Troubling news continues today as it's been announced former Red Wings Play-By-Play announcer Dave Strader has been diagnosed with cancer.
The form of cancer has not been publicly disclosed out of respect to the Strader family.
Strader took over as play-by-play voice of the Dallas Stars in 2015 after working nationally with NBC, Versus and ESPN over the span of 20 years. He has also spent seasons as the primary broadcaster for the Phoenix Coyotes and Florida Panthers on FSN Arizona and FSN Florida.
Older folks will know Strader with great sentiment. Before Ken Daniels began with the Wings in 1997 and uh, that one season with Mike Goldberg (yes, THAT Mike Goldberg), there was the venerable Strader as Mickey Redmond's longtime broadcast partner on WXON TV-20, WKBD/UPN Channel 50, and PASS Sports.
For a couple generations you heard Strader's excitable tenor lifting through your rabbit ears for every young Fedorov rush down the wing, Probert right hook, Yzerman snipe and pleasant surprise from a Tim Cheveldae save. Strader took the Wings Play-By-Play job in 1985 having to talk Red Wings fans through one of the worst seasons in team history. The following year saw head coach Jacques Demers name a 21 year-old Steve Yzerman captain, leading a surprise 1986-87 squad to a near upset of the Edmonton Oilers in the Campbell (now Western) Conference Finals and as a franchise the Wings have never looked back, only missing the playoffs once since.
A statement from Strader originally posted today in the Dallas News,
"I realize I have a challenge and fight ahead of me. With my wife Colleen and our family, along with the full support of the Dallas Stars organization, we are ready to meet this challenge. We don't have to look very far for inspiration as Bekki Nill has shown us all how to meet this dreaded disease head-on. Personally, her example will serve as a great guide. I want to thank everyone for their support as I proceed with treatment."
Strader is referring to Bekki Nill, wife of former Red Wings Assistant and current Stars General Manager Jim Nill, who has bravely fought with multiple bouts of breast cancer, most recently in 2011, which has unfortunately spread to her liver and been deemed incurable.
Strader left the Red Wings in 1996 to pursue a national opportunity with ESPN. The last call he made as an employee of the Red Wings was quite the memorable one
Strader's tenure as a Red Wings broadcaster may not have been as long as Bruce Martyn's, Ken Kal's or Redmond's and Daniels' but the imprint is just as deep to Red Wings fans of a certain age.
Please get well soon, Dave. You're in our thoughts and prayers.