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Red Fisher: A Canadian sports writing icon

Red Fisher, the longtime Montreal-based hockey writer who passed away recently at the age of 91, was a unique and widely respected voice in sports journalism.

There have been many heartwarming tributes posted throughout the media world over the past few days, and rightfully so. I can’t add any personal touches myself, other than to say that, since my Dad, who died in 1985, was an avid fan of the Montreal Canadiens, I learned about Red Fisher at a very early age—born as I was in the early 1950s.

It was not long afterwards that Fisher started to cover the Habs beat in the 1950s for (and I can’t remember for sure as I write this) the old Montreal Star or the Gazette.

Better than any story or memory I could share is an interview I did with Red back in 2009, just months after I had started this small Leaf-related “blog”.  Since Fisher declined almost all interview opportunities (as he mentioned to me), I’m not entirely sure why he consented to speak with me. But he did. And he was very generous with his time, and tremendously entertaining as well.

I appreciated him taking the time to speak with me—someone he did not even know. He owed me no favours. But he made the time to share some great stories.

The interview is (I believe) still available here on VLM’s home page under “New audio”. I haven’t done any interviews for the site in quite some time, but if you want to know more about Fisher, this chat provides some insight. (We spent a fair bit of time talking about the great Leafs he followed, covered and spoke with over his many decades writing about hockey.)

Here is a link (which hopefully will still work) to the Fisher interview.

Red Fisher was the word when it came to hockey writing. I’m not sure anyone in the sport will ever have the kind of influence he had—or provide the kind of insight he did.


  1. Red was the quintessential sports beat reporter to be sure... his name was always associated with the Canadiens in my thinking, yet (despite my predilection against the Habs) I found his work to be so well written/spoken that he had my respect from an early age.

    Hadn't checked in here for a while and was glad to see the link to your interview - much appreciated.

    I have just listened to the interview and was very appreciative of his demeanor and reflective perspectives. I was actually surprised to hear his views on Harold Ballard - just goes to show how he could have such broad and respected influence as a reporter for so long.

    Thank you for providing the link, for doing the interview and for sharing a bit about the man, Michael.

    Hope we have a short hockey summer, but our boys are going to have to find another gear in order to keep playing after tomorrow!

    1. Thanks, InTimeFor62- glad you were able to listen!