San Jose Sharks radio announcer Dan Rusanowsky was named the 2023 recipient of the Foster Hewitt Award, the Hockey Hall of Fame’s top honor for broadcasters. Rusanowsky has worked in that capacity for the Sharks since the franchise’s first game. (author Baskin – left)
In the press release from the NHL Broadcasters’ Association, president and 2004 Foster Hewitt recipient Chuck Kaiton said, “Dan has an insatiable love for radio and has been an integral part of promoting the game of hockey in the Bay Area on that medium from day one of the San Jose Sharks’ existence in 1991. He is extremely worthy of this honor.”
Rusanowsky, 62, grew up in Milford, Connecticut, where he idolized Marv Albert as a young New York Rangers fan. He attended St. Lawrence University in the North Country of New York and got his start calling play-by-play for St. Lawrence’s varsity hockey team, a role he continued in after college.
In 1986, Rusanowsky moved back home, becoming the play-by-play broadcaster for the New Haven Nighthawks of the American Hockey League. He spent five years working in the AHL before the San Jose expansion team selected him as their radio broadcaster in 1991.
Rusanowsky, along with Randy Hahn on television, has become an institution in the Bay Area hockey market. In over three decades as the voice of Northern California’s NHL team, he has only missed 27 games, all stemming from a car accident in the early 2000s. He called the Sharks’ run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016 and has seen all the great players in the franchise’s history, from Patrick Marleau to Joe Thornton to Brent Burns.
The 1990s wave of NHL expansion into markets where the sport had not developed much of a foothold would not have worked as well as it did if the teams did not bring in broadcasters who could help teach the game to new fans. Many of them, such as Rusanowsky and 2020 inductee Rick Peckham, will eventually wind up in the Hall of Fame. For the Sharks, their Day 1 announcer’s induction into the Hall in November will further cement their status as one of the top organizations of the expansion era.
Active NHL announcers who have previously won the Foster Hewitt Award include Detroit Red Wings color commentator Mickey Redmond (2011), Los Angeles Kings radio announcer Nick Nickson (2015), New York Rangers TV voice Sam Rosen (2016), and Toronto Maple Leafs radio commentator Joe Bowen (2018).
Kaiton himself was a multi-decade radio voice of the Hartford Whalers, a club that moved to Carolina where they were baptized the Hurricanes.
American live telecast will be on Turner; TNT and TBS – Called by the superb
Date Site Time (ET) TV
Sat., June 3 at Vegas 8 p.m. TNT, TBS, truTV, SN, CBC, TVAS
Mon., June 5 at Vegas 8 p.m. TNT, TBS, truTV, SN, CBC, TVAS
Thurs., June 8 at Florida 8 p.m. TNT, TBS, truTV, SN, CBC, TVAS
Sat., June 10 at Florida 8 p.m. TNT, TBS, truTV, SN, CBC, TVAS
Tues., June 13 * at Vegas 8 p.m. TNT, truTV, SN, CBC, TVAS
Fri., June 16 * at Florida 8 p.m TNT, TBS, truTV, SN, CBC, TVAS
Mon., June 19 * at Vegas 8 p.m. TNT, TBS, truTV, SN, CBC, TVAS