'Rink rat' no run-of-the-mill honouree

RYAN PYETTE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:26 AM ET

DETROIT - Not many Hockey Hall of Famers own a club with a five-foot disco ball.

Then again, Dino Ciccarelli isn't your run-of-the-mill inductee.

"I love music, I love to entertain," said the 19-year NHLer, who enters the Hall on Monday with female stars Angela James and Cammi Granato, executive Jimmy Devellano and late Calgary Flames owner Doc Seaman.

Ciccarelli's Club 22 is located in Shelby Township near Detroit. He's also trying to start a steakhouse in Royal Oak and still co-owns the OHL's Sarnia Sting with his brothers Rob and Larry.

"I enjoy being involved in junior hockey and I respect the guys who are GMs and coaches," he said, "but it's very time-consuming. It's not for everybody."

Even at 50, Ciccarelli skates once in a while with the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena. He rides a stationary bike every day.

"That's one of the good habits I kept," he said. "I'm used to sweating so I don't mind it at all."

Ciccarelli said he's always felt comfortable in the Detroit area and it's easy to see why he returned after retirement. When he attended the Wings' recent game against Phoenix, he received a steady stream of congratulations for his Hall of Fame selection.

"I remember sitting in a bar in Royal Oak watching the (Olympic) gold medal game this year," Ciccarelli said. "It was packed, probably 200 people. When the Americans scored with 26 seconds left or whatever it was, the fans sent me over red, white and blue shots.

"That was tough, but when (Sidney) Crosby won it in overtime, I made them play O Canada at the bar and I bought everyone in there red (grenadine) and white shots.

"I don't remember (what the final tab was). I didn't care."

Ciccarelli said his childhood was straight out of a Tim Hortons commercial.

"I was a rink rat," he said. "The Sarnia arena, I was always there. My two brothers, my sister and I, we lived in this small house, but it seemed like every backyard in Sarnia had a rink. I never wanted to come inside.

"And we'd go on these tournaments. I remember the Land of the Sleeping Giant -- Thunder Bay -- and my dad (Vic) had one of those hockey jackets full of trading pins he would collect.

"Dave Keon and Darryl Sittler were my favourite players. I watched the Leafs a lot, especially when I was playing in London."

When he played for the Knights, he started running into the guy who was least likely to put up with his on-ice shenanigans.

"Al Secord," he said. "He played for the Hamilton Fincups and we had some battles. We'd scrap in junior and then I finally get to the NHL with Minnesota and who's right in ou r division playing for Chicago? Secord. I'd have to see that guy 12 times a year.

"I was sick of that guy."

twitter.com/ryanpyette


Videos

Photos