"I managed to survive that long against long odds," he said. "It was an interesting time on Long Island." Of the ownership turmoil, he cracked, "We were leading the league in convicted felons."
That's the kind of funny, edgy line NBC is counting on from Milbury, who essentially will replace Brett Hull, another quote machine who left to work in the Stars' front office.
The best part is Milbury can be less reserved than ever; his employers want him to speak out. "I'm totally unfettered, and I'm looking forward to it," said Milbury, who last did regular TV work for ESPN before he joined the Islanders.
Gone will be the emotional feedback from the masses. "I put pressure on myself to get the job done," he said. "But I've had 15,000 people crying for my head in the Coliseum or 15,000 cheering for me in Boston and other places. It's not that kind of pressure."
Milbury would like to get in some TV work in the fall before NBC picks up the NHL in January, but it is not clear whether the Peacocks will let him work for Versus.
NBC will abandon its Rockefeller Center set and take its "studio" show on the road, featuring Milbury and Pierre McGuire.