When the North Stars left in 1993 the hockey fans in the area lost more than a professional hockey team. We lost our presence in the NHL and the great players like Mike Modano that went along with it. Some people had the vision to realize the NHL would return to Minnesota someday; we were too big of a hockey-mad market to go without a team for too long. And so it was that the NHL awarded a team to Minnesota and they began play in 2000. All was right again, correct? No.
Not only did we have to build a team for scratch, selecting journeymen players and coaches, the broadcasting side had to be rebuilt as well. Nowhere did this hurt more than on the TV side. Shortly before the North Stars moved south they had hired an unproven play-by-play guy by the name of Ralph Strangis. Ralph started doing telecasts and was soon adored by most Minnesota hockey fans. Then the team left and Ralph along with it.
Since then Strangis has teamed up with Daryl Razor Reaugh to form what I believe is the best hockey game-calling tandem in the United States. Meanwhile, we have been listening to games called by Dan Terhaar and most recently Anthony LaPanta. I liken the difference to eating at Murray's versus eating at the Best Steak House in Mounds View.
How great with Strangis sound doing Wild play-by-play? Maybe Craig Leopold will make another free agency splash this offseason and bring Ralph back home.