DALLAS (CBSMiami/AP) – One of the kindest and most talented broadcasters to grace the NHL airwaves has moved on to a better place.
Dave Strader, the hockey broadcaster known affectionately as “The Voice,” has died after battling bile duct cancer for more than a year. He was 62.
The Dallas Stars said Strader died Sunday at his home in Glens Falls, New York. Strader was a play-by-play man with the Stars and a national broadcaster on NBC Sports.
“He was a guy who made every team he was a part of better,” said Sam Flood, executive producer and president of production for NBC and NBC Sports.
“What was unique about him was he wanted the analyst to be the star, and he took the time to make sure his analysts were in a position to get the focus and the spotlight.
“That’s a unique skill as a play-by-play guy to make sure that the stars of the game are the analysts, and he did it in a way with no ego, but loved the game and shared that love every time you watched a game that he broadcast.”
Strader received the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award from the Hockey Hall of Fame earlier this year. He’ll be honored during Hall of Fame induction weekend in November.
Flood said NHL coaches embraced Strader as “the guy who was selling the game of hockey.”
Stars president and CEO Jim Lites said Strader’s “voice is synonymous with hockey to fans all over the globe and he built a connection for so many fans to this game.”
Strader previously was the broadcaster for the Detroit Red Wings, Arizona Coyotes and Florida Panthers and worked three Olympic Games.
“The loss of Dave will certainly be felt throughout the hockey community,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said.
“He was one of the most iconic play-by-play announcers of his time and a true gentleman. He was a devoted husband and father, and his presence will be sorely missed in arenas throughout the league.”
The hockey community mourned Strader’s death on Sunday with heartfelt messages from players, fellow broadcasters and executives. Philadelphia Flyers president Paul Holmgren called Strader a “one-of-a-kind announcer.
“Such a terrific person,” Stars analyst and Strader’s broadcast partner Daryl Reaugh tweeted. “So much love for his family, support for friends, time for all. And an absolute titan in a booth, a gondola or a perch.”
While he was undergoing treatment for cholangiocarcinoma, Strader broadcasted a final few playoff games last season for NBC. Flood said it was a pleasure to see Strader back in his element, at the rink and in the booth.
“It meant so much to him and I think it gave him a spark last May and June when he was able to get back in the booth and call hockey games,” Flood said. “It was great to hear him and the energy and the passion he had for it.”
Flood said Mike Emrick will pay tribute to Strader on air Wednesday night when the NHL regular season begins.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)