Former New York Islander, Steve Webb, had always been a fan favorite. He wasn’t the best or biggest player on the ice, but he always made his presence known. His most famous moment doting the orange and blue was back in the 2002 NHL Playoffs when he put a huge hit on Toronto Maple Leaf goon, Darcy Tucker. Tucker was the enemy of Long Island during this series because of his dirty hit on Michael Peca. After his playing career, Steve Webb began to work for the NHL Player’s Association. It was an honor being able to speak with Steve Webb and hear what he had to say about his career.
What was your proudest hockey moment?
“I think the proudest hockey moment was the moment I stepped onto the ice for the first time. Being at that I was a very late bloomer to the game of hockey, I did play it growing up, but my skillset didn’t start progressing at a faster rate. By my mid-teens, where most kids are developing, I really wasn’t. When I stepped onto the ice for the first time at 21 years old at Nassau Coliseum, that was definitely one of my prouder moments.”
What was your funniest Islanders story?
“I think one of the more humorous moments that I had personally, don’t know if it was funny or not, but I think the fans kinda liked it. When I was asked to do the demonstration before the game one night where I had to skate onto the ice and had to rip off the old ‘fish sticks’ jersey when we were going back to the original crest on our jersey. We still had the swishes on there with the waves on the jersey, but we were going back to the regular crest. They had asked about two or three other players prior to getting to me and they just said, “we’ll have to owe you one if you go out and do this because no one actually wanted to do it.” I just skated to center ice and the jersey had velcro down the middle and I had to rip it off and throw it away.”
What was going through your head after your hit on Darcy Tucker against the Maple Leafs in the 2002 NHL Playoffs and then the Coliseum crowd began to chant your name?
“I think that started a little bit earlier in the series in game one where the fans began recognizing the work that we were doing out there on the ice and on my line. So that started in that series and then as the series got more intense, we were a bit more focused on the situations that were at hand. The opportunity to have a clean hit on somebody was there and I took it. It just happened to be Darcy Tucker and from what he did the game before with the incident with Michael Peca, I think the fans had really warmed up to that incident. It was definitely one of the Coliseum memories.”
What is your opinion of the Islanders current regime?
“I’m involved with the other side of the business, I haven’t been in the locker room during the coaches office or anything like that. Looking at the results and in the standings, it seems as if they’re doing really well. It seems as if the players are responding really well to the environment that is in existence right now. I haven’t been there in a while, so I can’t make any comparisons. It’s really hard to see what the environment is and the changes that went on or what happened. As a results standpoint, I think the Islander fans are pretty happy with what’s going on right now and the direction the club is going.”
What is your current role with the NHLPA?
“I’m basically a conduit of information between the players association in Toronto and the players. My I get information from the players and rely them back to the office in Toronto. I spend a lot of time asking players about their careers, from pensions and insurance benefits to playoff structure to rule changes. We basically engage player’s thoughts on their play to bargaining the PA. I share those insights in order to come to a conclusion on what make sense for the game of hockey.”