Being radio voice of the Thrashers is an ‘honor’ for Dan Kamal

From the fall of 1999 to the final match of this past 2010-11 campaign, Dan Kamal has been in the radio broadcast booth helping to give voice to  Atlanta Thrashers hockey. I recently had the pleasure of chatting with The Grand Kamlian about the team, coach Ramsay, what he remembers most from this past season as well as a few other things.

Not surprisingly, he tends to accentuate the positives.

“From the broadcast booth, I had one of my most enjoyable seasons ever, primarily because of the style of play the Thrashers employed under coach Ramsay and the effort with which they played”, he said. “The pace was up-tempo and often end-to-end, and even when they couldn’t find ways to win close games in the second half of the season, the effort and intensity were almost always beyond reproach.”

“It was a very fun team to watch on a game-by-game basis.”

Dan then pointed to the first two games after New Years…a 4-3 overtime win in Montreal followed by a 3-2 win in Florida…as the most memorable time during the season for him.

“To me the ‘high-point’ came in the first two games in January”, the native of Lawrence, Massachusetts recalled. “Following the theme of the first half, Dustin Byfuglien scored the game-winning OT goal in Montreal on the afternoon of January 2nd. After the game, the team flew immediately to south Florida for a couple of days of R & R before facing the Panthers on January 5th. The Thrashers won that game as well, 3-2 in regulation”.

The reason he considers this as the “high-point” had to do not only with where the team found itself in the standings, 22-15-6 for 50 points after 43 games played, but also because of how they had handled themselves during a very tough stretch in the schedule. At the time things looked very promising for Thrasherville.

“To me, the most grueling part of the schedule was done, and the team was proving to be one of the biggest surprises in the NHL”.

“Unfortunately, injuries were starting to take their toll, and the team didn’t seem to have enough depth to withstand them. Atlanta lost 11 of the next 13 and never really recovered long enough to go on the kind of winning streak needed to stay among the playoff-bound teams”.

But as I stated above, Kamal prefers to keep his focus on the positive, and he’s excited about what can be built upon the foundation that was set last season. One of the reasons for this optimism is because of Craig Ramsay. He gives him high marks for the job he did as a first-year head coach, especially given the turnover in on-ice personnel last summer.

“With so many new faces in the locker room, a new GM, and a new coaching staff implementing a new system, coach Ramsay and his staff were able to quickly meld this team into one of the league’s most productive through the season’s first half. When you consider he and his staff will go into next training camp with so much more familiarity with everything about the franchise – and likely some new roster pieces that address depth issues – it should bode well for more consistent results next season.”

“Hopefully, that will translate into Atlanta’s second playoff appearance”.

As for his plans between now and the next time he takes to the airwaves to broadcast the next Thrashers game in Philips Arena, this summer’s activities will be quite similar to the previous eleven before it in Atlanta.

“My plans for the off-season are pretty much the same as always. Whenever my schedule allows, I’ll be attending events and meetings on behalf of our sales staff, community relations staff, and the radio network. I usually get a chance to emcee at a number of fun events every summer, and that’s something I really enjoy.”

He also looks forward to spending time with his son Chris, a goalie at the University of Alaska Anchorage. And as any proud father would, he’s always more than willing to provide updates on his play and progress.

“He’s coming off a very solid freshman season, during which he started 15 games, compiling a record of 9-5-1. In his final 10 starts, he went 8-2-0 with three shutouts – all on the road – two against the University of Minnesota and the other at Minnesota-Mankato”.

In fact, Chris Kamal won WCHA Rookie of the Week honors last winter for the 1-0 victory over the Golden Gophers.

Also, as father Dan points out, “His UAA team made the WCHA Final Five tournament for only the second time in school history”.

Finally…as for the fans back here in Atlanta, Dan Kamal has always enjoyed the support he gets from Thrashers fans and being able to interact with them after games and events. He looks forward to continuing this relationship for years to come.

“I’d just like to say thanks to our fans. I truly believe in this city as a hockey market, and it’s my interaction with fans that serves as the foundation of that belief. In my 12 years with the organization, I have found Thrashers fans to be particularly knowledgeable and passionate and especially gracious to me”.

