"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Others stay awhile and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never ever the same."
In nearly 15 years with the San Jose Sharks, I have a ton of footprints and skate cuts on my heart. If you wouldn't mind indulging me one last time, please read about some of the very special people that deserve my thanks.
First I want to thank you, the fans. We are kindred spirits because we share a love for the game and the San Jose Sharks. We may praise and critique the team at different times, but that’s because we all see the game differently. Thank you for your passion.
I'm a big fan of the people that work in the Sharks' office. They deserve my gratitude and appreciation. They work long, selfless hours because they, like you, believe in the team. The women and men in that office are what Doug Wilson looks for in a player. They have character, talent, work ethic and are team players. I've been blessed to develop many friendships over the years. Friendships that I cherish even more now. Thanks to all the people at SVSE. I will miss you.
I've been fortunate to have worked with some great coaches and players. In my first years, George Kingston and Bob Murdoch were my mentors. Dean Evason, Jeff Hackett, Pat Falloon and Rob Zettler were some of the wonderful players I was able to work with. Even though I didn't know it at the time, I was lucky to work with Kevin Constantine. He pushed everybody hard, but I learned so much from Kevin. I also learned from great players like Igor Larionov, Jamie Baker, Jeff Norton and Ray Whitney. 1993 to 1995 were the best years I ever had as a coach. Darryl Sutter was great. It took a while to understand the ways of the farmer from Viking. But I truly appreciate the work ethic and big picture vision of 'Big D'. I also have great respect for the assistant coaches in those years. Rich Preston, Lorne Molleken, and Bob Berry kept us up to date and laughing in the good and bad times. I really enjoyed the time and discussions, and sometime debates, with great veterans like Kelly Hrudey and Mike Vernon.
I also have to mention Owen Nolan. He helped launch my television career. In my third year on the radio I was also pegged to handle the between period interviews. My very first live interview was Owen. The interview was rather routine until the very end when Owen had some fun. He grabbed me in a headlock and said: "This is Drew's first interview and he was really nervous, but he did pretty well." Since then we've been good friends. He even stuck with me when I didn't defend him for his hit and subsequent suspension on Grant Marshall. I should have backed "my guy," but instead I played neutral broadcaster. Some in the hockey department blamed my comments on the length of the suspension. "You were right, Peanut." was Owen's response. I know Owen will be back in the league tearing it up next year. I'm sorry I won't be calling the action.
Of all the players I've been lucky enough to work with, I have a special place for this year's group. Simply the best.
Ron Wilson is the man. I've got nothing but respect and admiration for RW. He gets it. As does his great staff of Tim Hunter and Rob Zettler. Thanks guys for everything. I also can't go without mentioning Mike Aldrich and Kurt Harvey. The entire training and equipment staff are great, but Mike and Kurt are salt of the earth. Two of the best who deserve the best. Thanks guys for all the favours. The team would collapse without you.
Doug Wilson, the Sharks and the City don't know how fortunate they are to have a man of your character and personality in charge. I know you'll bring a Cup to San Jose and you'll deserve it.
Greg Jamison, thank you for your leadership and counsel. You are a good man and I always appreciated the time and support you gave me. Even though you didn't always like what I had to say.
A mere thanks to Malcolm Bordelon doesn't seem right. I don't possess the words to express my indebtedness to the Sharks Executive Vice President. You are a man of infinite patience and support. I hope I was worth the headache.
Now before I go I have to thank my team, the Broadcast Crew. Jamie Baker, you fit so well it actually scares me. No really. We're a sick weird group. What does that say about you? ... It says you'll be fine and the team is lucky to have you. What can I say about Dan Rusanowsky? I love him. He's bank. A guy that loves his medium, loves his team and loves the community. You are the man Danny Boy. If you ever want to debate politics or the "rover" give me a call.
Thank you Sharks Director of Broadcasting, Frank Albin. You are the best boss I ever had. Thanks for always being in my corner. Thanks for the long leash. Above all, thanks for the friendship. We've shared a lot. I love you like a brother.
I believe Randy Hahn is the best play-by-play man in the NHL. He's also the best person I've ever worked with. You always had my back and made me look good. You always made me laugh. Anybody that saw us at HP would see me laughing until I had tears rolling down my cheeks 10 seconds before we were to go on air. Yet we pulled it together. I know we had some tough times, but for the life of me, I can only remember the good. I know I'll never be that lucky again. The chemistry was a happy accident, lightning in a bottle. Randy, you made it fun to come to work. You made me a better broadcaster. You made a friend for life. "I'll miss you most of all scarecrow."
If I missed anybody, and I'm sure I did, I'm sorry. So let this last Thank You cover it all. Thank You for the time of my life.
For the last time, I’m Drew Remenda for Seagate Technology’s In The Crease