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The Many Passions of Dan Rusanowsky



Credit: Hockey Shots/Dean Tait

It’s not just about hockey with Dan Rusanowsky.

The recent Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, when not calling San Jose Sharks games, has a wide variety of interests. Or should we say, passions.

Rusanowsky is clearly someone, when he gets into something, he really gets into it.

You can say that about St. Lawrence University, the New Haven Nighthawks, and of course, the San Jose Sharks, the three organizations that he’s represented as a broadcaster.

Fellow New Haven Nighthawks Alumni Mlakar, Carroll, Nickson Pay Tribute to Rusanowsky

“He was one of those guys that was just a fanatic about the program,” old friend Mark Morris told San Jose Hockey Now recently, about his first impression of Rusanowsky at St. Lawrence in the early ’80s.

He was talking about Saints hockey, but you could be talking about any aspect in Rusanowsky’s life.

So if you’re interested in classic film or television, classical music, or literature, you have a fellow fanatic in Rusanowsky.

Favorite Films/Directors

  • “All the movies of Alfred Hitchcock… I really enjoy Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’ and ‘To Catch a Thief.’ ‘The Birds’ is good but I like those other two better.”
  • Orson Welles’ films, especially “Citizen Kane”
  • Francois Truffaut’s films, such as “Fahrenheit 451”
  • “Any film that Bernard Hermann did the music for,” including “Twisted Nerve”
  • James Dean’s three films, particularly “East of Eden”
  • Ernie Kovacs’s “Five Golden Hours” and “Bell, Book and Candle.” However, Rusanowsky believes Kovacs’s “television work was genius, given what was technologically available at the time.”

  • The “Spaghetti Western” Trilogy with Clint Eastwood


  • “I grew up watching the ‘Bowery Boys’ on Saturdays on Channel Five in New York.”
  • Rusanowsky shared that he used to do a Maxwell Smart impression, from the show “Get Smart,” on his answering machine. “It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great,” he said. “I got the intonation right. I said, ‘My shoe phone is out of order, please wait for the sound of the tone.'”


  • “I enjoy classical music. It soothes me while I’m working. My first job in radio, in many respects, was doing a classical music show while I was in college.”
  • Heitor Villa-Lobos: “What he [Vilia-Lobos] did, which was really interesting, something that [Béla Viktor János] Bartók did too. Bartók took Hungarian folk style music, but he implemented those ideas into the classical form. What Villa-Lobos did was the same thing with Brazilian music, and he incorporated that into the classical form.”
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff
  • “I like The Beatles, I like rock and roll music, I like all that too.”


  • “My favorite novel is probably ‘Atlas Shrugged’ by Ayn Rand.”
  • “I’ve gotten to appreciate F. Scott Fitzgerald in recent years. I suffered through it a little bit in high school, but I have really grown to appreciate it, and [Charles] Dickens.”
  • Ernest Hemmingway’s novels, especially “The Old Man and the Sea”
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