This winter, for the first time in more than two decades, there will be a new voice calling University of Maine hockey games on the radio. Dan Hannigan is pursuing a new career and the demands of a long hockey season just don't fit well for him any longer.
Just like all but one of the people currently holding broadcasting jobs with the Black Bears, Dale Duff gave Dan the opportunity. And while some have forgotten their roots, not Dan.
"Dale certainly rolled the dice on me given no prior hockey play by play... I'm very thankful he did!" Dan told me in an e mail note.
Dan called the 1999 National Championship game and did play by play from a half dozen Frozen Fours.
His skill, knowledge of the game, delivery, intelligence and dry wit made Maine hockey a "must listen" for me and thousands of Black Bear fans over the years. While some announcers like to talk about themselves, or inanely yell a catch phrase, Dan never went down that road. He didn't need to.
As a guy who replaced Dan once ( I took over the afternoon radio show on WZON in 2004 after Dan moved to southern Maine) I can tell you those are massive shoes to fill. It seems likely John Shields will get the call and having Larry Mahoney sticking around will help for sure.
Thanks for the memories Dan. And congrats on a job well done.