“It’s been an honor to have met and spoken to so many of them”.

112 comments Add your comment

ron

April 30th, 2011
6:40 am

maybe he will consider moving to winnipeg when the thrashers move here next year…..you will love the city and people

don

April 30th, 2011
6:55 am

How many days have you been waiting for this to happen, Ron? Don says you ain’t gettin’ crap. Other than the crap that makes the city of Winnipeg what it is today. How many people shot overnight in this safe city?

World Be Free

April 30th, 2011
6:57 am

Dan is a great guy and a fine representative for the team. “Voices” are paid to be optimistic. Seems like he agrees with our contention that the team lacks NHL depth; we talked about that at the beginning and during the season. I hope he is part of the team’s future.

Last night’s playoff games were not that exciting for me, maybe it was the distraction of the NFL draft. Or maybe it was just not believing the stupidity of Lowe and McDowell for the Braves!

Mat"T"

April 30th, 2011
7:45 am

Can’t wait for next season to start!!! Dan has been a great constant in the turmoil of the last ten years. Always have enjoyed his highlight calls! Part play by play, part analyst.

Sonic

April 30th, 2011
8:00 am

I figured some random imbecile from the Great Blight North would chime in soon after Rawhide’s uplifting post and sure enough, that was the case. When Atlanta and Phoenix are each listed 82 times on next season’s schedule, seeing the fallout from that glorified village as its trolls spin their wheels will be the height of comedy and entertainment.

Go Thrash & ‘Yotes!

Glenn

April 30th, 2011
9:26 am

Sonic: I can totally understand you guys want to hold onto your team, but it is unnecessary and retarded to diss a country or city ( as you describe village) because of a few that just want to post to get you all riled up. They succeed every time. Suggestion: Ignore or at the very least respond to the indvidual and not attack where he is from. A good portion of your team are proud Canadians.

Portage and Main

April 30th, 2011
9:31 am

i heard the balkan is flying out of wpg!

Hoof Arted

April 30th, 2011
9:41 am

Glenn, sage advice. Good to have you along.

Portage & Main, you obviously heard incorrectly.

ZAvalanche

April 30th, 2011
10:48 am

I don’t have a problem with Canada, ‘Peg and about 99.9% of Canadians. I just don’t want you to have our teams. If you really had as much influence on the game you would have been able to pick a commish that wouldn’t have gone for the southern expansion. It has worked, mostly. Both Florida teams have had success, Carolina as well, now Phoenix too. Dallas had some very solid teams and you might be able to consider Colorado in that mess. Atlanta is doing better and making some strides – I hope. Yeah, they didn’t meet expectations but it must say something when top-flight players resign for multiple years.

ZAvalanche

April 30th, 2011
10:50 am

Oops, forgot Nashville as well.

Portage and Main

April 30th, 2011
11:08 am

ZAva… southern expansion has worked? ATL has lost over 150 million over 5 years, PHX just got a nice 25 million bill (to be paid monday) for losses worth 37 million, FLO (do i even need to go there) and the rest of the teams (maybe not so much NSH) have HEAVY freebies and poor revenue. Even with Tampa winning cup and doing well this year they are having financial problems.

ZAvalanche

April 30th, 2011
11:16 am

The problems with Atl and Phoenix are not defined by where they are. They are defined by either the initial contracts or the current owners.

Alan R.

April 30th, 2011
12:20 pm

ZAvs, don’t bother with these clowns. They’re not going to listen to the facts when it comes to “what went wrong,” all they want is a team. We know what went wrong, but when these folks are presented with facts, all they do is say “We’d support our team, no matter what!” Not with these guys as owners, you wouldn’t. I guarantee it.

R. Stroz

April 30th, 2011
12:26 pm

Since many of us take in a game at TJ’s every now and then, I thoughtsome of you might be interested in the link below:

http://www.groupon.com/deals/tjs-sports-bar-and-grill?c=dnb&p=2

Tom

April 30th, 2011
1:14 pm

I think that Elton John needs to head back into the city and re-record his song as “Winnipegian Dreaming” after reading the comments that keep showing up on this blog.

