Last Thursday (Oct 4th) was my last one behind the mic for the Ottawa Senators. It wasn’t an easy decision to come to – but it’s one that’s best for me and my family. Like a lot of Canadian kids growing up in Montreal, one of my dreams was to play in the NHL. If you’ve seen me play hockey, you know that’s impossible so I had pursue my dream another way.
Fast forward to the summer of 2006 when I became the PA announcer (hired by Glen Gower) for the Ottawa Senators. It was the closest thing I’d ever have to being a player on the ice and I never took the job for granted every single time I walked into that arena.
It was a dream come true.
Calling players names at the start of each game was such a rush – I was nervous and excited every single time I opened the mic. And those players were always so welcoming, they always made me feel like a part of the team… like one of the guys.
When I was diagnosed with Leukemia the outpouring of support from Sens fans, the players, the wives and the organization – from security staff, suite hosts, right up to the front office was incredible. To this day there are not enough words of gratitude and thanks – that feeling of support and love I will take with me forever. But truth is the effects of all that treatment (chemo, radiation) and the medication (that I’m still taking) has finally caught up with me.
I don’t announce calls like I use to, and the act of burning the candle on both ends isn’t something I can do anymore. I would often joke, the Sens gig pays the groceries, the job on the radio at MAJIC 100 FM pays the mortgage.
The role of PA announcer for the Ottawa Senators afforded me so many incredible opportunities – from calling games at 2 Olympics, NHL All Star game, NHL draft, announcer for the NHL awards, NHL outdoor game to name a few.
More importantly, it also allowed me to meet thousands of Sens fans over the years, you’re a passionate fan base. Don’t ever lose that and don’t ever take for granted how lucky we are as a city to have an NHL team in our backyard.
I’ll continue to work with the Ottawa Senators doing some events throughout the year with the Senators foundation and alumni. Until then I look forward to going to games with my kids, it’ll be a new experience that I look forward to, because ultimately family is the most important thing.
To the game night crew, please continue playing Cotton Eyed Joe, and doing what you do best. I’m truly going to miss working with you.
And lastly to the Sens fans, I hope I did you proud each and every game night, it was an honour and a privilege to be your PA announcer over the last 12 years.
Thank you, Un gros merci, GO SENS GO!
(Thanks for the jersey Emily Knight)