TAKING LIBERTIES WITH … Tyson Nash
Arizona Coyotes broadcaster, former NHL player, including 2003-06 with Phoenix Coyotes
Arizona Rubber: After your playing days, explain your decision to remain in Arizona? What was the attraction?
Tyson Nash: Obviously, I played here and began to put roots down. My kids started to get involved in sports. The weather, the friendships we made along the way, it was a real easy decision for us to make.
AZR: Talk about the adjustment from the ice to the broadcast booth. How did you break into broadcasting with no previous experience? What have you learned?
TN: It just kind of happened. Me getting the job, I was on my way to Tampa Bay and Louie DeBrusk had moved up to Edmonton to take a TV job up there. It seemed like a no-brainer. You’re getting to the end of your career, you always want to be in hockey and you want to be involved. I did not make the money to just retire and even if I did retire, you just can’t sit there and count your money every single day. You need some purpose, a purpose in life. Hockey is my passion and I’ve been doing it since I was young kid. It’s the best job in the world. I don’t get beat up any more, I still get to travel around, still around the guys, flying on the private plane, still staying in five-star hotels. Game day preparation is a lot like when you’re a player. You show up a pre-game skate, you take your notes and make sure you have a good history on all the players – it’s pretty exciting. Just a great job.
AZR: As a player, you were the enforcer on the ice. Was that justified?
TN: I wouldn’t say “enforcer,” but I’d say that I rattled the pots and pans a little bit. That was my job. Joel Quenneville, now the coach of the Chicago Blackhawks, was my first ever coach at St. Louis. He knew I was frothing at the mouth to make the NHL and I would do anything. It’s tough to stay in the NHL. I spent four years in the American Hockey League and I didn’t ever want to go back there. When I got an opportunity, my dad told me, ‘don’t say woulda, coulda, shoulda, and when the game ends, make sure you leave it all out on the table.’ My first-ever first game, I think I had eight hits and think I only played six minutes. I got in a fight with Pat Verbeek. So, I definitely got noticed. Quenneville came to me, the following year in training camp and said, ‘If you can be the most hated man in this league, you’ll have a job with the St. Louis Blues.’
AZR: What are your favorite haunts in Scottsdale and around the Valley?
TN: We love a place called Local Bistro for dinner. My wife and I love True Foods. That’s our favorite lunch spot, sitting out there on the patio. We take the kids to McDowell Mountain, the swimming pool there. We’ll do that once it starts to heat up a little bit. Other than that, we don’t have a whole lot of time for extra-curricular activities. We’re always at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, probably six days a week. All three play. I have two girls and a boy, all play hockey.
AZR: Plans to make the Phoenix area your permanent residence?
TN: That’s the plan. We absolutely love it, the people, all the relationships we have. When you have kids, they become your No. 1 priority. They just love it here. They can wear T-shirts and flip-flops to school every day. We always go back to Canada. My wife takes the kids up there for Christmas to see her parents. I’ll tell you what, when that plane lands back here in Arizona, we all kiss the ground because this is a pretty special place.
– Compiled by Mark Brown