It took nearly eight decades, but noted hockey author, historian and broadcaster Stan Fischler finally had a moment that superseded his bar mitzvah.
The Islanders on Wednesday named the press level at UBS Arena for Fischler during a pregame ceremony.
“In 1945, I was bar mitzvahed and the first words were, ‘This is the most important day of my life,” Fischler said to the assembled media and dignitaries. “Seventy-seven years later, this is the most important day of my life.”
In addition to his name on the wall, a display case containing some of Fischler’s 100-plus books on hockey, press clippings, hockey sticks and other memorabilia is surrounded by pictures of Fischler at various phases of his life and career.
There is also a leather chair from his apartment and, on the other side of the display case, a desk with Fischler’s typewriter and his old landline phone.
And, as Islanders co-owner Jon Ledecky noted to Fischler, 91, his name will be at the top of every elevator listing and arena guide.
“I think that’s very appropriate for your incredible career in hockey,” Ledecky said. “I am so proud that I get the opportunity as a steward of the team to be a part of this.”
The full Stan Fischler display. pic.twitter.com/G2gcT94zRi— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) October 27, 2022
NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly and Islanders Hall of Famer Denis Potvin also spoke at the dedication ceremony.
“There’s no more iconic figure than Stan Fischler,” said Daly, recalling growing up and following Fischler’s work. “All he did for the area teams in New York, whether it be the Rangers or the Islanders or the Devils. He promoted hockey. He promoted the game. He made it a big deal.”
Fischler did spend the bulk of his speech recognizing others in his life.
“I love you all,” Fischler said. “I can’t believe this is happening.”