Chris Kotsopoulos scored 44 goals and 153 points in 479 career NHL games. (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)
Status: Former NHL defenseman for the Rangers, Hartford, Toronto and Detroit from 1980 to 1989. Currently serves as radio color commentator for Quinnipiac University hockey games and operates popular blog kotsyskorner.blogspot.com.
Ht: 6-foot-3 Wt: 215 pounds
DOB: Nov. 27, 1958 In: Scarborough, Ont.
Hockey Inspirations: "Bobby Orr. I was a Boston Bruins fan growing up, believe it or not, growing up in Toronto. Just liked their colors. I did see him play as an Oshawa General when he was 13 or 14 years old. I wanted to be like him, but pretty tough to do."
First Hockey Memory: "Playing in the backyard of my mom and dad's house. We had a little natural pond, it was maybe 15 by 15. In the wintertime the ice froze up pretty good and I'd be out there all day."
Nicknames: "I had a few. They called me ‘Bubba’ in Toledo when I played with the Goaldiggers in the IHL. Then when I got to the Rangers, ‘The Big G’ for the Big Greek. Now it's ‘Kotsy.’ "
Hobbies/Leisure Activities: "Just golf in the summers. I used to tinker around with a lot of hot rods back in the day, but I got rid of them. Sold all my muscle cars. Now I like to go to the flea markets, stuff like that. My wife and I enjoy that."
Favorite Movies: "I like some of the black and white stuff, Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney. Sci-fi, The Thing From Another World is one of my favorites."
Last Book Read: "It's a boxing book. All the trainers talking about the fighters - by Dave Anderson - In The Corner: Great Boxing Trainers Talk About Their Art."
Favorite Arenas To Play: "Madison Square Garden and the old Chicago Stadium."
First Job: "Working with my dad at the restaurant - Shamrock Burger."
First Car: "1970 Chevelle SS 396."
Current Car: "Jaguar (silver)."
Greatest Sports Moment: "Probably scoring my first goal in the NHL playing for the New York Rangers (1980). Followed Barry Beck up the ice, he dropped a pass to me and I think I scored on Don Beaupre."
Most Painful Moment: "Tearing my groin and stomach muscles in Toronto in '87. Just a freak accident on the ice. It was probably the most painful thing I've ever gone through. I was on my knees and somebody pushed me from the top and my knees snapped apart at the same time. So the back of my head touched the ice and my knees snapped. It's hard to explain."
Favorite Uniforms: "I'm a diehard Ranger in my heart. I love the Ranger blue. I think the Chicago Blackhawks are classic - the red ones. And I'm going to go back to the Hartford Whalers - the dark green uniforms from the early ‘80s"
Closest NHL Friends: "Ron Greschner, Ron Duguay, Nick Fotiu, I could go on and on and on."
Funniest Player Encountered: "Probably Ron Greschner. You don't want to get in a one-liner contest with him, he'll bury you."
Toughest Competitor Encountered: "That's just way too many to talk about. Bobby Probert, one of the most feared men who ever played the game. But I could go on and on and on. Guys like Nicky Fotiu. It goes on and on. Dave Semenko. That's just a tough question. And anybody who wants to pick one guy is out of their mind. (Why does Probert come to mind?) I had to play him for a long time there in Toronto - four years, eight games a year, basically, when I was healthy. You had to know where he was on the ice. He was like a battleship out there."
Favorite Players To Watch: "Bobby Orr, obviously. There's so many. Wayne Gretzky. I had the fortune to play against him for almost 10 years and we knew he was coming, we just couldn't stop him."
Funny Hockey Memory: "I'm going go with a Pat Conacher story. He played with me in New Haven and a little bit with the Rangers. He had a breakaway in Hershey when I was playing with the Nighthawks and his skate blade broke. From the blueline in he had no blade on one foot. It was hilarious. We were sitting on the bench, just roaring laughing. He's trying to pedal away and get to the net and he just couldn't. Finally he just threw his hands in the air and just gave it the 'F' it."
Embarrassing Hockey Memory: "Probably one of my first games in Toronto (in 1985). I came to Toronto with all good intentions and really wasn't in shape. I played a game against the Montreal Canadiens. I can't remember the score. It seemed like everything shot at the net either hit me and went in or went off my stick and went in. It's like they knew it."
Strangest Game: "Maybe the L.A. Kings brawl, in the playoffs with New York Rangers. It all started at the end of the first period. Eddie Hospodar got it going. I got involved. The whole team got involved. I think in the end, that's one of the reasons we won the series. (Why?) I'll say, we gooned 'em. (Intimidated them?) We intimidated the L.A. Kings, no doubt about it. It had everything. We battled for about 20 minutes on the ice. Nicky (Fotiu) came out of the stands with a walking cast on his knee and grabbed some fan by his throat for trying to reach over and grab Eddie Hospodar. That game was unbelievable. I remember the three of us, me, Barry Beck and Eddie Hospodar, we were all thrown out of the game after the first period and sitting in the showers with our equipment on; sitting in chairs, cooling off afterward. But we sent a message and it was one of the reasons we won the game and won the series."
Favorite Sports Outside Hockey: "The NFL."
Most Memorable Goal: "I'm going to stick with the first one."
People Qualities Most Admired: "I like people who don't back-stab people, who tell the truth right up front; don't play that political game. That's kind of the way I've been all my life. I'm not saying it's the right thing to do. I appreciate knowing where you stand up front with me. I can't really pick one person. But that's what I like in my life."