Tom

April 30th, 2011
1:18 pm

Portage – And Winnipeg had a team once. The commissioner begged someone in your city to buy the team. THERE WAS NOBODY WHO COULD OR WOULD! You guys lost it.

Now that there is someone you think having a team come back is your birthright? What happens when the 1 buyer possible decides he has to sell? The team will head back to an area that has capital available or they will shut it down.,,

Jason

April 30th, 2011
1:21 pm

I thought Kamal did color the first year and someone else did PBP? Scott Ferrall maybe?

Tom

April 30th, 2011
1:22 pm

Alan, great points. Pittsburgh did not support their team when they were down. Boston, New Jersey, and Buffalo did not either.

It was not until they became competitive did the fans come out. Atlanta will be the same way. This year the stands filled up in December when the team looked like it was a winner. There were people sitting all around us coming to see “their first game” because we were winning.

That is what happens. When people know that getting a ticket to the game will be difficult they pony up for season or partial season ticket packages. Just in case… When seats are always open it does not make sense to buy into a package.

All Atlanta needs is an ownership group that will step up and provide the payroll to seed a good team. The fans will do the rest when this happens…

Tom

April 30th, 2011
1:23 pm

Jason you were right, Ferrall was in the first year or two’s broadcast. Talk about an odd couple…

Rawhide

April 30th, 2011
1:55 pm

Jason – Yes…Kamal did do color in the first season and did some PxP when SF was out. He has done strictly PxP from second season on.

Sage of Bluesland

April 30th, 2011
2:09 pm

Completely overrated. I listen to less and less each year on the radio. I usually have to wait until period-end to find out basic things such as score. Also, the cute little ‘trill’ added to some names is amateurish–and that’s being kind.

However, all things considered, I’d say Kamal and the Atlanta Thrashers’ organization fit each other perfectly, indeed.

(Think about it)

Sage of Bluesland

April 30th, 2011
2:10 pm

….oh, and I am sorry to remember the heady-days of when Ferrell had anything to do with the broadcast….I’d rather listen to screeching cats…

Cornbread

April 30th, 2011
2:50 pm

More like this please:

“As for his plans between now and the next time he takes to the airwaves to broadcast the next Thrashers game in Philips Arena, this summer’s activities will be quite similar to the previous eleven before it in Atlanta.”

Keep rubbing the delusional relocators’ noses in it Rawhide. Oh Canada, No Team For You!

ZAvalanche

April 30th, 2011
3:37 pm

Pronger – stupid, stupid slash. This is the playoffs, get a hold of yourself man. Keep your temper and you could be up a man for 2 right now…..

ron

April 30th, 2011
3:47 pm

sorry, i never meant to rile anyone. please don’t say negative comments about a city you never have visited. it is a gorgeous place and lakes and forests so close by for fantastic summers. home of Neil Young, who loves the city too. we also getting a world class museum that will be the next Eifel Tower. Most parks within the city limits of any city in North America, etc. etc. And the winters and definitely not that bad….great 4 seasons!

Anyway, I was just following the strong rumours that the Thrashers are coming here and I just stated that the natural thing would be for the play by play guy to come along….so with the chances at 50/50 or even more they are coming why get so riled!?!

I don’t wish this to happen…..I just think the chances are good. But, best of luck to all you Thrasher fans in keeping them there….now just go to the darn games and pay the proper price and then profits will make them stay!

