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Ray Ferraro
Born August 23, 1964 (1964-08-23) (age 57)
Trail, British Columbia, Canada
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight 192 lb (87 kg; 13 st 10 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Left
Played for Hartford Whalers
New York Islanders
New York Rangers
Los Angeles Kings
Atlanta Thrashers
St. Louis Blues
National team  Canada
NHL Draft 88th overall, 1982
Hartford Whalers
Playing career 1984–2002

Ray Ferraro (born Raymond Vincent Ferraro on August 23, 1964) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and current broadcaster for TSN Radio 1040 and TSN.

He played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Hartford Whalers (1984–1990), New York Islanders (1990–1995), New York Rangers (1995–1996), Los Angeles Kings (1996–1999), Atlanta Thrashers (1999–2002) and the St. Louis Blues (2002).

His nickname was the "Big Ball of Hate," given to him by his former Rangers teammate Glenn Healy.

Playing Career

Ray was a prolific scorer in junior hockey, including a 108-goal and 192-point season for the Western Hockey League (WHL)'s Brandon Wheat Kings in 1983–84. He also was a member of the 1982–83 Portland Winter Hawks squad that won the 1983 Memorial Cup.

His teammates on the championship-winning team included Cam Neely, Mike Vernon, Brian Curran, John Kordic and other future NHLers.

Ray was drafted by the Hartford Whalers 88th overall in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. During his first year in Hartford, he posted 77 points in 76 games and had a personal-best of 41 goals during the 1988-89 NHL season.

On November 13, 1990 (after six in a half seasons and only 15 games into the 1990-91 NHL season), Ray was traded to the New York Islanders in exchange for defenseman Doug Crossman.

While with the Islanders, he struggled to fit in and wasn't receiving the same kind of ice time he was accustomed to in Hartford with Pat LaFontaine & Brent Sutter logging the minutes on the first two lines.

After Lafontaine and Sutter were traded away during the following season, Ray eased into the second line role behind newly acquired Pierre Turgeon and he delivered with 40 goals and 80 points.

However, due to injuries during the 1992-93 NHL season, Ray's season was limited to 46 games and he earned 27 points. Later that spring, he proved his worth when he and the Islanders surprised many with a major upset.

The Islanders eliminated the two-time defending Cup champions from Pittsburgh and advance to the Semi-Finals for the first time since 1984.

They were eliminated by the eventual champs, the Montreal Canadiens, but not before Ray posted a team-best 20 points in 18 games.

Over the next two years, Ray posted back-to-back 20-goal seasons despite the 1994-95 NHL lockout.

As an unrestricted free-agent that summer, Ray signed with the New York Rangers on August 9, 1995. While with the Rangers, he assumed the second line center duties behind Mark Messier.

In 65 games, he had 54 points before he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings on March 14, 1996 along with Ian Laperriere, Mattias Norstrom, Nathan LaFayette and the Rangers' fourth-round choice (Sean Blanchard) in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for Marty McSorley, Jari Kurri and Shane Churla.

Ray only managed one healthy season with Los Angeles over the next three years and even then he wasn't able to approach the scoring numbers from earlier in his career.

On August 9, 1999, he signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Thrashers where he managed to stay healthy and play 81 games for Atlanta and earned 44 points. The following season, he was paired up with Donald Audette & Andrew Brunette and scored 29 goals (the most in 9 years).

After Brunette and Audette left the team, Ray was unable to follow up his incredible performance during the 2001-02 season without them, scoring only 8 goals and earning 27 points in 61 games.

On March 18, 2002, he was traded to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for the Carolina Hurricanes' 4th-round choice (which was previously acquired and Atlanta selected Lane Manson) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

While in St. Louis, he played in only 15 games, scored six goals, got 10 points and during the playoffs, he assisted on three goals.

On August 2, 2002, Ray officially announced his retirement. During his career, he scored 408 goals and 490 assists for a total of 898 points in 1,258 games spanning 18 seasons.

Broadcasting Career

After retiring in 2002, Ray turned to broadcasting.

He has done work for ESPN hockey broadcasts including on "NHL 2Night" with John Buccigross and Barry Melrose, where he began working while still an active player. On that show, he was often referred to as "Chicken Parm" by Buccigross after an accident with chicken parmesan moments before going on the air.

Ray later worked as a studio analyst for the NHL on NBC, as a colour commentator on Edmonton Oilers broadcasts on Rogers Sportsnet West and on Sportsnet's other hockey programs.

