Dan O’Connor is in his first season as the Vancouver Giants director of media relations and play-by-play broadcaster. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times Dan O’Connor is in his first season as the Vancouver Giants director of media relations and play-by-play broadcaster. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

Meet the man behind the mike

New play-by-play voice grew up cheering on the Vancouver Giants

Dan O’Connor remembers it like it was yesterday.

He was in Dawson Creek, working at a radio station in the Peace Country and calling junior B hockey games for the Dawson Creek Junior Canucks.

The first game he ever broadcast — for pay and not for pleasure or practice — was a 5-4 Junior Canucks victory over the Peace River Navigators.

“It was phenomenal. I could not believe that I was 21 years old and calling hockey games,” he recalled. “I couldn’t believe the euphoria, getting off the air and saying ‘I can’t believe I just got paid to call a hockey game.’

“Calling hockey games was just contagious, just this really exhilarating feeling.”

He was following a childhood dream, one he first imagined when he was five of six years old.

Broadcast legends Jim Robson, Jim Hughson and John Shorthouse were his influences and O’Connor remembers sneaking a radio into bed so he could catch the end of the Vancouver Canucks game.

When the Vancouver Giants came to Tsawwassen, O’Connor began to learn about the Western Hockey League and major junior hockey.

It helped that he attended South Delta Secondary School, having classes with some of the Giants players.

Soon he was volunteering for the team and shortly after that, the O’Connor household became a billet family for the Giants, and after graduation, he enrolled in the journalism program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. And it was a perfect fit, with O’Connor spending more and more time at the Pacific Coliseum.

“Billeting — coupled with having a place to take photos and practising play-by-play — the Vancouver Giants were just a really convenient outlet for me as an aspiring broadcaster,” O’Connor said.

From Dawson Creek, O’Connor went to Saskatchewan, where he called games for the North Battleford Stars.

And in 2011, he made his way to the Western Hockey League as the director of media relations and play-by-play broadcaster for the Prince George Cougars.

“I remember when I was in Prince George, there was always that excitement when we were going to go into Vancouver and the Pacific Coliseum. It was the place I watched my first NHL game, it was the place where I really fell in love with the Western Hockey League,” O’Connor said.

“There was always that thought way back when that one day I was going to call games from the Pacific Coliseum.”

And while he won’t get to call games from the Coliseum as the home announcer, O’Connor has come full circle after accepting a job with the Giants.

What can fans expect when they tune in to listen to Giants games?

High energy, well prepared and a balanced view of the action on the ice, O’Connor promised.

“But let’s be honest, the Vancouver Giants are my employer, they pay my salary and I am going to be happier when they score a goal then I am when the other team scores a goal,” he added.

“Now I am not going to be this over-the-top relentless suffocating homer that frustrates everyone that is tuning in. but at the same time, I am not going to really disguise the fact that when James Malm scores a goal or when Ryan Kubic makes an amazing save.

“These are the guys that I am on the bus with, these are the guys that I am talking to every day, you can’t help but be excited for them because you are around them, you know them, you have a rapport with them, it is who I work for.”


sports@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Spiritual leader sentenced for bringing people over the border illegally

Judge said he was the mastermind behind operation that may have gone on for decades

Hurricanes breeze past Giants

Not much went right for Vancouver as Giants see Langley Events Centre winning streak come to an end

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

UPDATE: Brookswood Secondary lockdown lifted (with video)

Huge police presence outside the school after reports of suspicious male, possibly with a gun

Precious Blood Parish victim to ‘bloody’ vandalism attacks

Fake blood poured on statues of Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary

Angel trucks everywhere in Langley

The Jackmans donated a brand new truck to Kimz Angels, making that four in the fleet

Charge laid against B.C. man in alleged cat torture

Joshua Michael Lemire, 20, has been charged with one count of causing unnecessary pain/suffering to an animal.

Oxford Dictionary responds by video to Victoria boy’s bid for levidrome

William Shatner tweet garners attention of Oxford

Site C allows more wind, solar energy, experts say

Lawyer, economist argue for completion of B.C. Hydro dam

Record-high temperatures reached in 18 spots in B.C.

White Rock, Victoria and the Fraser Valley made new records for the unusually warm November day

Supreme Court to hear case on whether ISPs can charge for IDing online pirates

Film producers seeking to crack down on people who share copyrighted material illegally

Snow warning for the Coquihalla

Driving through highway passes will require some extra caution today.

5 to start your day

Coquitlam dog walker rescued, education minister blasts Chilliwack trustee and more

Canadian initiative fuelled by Terry Fox’s dream may be only hope for young cancer patients

Young cancer patients in rural or remote areas did not always get the testing available

Most Read