The Dallas Stars have announced that broadcaster Dave Strader has passed away this morning. Strader missed most of the 2016-17 season while battling cholangiocarcinoma, a rare bile duct cancer. He was 62 years old.
"Everyone who knew him, and everyone who was able to listen to him call games, is saddened to learn about the passing of Dave Strader," said Stars President and CEO Jim Lites. "His voice is synonymous with hockey to fans all over the globe and he built a connection for so many fans to this game. More importantly, he was a tremendous husband, father, grandfather and friend and we will miss him deeply. Our sincerest prayers and condolences are directed to his wife Colleen and their entire family."
When Ralph Strangis stepped away from the Stars booth after the 2015-16 season it was hard to imagine someone else donning his headset. The idea of a new voice calling Stars games regularly was just odd. With Stars games being simulcast on radio and TV, Strangis was really the only play by play voice that most people have heard associated with Stars games.
Dave Strader filled the void perfectly. When he was behind the mic he always delivered a very enjoyable broadcast. As a national broadcaster with NBCSN all hockey fans knew his distinct voice. When he took over for Strangis I personally didn’t know what to think. His was such a familiar voice that I knew, but I thought hearing him in a new more personalized role would take some adjustment.
That adjustment might have taken a full period. Strader was so good at what he did that every broadcast was a genuine treat. He and Darryl Reaugh had a natural chemistry that pulled the best out of both guys.
One thing that sticks in my mind this morning is this. Strader and Brian Engblom called a national Stars game in what was I think the last Dallas game Strader called before taking the job here. Reviews were not positive; they got dragged on Twitter.
Strader didn’t shy away from it after taking the job in Dallas, but handled it with the class of a professional. You never heard a negative thought come out of his mouth publicly, and his response to such a poor visible performance stuck with me. That was how I thought you should handle adversity. Little did I know that he would set an even better example for dealing with adversity in his coming battle with cancer. His one game return to the broadcast booth was an incredibly moving night.
Outwardly he was truly a remarkable man. The outpouring of support and love in the wake of the announcement shows just how well he was thought of.
Broadcasters from across hockey, Strader’s past, and DFW have reached out.
The NHL Network had a moving tribute:
This is an overwhelmingly sad morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Strader’s family and friends who are in mourning. Based on the sheer number of condolences offered it seems that the group of people who considered themselves his friend was massive. We hope they and his surviving family find the peace they seek in this tough time.
Rest in peace, Dave.
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