Currently, Ray works as a game analyst and studio analyst for the NHL on TSN. He provided colour commentary and analysis for CTV during the 2010 Winter Olympics. After Pierre McGuire left TSN for NBC/Versus, he became the lead game analyst.

After Rogers Media, the parent of TSN's rival Sportsnet, gained the national NHL rights with effect in the 2014-15 NHL season, Ray became a color commentator for the regional Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators games on TSN on a rotating basis.

On May 5, 2014, EA Sports announced that Ferraro would be an ice level analyst for NHL 15 along with play-by-play commentator Mike "Doc" Emrick and colour commentator Eddie Olczyk. He returned as an ice level analyst for NHL 16.

On November 23, 2015, Ray became the first hockey broadcaster to broadcast a game where his child also played in the same game with the Toronto Maple Leafs hosting the Boston Bruins at the Air Canada Centre.

Career Statistics

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1980–81 Trail Smoke Eaters BCJHL 1 0 1 1 0
1981–82 Penticton Knights BCJHL 48 65 70 135 90
1982–83 Portland Winter Hawks WHL 50 41 49 90 39 14 14 10 24 13
1983–84 Brandon Wheat Kings WHL 72 108 84 192 84 11 13 15 28 20
1984–85 Binghamton Whalers AHL 37 20 13 33 29
1984–85 Hartford Whalers NHL 44 11 17 28 40
1985–86 Hartford Whalers NHL 76 30 47 77 57 10 3 6 9 4
1986–87 Hartford Whalers NHL 80 27 32 59 42 6 1 1 2 8
1987–88 Hartford Whalers NHL 68 21 29 50 81 6 1 1 2 6
1988–89 Hartford Whalers NHL 80 41 35 76 86 4 2 0 2 4
1989–90 Hartford Whalers NHL 79 25 29 54 109 7 0 3 3 2
1990–91 Hartford Whalers NHL 15 2 5 7 18
1990–91 New York Islanders NHL 61 19 16 35 52
1991–92 New York Islanders NHL 80 40 40 80 92
1992–93 Capital District Islanders AHL 1 0 2 2 2
1992–93 New York Islanders NHL 46 14 13 27 40 18 13 7 20 18
1993–94 New York Islanders NHL 82 21 32 53 83 4 1 0 1 6
1994–95 New York Islanders NHL 47 22 21 43 30
1995–96 New York Rangers NHL 65 25 29 54 82
1995–96 Los Angeles Kings NHL 11 4 2 6 10
1996–97 Los Angeles Kings NHL 81 25 21 46 112
1997–98 Los Angeles Kings NHL 40 6 9 15 42 3 0 1 1 2
1998–99 Los Angeles Kings NHL 65 13 18 31 59
1999–00 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 81 19 25 44 88
2000–01 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 81 29 47 76 91
2001–02 Atlanta Thrashers NHL 61 8 19 27 66
2001–02 St. Louis Blues NHL 15 6 4 10 8 10 0 3 3 4
NHL totals 1258 408 490 898 1288 68 21 22 43 54

Accolades

  • WHL East First All-Star Team (1984)
  • WHL Player of the Year (1984)
  • Played in NHL All-Star Game (1992)

Personal Life

Ray currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

He was previously married to Tracey Ferraro where they had two sons: Matt (born in 1988) and Landon Ferraro (born in 1991).

Ray's second wife, Cammi Granato is a former U.S. women's ice hockey captain. She also worked as a women's hockey analyst during the NBC network's coverage of the 2006 and 2010 Winter Olympics. With Cammi, they had two sons: Riley (born in December of 2006) and Reese (born in December of 2009).

His second son, Landon was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft (32nd overall) and currently plays for the St. Louis Blues.

His eldest son, Matt was a goaltender in the WHL for the Prince George Cougars, but has since become a financial planner.

Following the Swedish women's team upset of the U.S. at the 2006 Winter Olympic games, Ray publicly criticised U.S. women's coach Ben Smith for failing to bring the best U.S. players to the games, which led to the team's downfall.

Ray's comments were broadcast on MSNBC during the intermission of a men's game. This appeared to be directly related to his wife being cut in August 2005 because she wouldn't give up her NBC Sports job, along with other veterans in favour of younger, faster players.

Some critics and fans also questioned Granato's cut from the team and cited it as a factor in the U.S. team's disappointing performance. NBC fired him in response.

On April 7, 2008, Ferraro returned to ESPN to call his first ever Frozen Four and as the replacement for Barry Melrose, who left ESPN to coach the Tampa Bay Lightning.

He is also the broadcaster between the benches in EA Sports' hockey video games: NHL 15 & NHL 16.

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