One of the best play-by-play men in the NHL is leaving his team gig, and it looks as though he could have been snatched up by NBC and Versus for full-time national television work in time for next season.
Dave Strader is apparently no longer a member of the Phoenix Coyotes broadcast crew, as the team has posted a job listing for the position.
Strader essentially became the No. 2 play-by-play man at Versus earlier in 2011, replacing Joe Beninati in that role and working games secondary to the No. 1 crew led by Mike Emrick. Of course, the networks are adding many more nationally broadcast games in the 2011-12 season, and they're going to need more voices to call those games.
He's occasionally done work nationally on Versus and used to call games back on ESPN when the Worldwide Leader Of Everything But Hockey used to actually care about the game, but it was notable when he picked up more national work during the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
This hasn't been officially announced by NBC/Versus, but AZCentral.com is reporting that it's happening. Seems like an easy case of connect the dots.
The best part about this, as pointed out by Steve Lepore, is that a college degree is only "preferred" for the new play-by-play voice of the Coyotes, but that they need at least five years of pro hockey broadcasting experience. I'm going to go out on a limb and say the list of high school grads with five years of pro broadcasting experience is a short one.
In our ranking of NHL broadcasters published a few weeks ago, we ranked Strader as such:
Strader might be the best play-by-play man in the business. He's dead-on while working in-game, he identifies players, the action and works in line changes and team tidbits on the fly. He would shine in any market.
He's a welcome addition to my television, that's for sure. Arizona's loss is the nation's gain.