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Tell-Us-Strader: Looking Back at the 2010-11 Season

by Dave Strader / Arizona Coyotes
It’s hard to believe we’re halfway through the month of May and it’s time to start the third round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It’s been just over three weeks since the Coyotes were eliminated by the Detroit Red Wings, so I thought I would take a few moments to pass along some thoughts on the 2010-11 season.

Dave Strader and Tyson Nash.
I hope you had a chance to see our final telecast of the season on Fox Sports Arizona as well as our post-game show from the plaza outside Arena. It’s never easy when the season comes to such a sudden halt: whether it’s after game 82 of the regular season or following playoff elimination. But, this season’s end was particularly tough to digest because of all the uncertainty that continued with the status of the Coyotes’ franchise. Just as the players have had to deal with it, so has everyone else affiliated with the team. I think we did a good job of dealing with any news about ownership throughout the season while focusing on the games, which is what the viewers tune in to see. Still, as we signed off after Game 4 against Detroit, some things had to be said. I thought Todd Walsh’s “rant” about hockey in the state of Arizona was passionate and, as usual, articulated like no one else can do it. “Walshy” also made a great point about watching the growth of Tyson Nash as a broadcaster. Remember, “Nasher” had all of one season as a radio analyst when he was told the day before the 2009-10 season that he would be moving into the TV booth. No audition. No practice. No time to think about it. He has handled transition from TV to radio with a great attitude and continued to grow with the help of our outstanding production crew.

Todd Walsh
For me, it was another enjoyable season with a great group of TV professionals that are passionate about hockey. When you’re doing 60-plus shows and covering one team, it takes some creativity to come up with different story lines and different ways of presenting them. I really looked forward to segment one of our pre-game shows (even though, as “Walshy” and I have joked, it’s not part of the “body of the show.”) Having a host like Todd Walsh made it easy and fun for “Nasher” and me. Thanks to our producer Graham, directors Mike and Jim, pre-game producer Lori, Meg, Doris and the rest of our crew for all you did to make our telecasts the best they could be.

Special thanks also go out to the Coyotes’ PR staff, led by Rich Nairn as well as GM Don Maloney, Coach Dave Tippett and his staff, the trainers and all the players. They were great all season in providing us with the access that is necessary to tell the stories and provide the information viewers want.

I’ve been fortunate in the days since the end of the Coyotes’ season. I was hired to be part of the Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage on Versus and NBC. It’s been a hectic four weeks, but it’s the best time of the year to be busy. In addition to my playoff work, my lease was up on my apartment in Glendale at the end of April. So, in between the first and second rounds, I packed up my stuff, jumped in the car and started my semi-annual drive from Arizona back to my home in upstate New York. I made it as far as St. Louis, where Darren Pang used his connections with the Blues to allow me to park my car at Scottrade Center. Once the second round was complete, I flew to St. Louis, picked up my car and finished the drive (2,548 miles total). As I write this, I’m preparing to head out to Vancouver for Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. I’ll be working the series with Panger and Brian Engblom. I will then be off to cover my 14th consecutive Stanley Cup Final for NHL International TV.

Finally, I was pleased to hear that the City of Glendale and NHL extended their current agreement so the Coyotes will be guaranteed another season in Arizona. Let’s hope, as we’ve just passed the two-year anniversary of the Coyotes going into bankruptcy, that a permanent solution will be reached soon. Everyone connected with the Coyotes deserves it.

Thanks for reading.

Dave Strader
Follow me on twitter: @TheVoiceDS
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