Sunday, August 14, 2011

Battlefords Reflections - Part 4 (A Thankful Post)

This will be my final post as 'Voice of the Battlefords North Stars.' Come August 26th, this will now be a Prince George Cougar's blog and the Western Hockey League will then become the primary focus of my writing. That means new colors, and a new title to this blog.

Before I leave for B.C. I wanted to write one last post and put my thanks into writing. The past four years have enabled me to meet some unforgettable people, to whom I am extremely thankful for.

I want to start with my immediate friends and family. Without your support, encouragement and trust, this move would not have been possible. To Julie for believing in me and trusting me enough to make this move too - I won't disappoint you, and I can't wait to start our new adventure together. To my Dad who has provided me with so much help, support and friendship. You are my hero, and I look forward to our many more visits thanks to this move. To Curt, Rachel, Robert and the rest of Julie's family: Thanks for trusting me, and for encouraging us to follow our dreams. Julie is in good hands, I promise.

Once more to my family at Rawlco Radio in North Battleford. I can't thank you enough for the oppurtunity to hone my craft and live my dream at the Junior A. Level. David and Harry Dekker are two of the wisest, kindest, encouraging people I've ever met. It was a privilege working with you and for you, and I look forward to our many future years of laughter and friendship. To Doug Harrison for kicking my ass when it needed kicking, and for his help and guidance. It meant a lot to me, and you helped me become better. To Betty Speed and the CJNB sales team for going to bat for me, and helping me get Sports Fix on the air. Betty is the reason why we have 40 games instead of 30 (my first year). It was a pleasure working with you all.

To the Battlefords North Stars hockey club: You provided me with four of the most enjoyable years of my life. Thank you for funding my travel with the team, and encouraging me as a broadcaster. So many friendships were forged because of the North Stars and I will forever call myself a North Star's fan. I want to thank the Board Of Directors for all of their tireless work behind the scenes to ensure the success of the club. To the many volunteers and fans, it was truly a joy to interact with you at the rink, and I wish you all the best down the road. My early dealings with Kevin Hasselberg were extremely pleasant, and I want to wish Kevin and his family all the best as they get settled into the Battlefords. I want to thank Blair Atcheynum for his friendship, guidance and help. Blair's passion for the Stars and the Battlefords as a whole is obvious, and the Stars have a real keeper with Atch. To my roommate for four years, Dale Jackson: Thanks for the memories. You and Debbie have been so good to me, and I wish you nothing but success and happiness down the road. Your devotion and passion knows no bounds.

To my colleagues in the SJ both past and present: A huge thank you to all of you for helping my broadcasts and allowing me to feel more at ease on the road. I got to work often alongaide Craig Stein, Darryl Skender, Rob Hart, Daniel Fink, Gino De Paoli, Dallas Hicks, Bill Burfoot, Kevin Smith, Brenden Ullrich, Ryan Tunall, Darren Dupont, Blaine Weyland, Josh Lewis, Fraser Rodgers, Kenny Trenton, Mike Stackhouse, Laury Ryan and Mitchell Biair. You have all contributed greatly to the legacy of the SJHL, and I enjoyed dealing with all of you. Trips to Yorkton, Flin Flon, La Ronge and Weyburn will be missed most of all.

To the coaching staffs of all 12 teams, thank you. It was a sincere pleasure dealing with all of you, and thanks for providing me with great interviews and great conversation. To those who went out of their way to congratulate me, it means more to me than you even know.

I also want to recognize the North Saskatchewan River Hockey League for their help in my development as a broadcaster. Some of my greatest broadcasting memories have come from the likes of Turtleford, Edam, Paradise Hill, St. Walburg, Wilkie, Spiritwood, Cut Knife, Meadow Lake, Maymont and Neilberg. To the many volunteers who help make that league tick - Keep up the good work. You are the bread and butter of that league's success.

Locally there were so many other figures in the sporting scene who continually rose to the occasion and helped me out. Dana Johnson (North Battleford Golf and Country Club), Kyle Hellgren (Jackfish Lodge) and Kyle Duffin (Meadow Lake) were all so easy to work with and alongside. Thanks guys! To the personalities in the NSRBL and high-school football and basketball - It was truly a pleasure getting a chance to meet and speak with you guys. I'll never forget my trips to the COMP for High School Football awards, and I had such a tremendous time in Unity hosting the Comp Warrior Football Banquet in 2007. These are the types of things that truly define Saskatchewan Hospitality and the way of life.
Lastly I want to thank my friends. It goes without saying that you helped make my transition to Saskatchewan so easy. I'm not going to name names for fear of leaving somebody out, but surely as you're reading this, you know who you are. You all mean so much to me, and I am truly blessed to have met you all. Here's to the many good times we've had, and will continue to have as time marches on.

As this new journey awaits, I confess that it's still a little overwhelming and scary. But I plan on making the absolute most out of this opportunity, and I won't let you down.

To the Prince George Cougars, once again THANK YOU for this opportunity. I can't wait to get going and create beautiful memories together.

Thanks again,



Bill McLellan said...

Dan - Good luck you are a class act.

Mitchell Blair said...

Best of luck Dan. You were a tremendous help to me in my one year on the job in the SJHL and had I been around for a 2nd, it would have been tough to find someone who could have filled your shoes. Have a great time in Prince George and I will see you when the Cougars visit the Pats.