacDonald."
 
Nicknames:
"Harpo. I was nicknamed that when I came to L.A. after I was drafted. It was actually Charlie Simmer that named me that. I had a big afro back then. He thought I looked like Harpo Marx."
 
First Job:
"Working on the milk truck. Helping the guy deliver milk."
 
First Car:
"Was a 1972 Toyota Corolla station wagon."

Current Car:
"Camry (white)."

Favorite Meal:
"Sushi."

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
"Chocolate."

Greatest Sports Moment: "Playing in the Stanley Cup finals against Montreal (with L.A.)."
 
Most Painful Moment:
"In hockey I hope you're asking about. Probably losing to Montreal in the finals. I was so happy to get there. It took 14 years to get there."

Closest Hockey Friends
: "Would be Jimmy Fox."
 
Funniest Players Encountered:
"In New York with the Rangers, Lindy Ruff was one of the funniest. He was really good at sewing things. We were in San Diego playing an exhibition game. He was hurt and he didn't go out to practice. When we came to the room after practice, Lindy had it all lined up to go to lunch with Tie Domi. During the practice he had sewn Tie's pants, he sewed his wallet into his pocket. At the restaurant he couldn't get his wallet out of his pants. It was really funny when we were there. He would sew your zipper down so you couldn't zip up your zipper."
 
Toughest Competitors Encountered:
"Boy, there were a lot of those. Al Secord - he was tough. He could score goals, he could fight, he was tough to move in front of the net. Mark Messier - he would do anything to win. I had the pleasure to play with him and against him. It was an awesome experience to be able to play with him for a while."
 
Favorite NHL Uniforms:
"I really like the Blackhawks. I had a great time coaching there."
 
Favorite Arenas:
"Was also Chicago, old Chicago Stadium. And Madison Square Garden."
 
Most Memorable Goal:
"Probably my first NHL goal (1980). Against Billy Smith in the playoffs against the Islanders. I shot from center ice. The puck took a funny bounce and it went in. It hit something in front of him."
Favorite Sport Outside Hockey: "I really enjoy golf. I used to play volleyball."
 
Embarrassing Hockey Memory:
"When I was with New York, Pat Verbeek got by me and I threw my stick. He got a penalty shot and scored on it. He was playing for New Jersey at the time. I took a lot of heat in the papers for that one."
 
Strangest Game:
"Probably the strangest and happiest was when we were playing Edmonton in the playoffs. Down 5-0 going into the third period. Somehow we ended up winning that game. 'The Miracle On Manchester.' You talk about a great feeling after a game. That was probably one of the strangest. In the dressing room after the second period, we weren't expecting to win."

Favorite Players To Watch:
"Sidney Crosby. I like the way he plays and wants to win. He seems to get better every year. Another kid I like is Drew Doughty. I loved the way he came into the League. So much talent, he plays with no fear. It was really fun coaching him. Just a great pleasure. And I always enjoyed to watch Larry Robinson and Bobby Orr."
 
People Qualities Most Admired:
"One of the guys that had one of the biggest influences on my career was Dave Taylor. And Jim Fox. Just great people. Great hockey players but even better people. They have been great influences in my life."
 
Mark 'Scoop' Malinowski is the author of "Heavyweight Armageddon: The Tyson-Lewis Championship Battle" and creator of two websites: www.thebiofile.com  and www.tennis-prose.com.

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