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

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

Vancouver GiantsWHL

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce. (Contributed photo)
South Surrey and White Rock Chamber of Commerce to host virtual COVID-19 town hall

Online event to include local politicians and representatives from Fraser Health, WorkSafe BC

At least one person received life-threatening injuries when a car collided with a semi truck in South Surrey on Friday morning. (Brenda Anderson photo)
VIDEO: South Surrey crash sends one to hospital in critical condition

Road closures in effect after collison between car and semi-truck

Ben “Santa” Cohen visits Ecole Martha Currie in Cloverdale Dec. 4. Santa wished everyone a socially-distanced Merry Christmas out in front of the school. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Santa visits Ecole Martha Currie in Cloverdale

First gig of the season for Ben ‘Santa’ Cohen; COVID driving most gigs online

Shawn Canil, a Cloverdale-area resident, turns heads with the truck he’s decorated for Christmas. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Truck’s Christmas decorations lift spirits on Cloverdale man’s commute

‘When I see them smiling, I know it’s worth it,’ pickup driver Shawn Canil says

Gurbaz Singh, deli manager at the Cloverdale Country Market, arranges some gifts in the back of a vintage car. The car is part of the Cloverdale Country Market’s “December to Remember” picture taking area. The market is encouraging people to come down, snap some Christmas pics and share them on social media. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
PHOTOS: Cloverdale Country Market creates Christmas picture space

Market cancels annual Christmas Craft Fair, replaces it with Christmas picture zone

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Chilliwack General Hospital. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)
Chilliwack mother upset about son’s alleged suicide attempt after hospital discharge

Rhonda Clough said 34-year-old son suffering with bipolar disorder should have been kept in hospital

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

Most Read