He is known as Dan, Danny Boy, Dano or Rusi (pronounced ROO Z) by his partner and great friend Jamie Baker. He will now be known as a Hall of Famer as our good friend, Dan Rusanowsky will be inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame.
For 22 years Danny has been the only radio voice for the San Jose Sharks. He did miss a handful of games in 2000 when on game day he was in a serious car accident just a block from the rink.
Dan was seriously injured and had to have surgery to save his life. The story goes that after the game in which the Sharks lost to the New Jersey Devils, then Sharks Coach Daryl Sutter went to see Dan in the hospital.
Dan was out of emergency surgery and quite groggy and out of it, but managed to ask "Big D" who won.
Daryl reported that the Devils won 3-2, to which Danny replied with an expletive of disappointment in a slurred medical stupor.
That in a nutshell is Dan. I'm 100% sure that during his life saving surgery the Doctors were amazed that his entire insides were teal in color. He is professional, hard working and prepared. He is one of the best in the NHL, but to his core, he is a San Jose Shark.
Now, my friend Danny Boy does have some humorous qualities.
For example he has quite possibly the messiest desk on the planet. Although some say a messy desk is a sign of genius, but one of these days I'm going to turn on the TV and Dan and his desk will be featured on "Hoarders".
On roadtrips he carries two identical suitcases. One with his clothes one over flowing with the tools of his trade. Microphones, cords, media and league guides, his omnipresent four color bic pens and God knows what else.
Speaking of God, Lord help you if you are in range when Dan is moving those suitcases around the plane. I call him the "Samsonite Samuari." The man is deadly.
On the plane after a game he gets right to work. His trusty computer gets a workout. He has a spreadsheet that he updates every Sharks stat and has been doing so for as long as I've known him.
The funny thing about that is during longer flights Randy and I will look over and our boy will be asleep hands still on the keyboard. It never fails.
For fun when we roll into a town for a road game Danny will throw out some random players name from that team's past.
For example if you're sitting beside him on the bus and you are rolling down Richards Street in Vancouver. Dan will lean toward and in a low tone murmur, "Orland Kurtenbach" or "Dennis Ververgaert."
Nothing else, no add ons, just some random player.
Again, he is bank, it never fails.
Despite his peccadilloes, Dan never fails to deliver. On and off the air. He is knowledgeable, insightful, entertaining and passionate.
I started my second NHL career as a broadcaster with Dan. He taught me importance of preparation and working at the craft.
He gave me the recorder and let me go out and get the player quotes and clips at the morning skate, a great exercise.
Dan didn't allow me to hide in the background. He made me become a broadcaster and not a former coach behind the microphone.
I couldn't have had a better teacher to build my broadcasting foundation.
Off the air Dan is a sweet and loyal friend. He is the first to offer a ride, a room to stay, (with "I've got room").
A helping hand in anything. He is just a good guy, with a great heart.
Besides his wife he loves nothing more than, the Sharks and Sharks fans. He loves meeting fans, talking Sharks hockey and telling hockey stories. He has an impeccable memory and can recall a story, a game or a play from his 22 years as the Radio Voice of the Sharks.
The bottom line is Dan Rusanowsky is a one of a kind. A one of a kind broadcaster and one of a kind person.
I'm so happy he is the one from our broadcast team being honoured for all he has done for our favourite team.
Good on ya, Danny Boy!
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