ZAvalanche

April 30th, 2011
4:02 pm

Nicely stated Ron. Never been to ‘Peg, but I am sure it is very pretty. Spent a lot of time in the Canadian Rockies, mostly Banff, Glacier-Waterston and the ‘Couve, and loved the people and the scenery. I hope you do get a team again some day, I just don’t want it to be one of mine :) Thank you for not being an Uncle Milty…….

ron

April 30th, 2011
5:42 pm

this whole thing bugs me actually. That Bettman is a total wiesel. He is singlehandedly putting U.S. against Canada. He is also had this grand plan of putting all these teams way down south, into some areas where they do not belong. Atlanta is a good choice, I still think, but 3 California teams? If anything, Ontario should have 3 teams. I mean, this whole thing bugs me. Hockey is a winter sport and people are always saying Winnipeg is a deep freeze. Even if we are, don’t you think that if hockey should be anywhere it should be here. Come in the winter and see all the outdoor rinks and you will see that hockey is deep in our blood, much like baseball in the states. It just does not make sense that Florida has 2 teams and Quebec has 1???

Anyway, I had to vent a bit about how ridiculous this whole thing and the NHL is.

Alan R.

April 30th, 2011
5:54 pm

I have a friend who lives in Winnipeg. He sends me all kinds of photos of the city and surrounding areas. It’s really a beautiful city.

Some of the vultur…err… people there can get bent, but the place is really nice.

Brian west palm beach

April 30th, 2011
6:01 pm

Ron you do know we southerners hate neil young and his yank a?@ go post in the winny press.

hockeygoon79

April 30th, 2011
7:19 pm

I like Dan, he’s a real good guy. He can make an icing play sound exciting. He really has a passion for the game and it comes through in his work. We’re fortunate to have him.

So Portage and Main, how did that whole “Winnipeg taking Friday off to celebrate the big announcement” thing work out for ya? I bet you were one of the morons actually buying that sack-o-sh!t lies, weren’t you?

alex

April 30th, 2011
7:24 pm

simple true is: with asg in charge even relocation to suberia better, but new committed owners and atlanta pretty nice place for nhl team. will see.

ZAvalanche

April 30th, 2011
7:29 pm

Ron, I would argue that hockey is just as deep in my blood as any Canadian. I spend countless $$ on league fees, watch EVERY game I can (without being ejected) and during the Avs 2000-2001 season, I seriously watched or listened to every single game, all of them. I live and breathe hockey, and you are highly suspect if you think that Americans don’t like it as much as Canadians. So we tell the Japanese or Cubans or Dominicans that they don’t like Base Ball as much as we do? Nope, because it is good for the sport. Face it, if it weren’t for hockey in the US you wouldn’t be seeing it on tv. Before the new revenue sharing contract in the CBA a few years back every one of Canada’s teams were facing serious financial crisis. So spare me that hockey doesn’t belong in the south. Oh, and by the way, California can afford 3 teams – it has, by itself, the 5th largest GDP of any other country in the world. The NHL expanded to where the money was = smart business.

You wanna talk hockey, fine, I love talking hockey with my friends from the North, but don’t tell me we don’t deserve it.

ZAvalanche

April 30th, 2011
7:32 pm

On another note – that was a crazy game this afternoon. Didn’t see that coming at all. Turning point, in my mind, was Pronger’s slash – yeah, I know they scored on the 4-4, but they could have really made some more momentum out of a PP in that instance.

hockeygoon79

April 30th, 2011
7:42 pm

ZAvalanche, I actually thought the turning point in the game was when Philly skated Brian “Bobby” Boucher out on the ice to play in goal. 5 goals allowed on 23 shots, he was a train wreck.

In fairness, he’s been the better of the 3 goalies they have, but that just highlights the problems the Flyers have there. Boston will win this series if for no other reason than they have Thomas in the nets and Philadelphia has problems in the net.

ron

April 30th, 2011
7:49 pm

I never said the south do not deserve hockey…..especially Colorado! I said that it is absolutely ridiculous that Florida, Texas, California, Arizona etc have most of the teams…while Seattle, Portland, and some Canadian cities do not. The tickets “sold’ for those southern teams are pretty much giveaways after the 6-7000 attendance mark…and if not, they are sold for $20.00 or so. And those in attendance probably for the most part are Canadian snowbirds.

I know there are supremely knowledgable hockey fans in the States.

My point is, why does sport have to be all business? All about making more and more money and skyrocketing the salaries? Things were ok with our Canadian Broadcasting tv revenue and lower salaries. When there were way less teams and less of a milked down product….basically when the Colorado Rockies existed…that time period.

