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The Stew: Raw Knuckles Podcast, Glen Cochrane

February 3, 2024, 2:47 PM ET [1 Comments]
Paul Stewart
Blogger •Former NHL Referee • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Raw Knuckles Podcast

I have always enjoyed my conversations with Chris "Knuckles" Nilan. We both broke into the NHL in 1979-80, although his playing career at the game's top level lasted much longer than my own. As a referee, I always considered the fellow Bostonian to be a straightforward old-school tough guy who never backed down from anyone. He could be a handful and we certainly didn't always agree about every call but there was always a sense of mutual respect given our similar backgrounds and performing the same role as players.

Earlier this week, Chris had me as a guest on his "Raw Knuckles" podcast. We talked about my experiences growing up in Boston, making it to the NHL, fighting, changing careers from playing to officiating, retiring from the game, my officiating philosophies, the state of the game today, and questions about officiating. In total, the program runs for about 90 minutes.

For me, the conversation flew by. I had a good time. I think you will, too, in listening to our discussion. To listen, click here.

Rest in Peace, Glen Cochrane

I was saddened recently to learn of the passing on January 13 of Glen Cochrane. Cancer, the most terrible serial killer on a global scale, had claimed another victim. "Cocher" would have celebrated his 66th birthday on January 29. My sincere condolences go out to Glen's wife, Joan, and the family's three daughters.

Glen was a terror on the ice. I can attest to that firsthand. When I was playing for the Philadelphia Firebirds and Cocher was playing for the Maine Mariners, he laid one of the bigger beatings on me that I ever received in my playing career. That was the night when I unwisely tried to fight four Mariners and found that none of my own teammates were willing to assist.

Glen could play the game, too, and didn't get enough credit for that. In 1982-83, he was paired on defense with Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Howe. While Howie got all the public credit for their success and Cochrane mostly got noticed for his 237 penalty minutes (he had a career-high 329 PIM the previous season), it should be noted that Glen was plus-42 that year. He also posted 24 points that year and then 23 (including seven goals) the next. Not too shabby for someone that anti-fighting crusaders labeled as someone who only knew how to fight and was otherwise supposedly lost on the ice.

After his playing days, Glen embarked on a long pro scouting career. I would see him several times a season. That's where I got to know the other side of his personality. Off the ice, he was a modest, soft-spoken gentleman. There were no pretenses with Glen, no ego. He was never too busy to stop over and say hello. He loved to talk about his family. Just a good, salt-of-the-earth human being with a laid-back type of personality that was a million miles away from the semi-madman he could be on the ice. As a player, he took it as a personal insult when any teammate got run and he's want to fight on the spot.

I will miss Glen's gentle off-ice personality. I never missed the ferocity of being on the receiving end of the punching power he packed into his 6-foot-2, 210-pound frame. Fighting Glen was a personal sacrifice, and he could take a punch in addition to delivering one.

Rest in peace, my friend.
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