This is long overdue, but as Dan O'Connor works his final day at 1050 CJNB in North Battleford, I owe him a public congratulations.
I sent Dan-O a congratulatory text, just minutes after it was announced that he's the new Play-by-Play Voice of the WHL's Prince George Cougars a couple weeks ago.
It's really refreshing to see a Junior 'A' guy, especially out of the SJHL, make the jump... as BC seems to be the breeding ground for WHL guys. Dan IS from B.C., and he's heading back to his home province to work for the Cougars.
Dan was a superstar in this league and he'll be one in the Western League too. From his play-by-play, to hosting his weekly talk-show, SJHL This Week on TV and for the SJ Website, to conducting interviews and giving interviews, Dan was easily the most talented all-around broadcaster that I've worked alongside in Saskatchewan and Manitoba (and there are a lot of good guys in both leagues).
It's one thing to have the talent, and another to display the kind of professionalism and courtesy to colleagues and players/coaches, etc... and Dan's a top-notch guy to deal with.
He was a treat to have as a colour guy when I was broadcasting NB and he wasn't on the air, and I returned the favour whenever I could in Yorkton.
Not to get all misty, but I wouldn't just call Dan-O one of my best buddies in the media biz, but one of my best pals period. He's a great friend, a true pro, and I'll definitely miss hanging out in the BP's lounge in Yorkton (along with Dale Jackson!) after a Stars/Terriers or Stars/Millionaires game.
Good luck buddy! You deserve it!