Editor note: In case you missed it (because we did) our friends at DailyFaceoff interviewed Jay and Dan a couple weeks ago.
DailyFaceoff is based out of Canada, so naturally we tune in to TSN and other Canadian media outlets, and for our Canadian viewers, I know you love Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole. They were in Canada, but now they have become the go-to for hockey highlights in the United States. After moving to Fox Sports 1, Jay and Dan consistently kick the Fox Sports Live coverage off with the NHL playoffs.
I recently got a chance to have a chat with Jay and Dan to discuss the playoffs, the move to Fox Sports 1 and loads of other intriguing NHL topics. Enjoy!
First off, is it Jay and Dan or Dan and Jay?
Dan – “We went with Jay and Dan, and I have no problem with that as long as my name is on the billing.”
What is it like working in California opposed to in Canada?
Jay – “Weather comes to mind right away, it has been absolutely beautiful down here and we understand that you guys went through one of the worst winters in 30 years, we swear we didn’t plan it that way, it kind of just worked out that way. Also, the people are really friendly. And most importantly we are being paid an exceptional amount of money.”
Dan – “When we moved to the US we thought we would lose touch with what was going on in Canada, but with the internet and TV we feel like we’re home at all times. We always know what’s going on, we can watch every NHL game so we haven’t really lost touch with anything.”
Jay – “The NHL network picked up the TSN feed for the World Juniors on Boxing Day, so it feels like we never left really.”
Conversely, what is something you miss about working in Canada?
Dan – “I miss maple syrup that comes from the taps in every home in Canada. I also miss Tim Hortons’ steeped tea and maple-dipped donuts.”
Jay – “I miss [Mayor Rob Ford]”
What would you say makes Fox Sports 1 different from ESPN?
Dan – “We try a lot of different things. We have Gary Payton, ESPN doesn’t have him. And we have Charissa Thompson, who is a superstar in broadcasting. And we have Jay and Dan. Who else would bring down a couple of Canadians to try and take on the world of sports broadcasting?”
How have you guys enjoyed the Stanley Cup playoffs so far?
Dan – “Unreal. I think it has been one of the best playoffs. Three game 7′s in round one and three game 7′s in round two. Every major market has been represented and even the smaller markets like Columbus got a sniff of the playoffs. Every market needs that. If the NHL could give a grading to the playoffs to this point, I think it would be an A+. Also, throw the Olympics in there, which is a cherry on top, even though I hate cherries on top of things.”
Jay – “I couldn’t agree more with Dan, expect for the cherry on top, I like those. If you are a fan of the league and you want the league to succeed in the United States, you could not have picked a better final four. Americans are really fascinated with the Montreal Canadiens because they have this Yankees’ feel to them, then you have three of the biggest media markets represented with the Rangers, Blackhawks and Kings. For the league it could not have even worked out better. I feel bad for the Habs and Carey Price, but they have had a great run and maybe they can pull out a miracle with Dustin Tokarski.”
Who do you have facing off in the finals? Who wins?
Dan – “After the Olympic break and the Kings went on a tear, I picked the Kings vs. the Penguins, but unfortunately my East pick won’t work out, hopefully the Kings will.”
Jay – “If I were a betting man I’m obviously thinking it will be a Chicago vs. Rangers final. Hats off to Chicago, they were the lowest-of-low 10-15 years ago and now they are the league’s model franchise.”
If you were starting an NHL franchise and could choose any NHL player to start your team, who would you choose?
Dan – “I would pick one of those guys [Toews / Crosby] and in goal I would go with Carey Price, I love that guy. I can’t pick a favourite, because I love all those guys.”
Jay – “I would pick Carey Price, because I think if you have a goalie a lot of your team’s mistakes can be covered up”
Do you guys play fantasy hockey?
Jay – “We played this year. It has become more fun with all the apps where you can change your lineup instantly on your phone, I give the world credit for that one.”
Dan – “I used to be big into fantasy hockey when you used to sit around in someone’s living round and everyone would pick their players and you would always have the annoying person in the fifth round “I will take Mario Lemieux” — he was gone second pick overall!” [We can all relate to this!]
How did you guys finish this season?
Jay – “I finished last.”
Dan – “I finished second last. I kept forgetting to change my players out.”
I guess you will have to tune into DailyFaceoff more next season!
Jay – Yeah we definitely will!
Jay, do you still drink out of your Gino Reda mug?
Jay – “I don’t have it anymore. It was never my mug. TSN only made one of those mugs. It was like the holy grail itself. I had to cart it back to my apartment to do that blog. So the answer is no, I wish I did though!”
Dan, in a few words how would you describe Jay’s Movember moustache?
Dan – “Scary. Terrifying. Not allowed near children.”
Jay, how upset were you to see officer Bobrovsky get bounced back from the playoffs?
Jay – “I was happy that they [BOBROVSKY!] made it. I was happy they made the postseason. He kind of had a tough start, but bounced back towards the end. Hiring John Davidson as the president was really smart. They are in good shape I think.”
Dan – “The worst thing for Bobrovsky was not starting for Russia in their elimination game, that was weird.”
In one word describe Milan Lucic’s handshake antics.
Jay – “One word? I can do poor sport.”
Dan – “Bully.”
What were your thoughts on P.K Subban’s kiss on Pierre McGuire?
Jay – Jealousy. I’m just jealous!