Why expand so much and see this type of team failures and dismal attendance to show the American public that hockey is the joke they should not be. ….where stands are empty and girl’s lacross gets better tv ratings in the southern states.

Nate

April 30th, 2011
8:49 pm

Ron – This statement is where you lose all credibility with me and most everyone else here, “where stands are empty and girl’s lacross gets better tv ratings in the southern states.”

That statement is moronic and has no basis in fact. It also doesn’t account for fans in any city (outside of Toronto) would be boycotting games too if they had to deal with the cheapness and lousy product delivered by the ownerships (particularly the Atlanta Spirit) of the southern teams. Only an idiot would throw his money away to see a piss poor hockey team on a regular basis. Would you really shell out $100 for a family of four on a regular basis to see a team lose???

glovesave29

April 30th, 2011
8:50 pm

Sorry Ron…not buying the apologetic tone of your latter postings. You came to our blog to gloat under the false presumption that you would take our team…and that we were all hockey novices and would not be able to make any salient points with regards to the greatest sport out there. Well you, like every other Winnipeg troll has found out quite the opposite. We have a very educated group down here. We know our hockey, and you were caught unawares and are now backtracking.

I have watched trolls first attack Penguins fans…then the Preds…now it is us and the Coyotes. Your fellow Jets fans have made quite a bit of noise…and do not think for a second the league and its players are not aware of this. I find it funny that you can trash every city in the south, yet when we fight back – or NHL players state they do not want to play in Winnipeg…the tears start falling. I HAVE been to Winnipeg. I was there to listen to fans at a bantam level game boo our national anthem. I saw fans throw coins on the ice when we were beating the pants off of you.

I usually ignore our trolls, but I am getting tired of this. You have the Winnipeg Free Press. Go to their blogs and leave us be.

ron

April 30th, 2011
9:28 pm

The tone of you people is pretty harsh,,,,”moronic” “idiotic” “trolls”. This is actually the first time I have written on an American blog or paper site.

I do know alot of American hockey fans are quite educated,,,,and I apologize for the behavior of the fans here.

And Nate….maybe I was taking it too far by saying girl’s lacross, I meant girl’s basketball….and that is a fact, that sports like that and dirtbiking are higher rated in the states than hockey. And you made my point that the product is too milked down and too many teams and that is why alot of people in deep south are not excited and the product of NHL not taking off and why $20.00 tickets are selling in places like Phoenix…probably why I am not too excited about having the NHL in Winnipeg.

ZAvalanche

April 30th, 2011
9:30 pm

Ron, I know you have gotten a bit of a beating from our regulars, and I understand why. I agree that the expansion happened a bit too quickly and totally agree on Seattle and Portland, off hand, wouldn’t a Seattle – Vancouver rivalry be awesome?

But……..You did intone that hockey didn’t belong in the south. I know Quebec City HATES Colorado for taking their team but we put out a better product, same as Cleveland HATES Baltimore for taking their football team. Kansas City hated it when their Scouts moved to Colorado to become the Rockies, and CO hated NJ when the Rockies moved to NJ. It is the way sports go – gotta have the $$ to make the team and if that isn’t working and there is no revenue then the team will move – because after all, it is a business. I wish it could all be about the game but that, frankly, will never happen again in North American sports.

ron

April 30th, 2011
9:50 pm

south meaning Florida, Arizona, California…..not Colorado, Cleveland, etc.

glovesave29

April 30th, 2011
10:00 pm

Doesn’t seem like the offer TOO MANY $20 seats to me…

http://coyotes.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=32965

You are offended by “troll”?…really? That’s a pretty common term for a fan of one team who posts on another teams site.

ron

April 30th, 2011
10:21 pm

shows how much I do these things….anyway, scalpers and restaurants, etc. were giving away tickets….and I think in the end the club just tried to fill Coyote arena by selling the tickets way less than the ticket site postings. I know so many people got their tickets for next to nothing.

hockeygoon79

April 30th, 2011
10:30 pm

“You are offended by “troll”?…really? That’s a pretty common term for a fan of one team who posts on another teams site.”

