Tony Tanti, Pittsburgh Penguins Left Winger, 1990-1991
First, can you let readers know about your post-NHL career and about Tanti Interiors?
Tanti Interiors is a flooring company that supplies and install’s flooring to developer’s and individuals. Concentrating mainly on big developments.
How difficult has it been for you to transition from the NHL to a second career – and how were you able to do so?
It was a difficult transition mainly because as a player you were told where to be and what to do all the time. Once you retire you don’t have that, you’re pretty much on your own to find a living.
I adjusted because I had too.I find that if you are modest and honest everything will work out.
You read today about the struggles many NFL players face in transitioning from football to a post-sports career. How does the NHL help players do so – if at all?
I’m not sure as once I retired it was up to me to find a new way to make a living. I’m sure that today’s NHL is different.
You were traded in 89′ to the Penguins after seven years in Vancouver – how difficult was that for you and what was your biggest adjustment?
It was difficult but I knew a lot of the players and everyone treated me very well while I was in Pittsburgh. The biggest adjustment was that you weren’t on all the talk shows 24 hours a day and that you could actually go out and not be recognized all the time.
How would you describe yourself as a player and how did you mesh with that Penguins roster?
As a Penguin I tried to be a hard worker and score a few goals. They had a lot of talent with Mario, Kevin Stevins, Mark Recchi and so forth. I could have meshed better but it was difficult as the quality ice time (e.g. power play ) was not there as Pittsburgh was a much more offensive talented team than Vancouver.
You were traded from the Penguins in ’91 before the Stanley Cup run. How frustrating was that for and did you sense the team was a Stanley Cup caliber team?
Very. They had a great roster and everything came together at the right time.
There’s a great deal of movement between leagues and cities for hockey players. How does that affect you – both on and off the ice – as a player?
You live with, it as once you get to the NHL you quickly realize that it is a job.
What is the biggest misperception you think fans have about hockey players and the sport itself?
Hockey players are very friendly but once the puck drops a switch goes on.
What are your favorite memories of your time in Pittsburgh?
I’d say being able to play and practice with Mario. He was the best talent that I have ever played with or watched. Loved watching him in practice too. He made the goalies look bad
Any last thoughts for readers?
I think hockey is in good hands and I think that Pittsburgh is in good hands. Thanks for the memories.