“…of course, all games are on television now, but all games are also still on the radio…”
The San Jose Sharks have seen another beloved member of the organization forever enshrined in the Hockey Hall of Fame, with Sharks radio play-by-play announcer Dan Rusanowsky being awarded the 2023 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award. The award recognizes “members of the radio and television industry who have made outstanding contributions to their profession and to the game of hockey” and as all of Sharks Territory knows, Rusanowsky has continuously gone above and beyond in his coverage of San Jose Sharks hockey.
In his acceptance speech on Nov. 13, Rusanowsky began by recognizing his fellow 2023 Hockey Hall of Fame inductees, former San Jose Sharks goaltender Mike Vernon, and thanking his wife Karen, friends and family and the NHL Broadcasters’ Association.
Rusanowsky then took listeners back to Oct. 1971, a game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers that he remembers being his introduction to the world of hockey and you just have to listen to Rusanowsky talk about the experience and how much it means to him, even 52 years later. From there, he discussed the wonders of listening to games on the radio.
“I couldn’t get tickets to games very often, so it was a real rarity to be able to go to an NHL or even an American Hockey League game,” said Rusanowsky. “So, I turned on my radio dial and twisted that dial and listened to crackle of distant radio stations and outside the doors of this amazing world, it was my ticket to the greatest game in the world.”
From there, Rusanowsky knew what path he wanted to follow. In college, the legendary Voice of the Sharks was encouraged by a fellow broadcaster Brian McFarlane who saw the kind of future Rusanowsky could have. Encouraged to attend the NHL Draft in Montreal, during the era when all NHL Drafts were held in Montreal, Rusanowsky mentions that he took the advice and attended, meeting many faces who he ended up working with throughout his career.
In discussing his time with former San Jose Sharks forward Jamie Baker as both a player and a broadcast partner, Rusanowsky of course mentioned Baker’s 1994 Game Seven goal against the Detroit Red Wings that gave the San Jose Sharks their first-ever playoff series victory.
Speaking of Game Seven victories, Rusanowsky later mentioned the 2019 comeback win against the Vegas Golden Knights, thinking about how close the Sharks came to the Stanley Cup that season and how the city rallied around and supported the team.
One thing that was apparent in every part of the acceptance speech is just how much it has meant to the legendary broadcaster to be part of the San Jose Sharks story and the world of hockey as a whole.
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