[The second in an on-going series with Timothy Oshie, father of Blues forward T.J. Oshie. Send your questions to the Coach at the address listed below and have them answered here.]
Today, a letter about Gus Kyle and Dan Kelly (above) takes the Coach down Memory Lane.
I received a fantastic message over the weekend from a gentleman by the name of Bill Nash, a Blues fan living on the outskirts of Washington, D.C. I'd like to share his story:
"A Blues fan since 1969, growing up watching them in the St. Louis Arena. My father worked for a construction company at 1319 Mackland Avenue and upon occasion would run across the street to a little coffee shop / diner to grab a bite to eat.
"On a regular basis my Dad would see Gus Kyle and Dan Kelly, both of whom were new broadcasters for the Blues. They brought excitement to the ‘new' game that not too many people in St. Louis understood (except for the great fights). Gus seemed to know everyone in the diner and in short order gave my father some tickets to the Blues vs. Montreal Canadians game. My father phoned me and asked me to come into St. Louis from Rolla where I was going to college. We were in the rafters and in between periods, Dad and I went up to the press box as I was introduced to Mr. Kyle.
"The Canadians went up 2-0 quickly in the second period but the Blues battled back to eventually win, 3-2, on a long slapshot by Jimmy Roberts off the right wing. Everyone in the building was on their feet as well as the broadcasters and public address announcer."
Bill went on to say that he was a volunteer at the Scottrade Center when St. Louis hosted the 2007 NCAA Frozen Four.
I bring this story to your attention for the sole fact that it brought me back to my childhood days in Anoka, Minnesota, where I attended elementary and junior high school. I played hockey from Mites through Bantams for the Anoka Tornado Youth Hockey program. I spent countless hours listening to Al Shaver, the radio voice (830-AM WCCO) of the Minnesota North Stars, at the Metropolitan Sports Center in Bloomington, MN. I was fortunate to have two cousins, Henry Boucha and Gary Sargent, both of whom played for the North Stars back in the 70's.
It's a gift to have the talents of men like Dan Kelly and Al Shaver, who could absolutely paint a perfect picture for the fans listening to them on the radio. As a young hockey player, I would actually watch the North Stars on television while listening to Al Shaver on a radio.
Now, with the advancement of technology, we watch the NHL Center Ice package to view almost every game, every night in the NHL. It's my belief that technology has certainly enhanced multi-media, but hearing those crisp adjectives and screams of joy over the airwaves ... I'd take that forever.
So, to my new friend from Washington, D.C., thank you for taken us down memory lane.
Ask Coach Oshie:
What irregular duties do you carry as the father of a hockey player (and a good one at that)? Also have you ever covered your son or will you ever? How would that experience be for you?
Thanks for your question Gabe.First, this is a good question. Irregular duties would include making sure all the family/friends arrangements are made as far in advance as possible. Once a family member (stretching across North America) has made a commitment to come watch the Blues play in person at St. Louis or their hometown area, they usually call, text or e-mail me. I then work with T.J. to make sure all the particulars are met (tickets, family passes to see him after the game, hotel info, etc). Once this has been confirmed, I usually stay in contact with that party the day of the game and go over any potential last minute additions.
The St. Louis Blues are so accommodating for the families.
The second part of your question, is also a strong yes. I've had the distinct opportunity via my sports journalism, both print and broadcast, to cover him in Warroad, MN, as I was the Sports Editor of the Warroad Pioneer newspaper from 2004-08. I also provided color commentary and worked as an analyst for Border Broadcasting (KQ-92 FM) in the greater upper northwest region of Minnesota. I was also a ‘guest' color analyst for the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux Broadcasting Network for Clear Channel in Grand Forks, ND (96.1 FM - The Fox).
I truly enjoy the broadcasting side of things. Guess I've been told by many I have the "gift of gab," so why not use it?
So to conclude your question Gabe, I'd say I have done several things in my life that would be classified as ‘irregular' duties. Let's also include perhaps the few hundreds of thousands of miles I put on my vehicles from 1991-2002 during T.J.'s minor hockey career at Seattle Jr. Hockey playing in the Pacific Coast League in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Oh yeah, and the thousands of miles I spent on a Warroad School District #690 Blue Bird school bus in Minnesota making those long, brutal trips on the buses while coaching at Warroad HS as the assistant coach of the Warriors. And lastly, those life-changing UND Fighting Sioux excursions that went from coast-to-coast while he wore that very proud, Fighting Sioux jersey from 2005-08.
Long live the pride of North Dakota... the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux!
Oshie Sports & Media