People who live in glass houses ought not throw stones.
It is for that reason that I, typically, do not comment on the media that covers the Edmonton Oilers. For one thing, I am in the media, and as a result my focus should really be on keeping my own backyard weed free. For another, it’s a tough job in a town like Edmonton, and for a team like the Oilers. So I figure that unless I’m damn sure I could do a better job, I keep my highly subjective opinions to myself.
But occasionally, there is cause for an exception.
News out today has Louie DeBrusk leaving the Sports Net Oilers television broadcasts. The former NHL tough guy joined the broadcasts in 2008, and I really grew to appreciate his contribution and his self-deprecating style. Certainly, his broadcasting skills were superior to his goal scoring abilities.
A number of names have been mentioned as possible replacements, including one Drew Remenda. I know Drew, very well in fact, and as an Oiler fan and sometimes commentator, I sure hope that this rumor is true, as Drew would
be great in that seat and in our city.
Drew, if you’ll forgive me for referring to him only by his first name, is a true student of the game. He cut his teeth working for Hockey Canada through the 80’s, and then moved on to the University of Calgary Dino’s before
spending 5 years as a coach with the San Jose Sharks. It is from those experiences that he would bring great substance to Oilers TV broadcasts. He can chalk-talk with the best of them, and understands both the physical and mental aspects of this great game. Drew put in all of the work, and comes by his hockey knowledge honestly.
Drew successfully translated that knowledge and skill to the broadcast booth for the Sharks for years after that, and spread his wings further still as the host of a Sports Talk show in Saskatchewan where he was born and
raised. It was there that Drew and I got to know one another.
Honestly, other people hockey possess knowledge comparable to Drew’s. The difference? Drew has the natural-born ability to translate that into words easily and enjoyably consumed by non-hockey connoisseurs. That’s way harder to do than merely possessing the “gift of gab”, that many average broadcasters have.
In short, Drew is a star. And I can think of a fit no better for him than to be his smart, knowledgeable self in a hard-core hockey market like Edmonton, where the sport is the undisputed king of sporting fan’s hearts. You would both get his insightful analysis, and be entertained by his style.
Drew has always spoken very kindly of our spent time together in radio, and he has given me far more credit that I deserve for his success in that medium. Any coach worth his salt will tell you that players can’t be great unless
they 1) Have the raw talent, and 2) Want it bad enough.
Drew Remenda has both, in spades.
Let’s hope the rumors are true.