AHL mourns passing of Dave Strader

Photo: Dallas Stars

Dave Strader, an award-winning broadcaster in the American Hockey League before going on to a legendary career on the national stage, passed away Sunday morning after a year-long battle with cholangiocarcinoma, a form of bile duct cancer.

He was 62.

“There are 30 play-by-play broadcasters in the American Hockey League who want to be Dave Strader,” said AHL President and CEO David Andrews. “In hockey and in life, Dave was a role model and a true inspiration. Our thoughts are with his wife, Colleen; his children and grandchildren; and all of his friends and colleagues around our hockey community.”

A native of Glens Falls, N.Y., Strader began his broadcasting career with the AHL’s Adirondack Red Wings in 1979, spending six seasons as the team’s director of public relations and play-by-play voice, calling the franchise’s first Calder Cup championship in 1981.

He was twice honored by the New York Broadcasters Association for excellence in play-by-play broadcasting, and he was the receipient of the AHL’s Ken McKenzie Award as the league’s outstanding public relations executive in 1984. Strader was inducted into the Adirondack Hockey Hall of Fame in 2012, and last month the press box at the Glens Falls Civic Center was named in his honor.

Strader was selected by the Hockey Hall of Fame as the 2017 recipient of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for his outstanding contributions as a broadcaster. He will be honored at this fall’s Hall of Fame festivities in Toronto.

Promoted by the Detroit Red Wings from Adirondack in 1985, Strader went on to spend more than 30 years in the National Hockey League as the voice of the Wings, the Florida Panthers and the Phoenix Coyotes before joining the Dallas Stars in 2015. He also called NHL games nationally for ESPN, ABC, Fox and NBC, and worked several Olympic Games as well.