Red Wing analyst Mickey Redmond talks about the Mickey Redmond Roast on Saturday at MotorCity Casino. The Detroit News
Detroit — Bring it on, Mickey Redmond can take it.
Redmond definitely can.
But it’s also because Redmond is in a position to help others, in this case to benefit the Jamie Daniels Foundation, and that makes Redmond feel good.
Jamie Daniels was the son of Ken Daniels, Redmond’s longtime broadcast partner of Red Wings’ games. Jamie died of an opioid overdose when he was 23 while receiving treatment for addiction in December 2016.
“Whatever I can do to help Ken and his family with that situation, I said, 'Do what you want to do, I have big shoulders,'” Redmond said.
Upon Jamie’s death, Ken Daniels started the foundation to raise money and awareness of the widespread opioid problem.
Saturday’s roast of Redmond, at MotorCity Casino, is the first big fundraiser for the foundation.
“All I know is when you’re in a position to make a difference, you need to pull the trigger and make a difference and not sit in the background,” Redmond said. “That’s all I’m trying to do. They can have all the fun they want at my expense.
“It’ll be a blast. It’ll be able to see a lot of people I normally don’t get to hang out with in that way. It’s usually serious business when we do what we do.”
Former Red Wings coaches Scotty Bowman and Mike Babcock, broadcaster and roast host Mike Emrick, front office executive John Davidson, Redmond’s first roommate Marcel Dionne, and comedian Ian Bagg are just a few of the scheduled roasters.
“When Ken asked me about the roast, I said, ‘Hey, you know what, I’m OK with it,’ if it can do what you expect it can do in raising money for this type of thing,” Redmond said. “One thing about what we do is you can never be afraid to laugh at yourself and have fun with yourself, and you want that to come across to people because we’re no different than anybody else.
“We have a great passion for the game. That goes without saying, doing what we do.”
The funds raised will go toward a recovery home featuring long-term, safe and affordable housing. Sites are being searched in Oakland County for the housing.
Redmond knew Jamie Daniels well, obviously, from Jamie visiting the broadcast booth that his father and Redmond have held down since the 1997-98 season.
Jamie’s death was sudden and unexpected, and touched many in and around the Red Wings’ organization.
Redmond was gutted by Jamie’s death, and was compelled to do what he could.
“I have gotten so educated since Jamie’s passing about the opioid problem,” Redmond said. “We can’t do enough to help a lot of people going forward.
“I had no idea and neither did Ken, at the time, he (Jamie) was having some issues. I keep saying young people, but it’s not just young people that have this opioid thing, where these drugs are really creating havoc with people.
“They’re just way too prevalent.”
Redmond, 71, was a star player with the Wings from 1970-76. He retired because of back problems and began his legendary broadcasting career in 1979.
Redmond attempted a comeback in his playing career, but it was short-lived. A friend asked Redmond if he’d be interested in doing television work, and Redmond said, “I guess so, why not?
“I’d never done it before, but you’d always do play-by-play on the outdoor rink," Redmond added. "That's how it all started, all by an ‘Oh well, whatever.'”
Redmond soon caught the attention of Ralph Mellanby, executive producer of "Hockey Night in Canada," who hired Redmond the same day as Don Cherry in 1980.
Redmond worked with legendary hockey broadcasters Bob Cole, Dick Irvin Jr. and the late Danny Gallivan on "Hockey Night in Canada" for five seasons.
“Five great years learning from the greats,” Redmond said.
Redmond also did national broadcasts for ABC, ESPN and the USA Network, and in 2011 was awarded the prestigious Foster Hewitt Memorial Award during the Hockey Hall of Fame induction weekend.
Now approaching his 41st season in broadcasting, Redmond has analyzed Wings’ games for all but five of those seasons, where he’s become an icon for generations of Wings fans.
Redmond and Daniels have a unique chemistry that has soothed and educated fans over the years.
“I’ve told him many times he’s one of the top play-by-play guys in the game,” Redmond said. “No question he knows his stuff. He’s well-prepared, he has a great voice, great delivery.
“He’s just one of the best, and as a color man, that’s all you can ask for. It’s been a great partnership on and off the ice.”
What: Jamie Daniels Foundation celebrity roast of Mickey Redmond
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Sound Board at MotorCity Casino
Tickets: $150, a few still available.
Info: Host Mike “Doc” Emrick, and hockey legends Mike Babcock, Scotty Bowman, John Davidson, Marcel Dionne and Jim Ralph roast Wings’ broadcaster Mickey Redmond. Appetizers, drinks and access to silent auction bidding and jersey draw at 7 p.m.