Buried beneath the fanfare of the recent announcement of Mike Fisher’s contract extension (and rightly so) was a footnote that the Predators were making me into a full time broadcaster for the 2012-13 season and beyond. For the last four seasons, I have been a ‘part timer’ providing radio color analysis for home games only. The Preds and I decided earlier this year that it made sense to turn the relationship into a full time proposition. So as I begin my inaugural season as a full-blown hockey analyst, it seemed to make sense that I should share the reasons supporting my decision.
The question I have answered most often since deciding to return to the game is “what made you decide to leave the practice of law?” The first thing you should know is that there are no lawyers asking me that question. In fact, in the countless conversations I have had with lawyers since deciding to leave lawyering, the response I DO NOT get is “Stu, you’re making a terrible mistake …. you’re really going to miss the law.” The response I invariably get from attorneys goes something like “are the Preds hiring a personal assistant for you? Because I’m available for that position.”
It’s true, hanging out at the rink talking about hockey is a great way to earn a living. As a former player and labor lawyer at the NHLPA, there is something very enjoyable about having the opportunity to share your insights and experiences to a broader audience. It’s just flat out fun. Plus, working alongside one of the best play-by-play guys in the business – Tom Callahan – has been a great way to cut my teeth. Tom makes it easy; he’s a natural.
Most importantly, I have missed the culture of hockey. I have missed hockey people, the hockey calendar and the game itself. I have been around this game for all my life; and, for me, this is a lot like coming home. I can’t overstate what a joy it is that the rink is, once again, the place where I “work.” Being away from the game these last few years has made it clear to me how enjoyable it is to be able to make this sport your profession.
All that said, I am thrilled to join the broadcast team as we continue to bring you the greatest game going. See you around the rink.