Former Red Wings fan favorite Dino Ciccarelli tells The Detroit News he’s friendly with Tigers manager Jim Leyland. The two crossed paths when both were in south Florida in the late 1990s, Ciccarelli playing for the Florida Panthers and Leyland managing the Marlins.
Leyland’s 1997 team in Florida left a lasting impression that Ciccarelli’s Panthers couldn’ match.
“They (the Marlins) won the World Series,” Ciccarelli said.
The Tigers’ success these days is also making Ciccarelli the restaurant owner as happy as it is Ciccarelli the baseball fan.
Ciccarelli owns Ciccarelli’s Sports Bar Theater in Shelby Township, which is thriving these days with the avalanche of sports lately.
Counting the Tigers, Lions and Michigan-Michigan State football, Ciccarelli figures there has been seven of nine days filled with must-see live sports action for Detroit area sports fans.
“Obviously, I’m a fan as much as a restaurant owner,” Ciccarelli said. “The World Series will be off the hook, too.
“Sometimes people will call for reservations, but we don’t take them. When someone comes in, they’re staying for three or four hours.”
And, with the Tigers in the World Series, and the Lions on Monday Night Football, and college football going strong, nobody seems to miss Ciccarelli’s former team.
The NHL, in the midst of a lockout, has fallen off the radar.
“With all the sports going on, people don’t get into it (hockey) until later in the year,” Ciccarelli said. “Especially with the Red Wings, we’ve been spoiled here with the team making the playoffs so many years. So, it doesn’t hurt right now but there’s still the hockey fans who want to see the guys playing again.”