True, glovesave29. And the term is even more appropriate here when the troll is from an AHL market doing so on the site based an NHL market.

They won’t be around this summer when the schedule comes out and it shows the Thrashers still playing 41 home games in Philips Arena. But next winter they’ll return with new “rumors” from “unnamed sources” of an “impending relocation” and “day of celebration” that “certain to actually happen this time”.

It’s an annual ritual we go through.

But as was mentioned previoulsy, these trolls are really only here to rile people up. They are attention starved, sad, pathetic little creatures. They really deserve our pity.

Unfortunately though they have successfully managed to highjack what was a really good piece by the blogmaster on Dan Kamal. I know I appreciated it being posted for us. I think even Sage of Bluesland would agree on that point, even if he doesn’t care for Kamal’s call of the games.

Plus we are spending time “dancing with trolls” rather than discussing playoffs games and the Thrashers needs during the offseason.

ZAvalanche

April 30th, 2011
10:37 pm

Ron, I just call that good advertising. As I have said many time before give away free vouchers, especially to young people, and get them hooked. Restaurants giving away tickets makes it win-win-win for everybody. Fan gets to see the game, restaurant gets sales, team gets $$ from people buying concessions and they get a person that will return with a fully purchased ticket.

And as for hockey in the South, come visit and take a poll on who is originally a southerner, maybe 1 in 20. Most are from traditional hockey markets.

On another note, for some reason this Versus feed has a lot of issues for me.

ZAvalanche

April 30th, 2011
10:40 pm

hockeygoon – good point and I am guilty of being pulled away by the trolls. Blog Master – your post was fantastic, as always and I respect your work and I feel proud to have had the distinct pleasure to share a pint with you over the Thrashers-Ranges serious a few years back. You could teach a lot of other bloggers a thing or two about style.

ZAvalanche

April 30th, 2011
10:46 pm

In addition, I will say that I will protect my Thrasher Nation, even though it means messing with the trolls!

ZAvalanche

April 30th, 2011
11:09 pm

OMG, the first 5 mins of this 3rd period of the Nash-Van game is at a torrid pace!

ron

May 1st, 2011
12:02 am

noticed I have not been saying bad things about you but now another new set of words “sad, pathetic”. Also I thought you all believe in freedom of speach. Why am I not allowed to say things here? I think it brought good discussion.

I think the one thing we can agree on: Bettman’s experiment is a failure. We can also agree, I am sure, that Florida, Phoenix, maybe one or two other teams, should not be in business and that one more Ontario team (would be hugely successful) and one in Quebec(would be hugely successful) and Winnipeg are required, if only to help prop up the weaker teams that would be left that need the revenue sharing like maybe an Atlanta, or Aneheim. The Canadian teams are now propping up all the really weak teams now.

ZAvalanche

May 1st, 2011
12:20 am

Ron – I never called you “sad” or “pathetic”. And I disagree with the Canadian teams “propping” up the weaker teams. Out of 32 teams the Canadians have 5. I would surmise that the “monster” markets are pulling most of the weight and while the 5 Canadian teams pull good attendance , I doubt they are carrying the weaker teams by themselves.

Phoenix pulls very solid attendance but that isn’t their problem, it is the way the contract was set up. Florida I really don’t know much about so I don’t want to sound like an idiot saying something I don’t know. Perhaps our resident stat master, RL, can give us some #s on profit sharing.

Besides that, Nashville is playing the best game of their season. Rinne has been OUTSTANDING! This is the best game I have seen in the playoffs.

ZAvalanche

May 1st, 2011
12:44 am

Comment: Vancouver’s system is VERY well coached. There are other teams that you can argue have the same level of talent, but they rock it. I suppose the casual hockey person doesn’t notice the coaching effects, but those of you who know the game definitely recognize it. This is exactly why I am so impressed with Nash right now, they are hanging in there with a bad a$$ team. And guess who is at the front of Nash – Rinne. He is killing it tonight. Simply amazing. Glovesave = you gotta be loving this match.