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The Official Site of the Arizona Coyotes


by Dave Strader / Arizona Coyotes
I know I’ve been around the game of hockey for a long time. My first professional broadcast was in October of 1979 at the Glens Falls Civic Center, a game between the Adirondack Red Wings and the Hershey Bears. I called Adirondack games in the American Hockey League from 1979-1985. I have many fond memories from those seasons and still see many former players that now work with various organizations throughout the NHL. But, as I was preparing to call the Versus game in Toronto on Nov. 30 between the Maple Leafs and Sabres, one name on the Leafs’ roster caught my attention: Christian Hanson from Glens Falls, N.Y. (my hometown).

Christian Hanson of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
It took a split second for the reality to sink in… I had called many of those Adirondack games with a player named Dave Hanson in the lineup. The tough guy Dave Hanson of Slap Shot fame. I knew he had a son that was born in Glens Falls, a son who had played college hockey at Notre Dame. The son’s name was Christian.

For the first time, I was calling an NHL game involving the son of one of the Adirondack players that I had covered so many years ago. As soon as I saw him in the Leafs’ locker room that morning, I knew right away it was Christian. He looks a lot like his dad. Christian had just been called up from the Leafs’ AHL affiliate, the Marlies (conveniently located right in Toronto). We chatted a bit and he reminded me that he grew up in a house that is in the very same neighborhood where I have had a home since 1997.

I asked Christian when he first became aware of his dad’s Slap Shot persona. He said it was at a celebrity hockey game back in 1993 for the benefit of victims of the California wild fires. Christian was about eight years old at the time and he was trying to get as many NHL autographs as he could. His dad and the Carlson boys were all dressed as the Hanson brothers. Dave Hanson put a shaving cream pie in the face of the guest referee, Brian Burke, who was with the NHL’s hockey operations department at the time. Of course, Brian is now general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs and the one who determines if Christian is ready to play in the NHL. Talk about a small world!

I’ve taken advantage of this break in the Coyotes’ TV schedule to spend some time with my family back in Glens Falls. I plan on attending an AHL game at the Glens Falls Civic Center while I’m home. It should bring back some more memories, but I can’t wait to get back in the booth for our next Coyotes’ telecast on Monday.

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