Calling all hockey broadcasters

The search has started for a new “Voice of the Augusta Lynx”. Alex “Cheeks” Kyrias, the previous holder of that title, announced last week he was leaving the team after a year on the job. Cheeks landed a similar position in the American Hockey League with a team in Iowa looking to make a few organizational changes.

It’s definitely a promotion in the sports radio business, and the Lynx wish him well.
The job opening has yet to be posted on the ECHL's job board, but the race to become the next Voice of the Lynx is already on.

“I checked my e-mail this morning and we had over 20 resumes,” Lynx co-owner and general manager Dan Troutman said last week. “We haven’t advertised or anything. It was just that one press release that we sent out saying Alex was leaving that did it.”

Why the interest in the Lynx radio position? A quick lesson in Lynx radio history will reveal quite a trend. Augusta Lynx radio is apparently a virtual guarantee as a stepping stone to a life-long hockey broadcasting career.

Four different broadcasters have served as the “Voice of the Lynx” in the team’s 10-year existence. All four left Augusta for a job easily considered a promotion in the hockey broadcasting world. Three of the four men went on to broadcasting careers in the American Hockey League.

Jerry Canaan, the original Lynx radio man, ruled the hockey airwaves for three years in Augusta before taking the radio job and assistant general manager position for the Richmond Renegades (then in the ECHL).

Kyle Schultz took Canaan’s spot in the Lynx booth for the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons. Schultz, known as The Hammer, went on to call games for the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals before his death in a car accident in 2005.

Tom Callahan, perhaps the most popular Lynx voice of all time, served four years in the Lynx radio booth. He left after the 2006-07 season to take over the broadcasting duties for the AHL’s Peoria Rivermen. He’ll enter his second season in Peoria this fall.

Finally, there’s Kyrias, who also landed with an AHL team. He’ll be part of a new organizational shift in Des Moines, Iowa where the team, previously known as the Iowa Stars, will soon introduce a new name, logo, team colors and NHL affiliation before the 2008-09 season.

Four broadcasters, four successful careers in hockey radio.

“We were just joking about that the other day,” Troutman said. “(Lynx head coach) Bob (Ferguson) is good with players. Our front office must be even better with radio guys.”

So the race is on. Troutman said the front office is entertaining the idea of splitting the opening into two positions. One would take care of the media and public relations side of the job while the other would concentrate on the radio broadcast.

Such a move wouldn’t be that radical. That’s the way it’s done with many teams in the ECHL and AHL. Troutman said he anticipates the radio position would remain full-time even if the team decides to split up the duties.

The new guy will be part of a new shift in Augusta Lynx history that includes a new NHL affiliate (hopefully), a new lease with James Brown Arena (hopefully) and at least one other major improvement with the team (keep an eye on the sports pages for this upcoming announcement).

So what would Lynx fans like to see in the team’s next radio broadcaster? Post your comments below or e-mail me at billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.

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hockeymann
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hockeymann 05/29/08 - 03:43 pm
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Hopefully, one as good as

Hopefully, one as good as the past ones we've had. Some were better than others, but all were good...Our biggest problem on the broadcasting, remains the poor quality of the radio station. The one last year(and every since we changed to an AM station)is poor range that doesn't even reach all Augusta suburbs..Goes off the air at times..Suffers periodic production problems..And puts a Lynx broadcast off the air at time for some other event the station feels is more important...Used to be great when we had a good FM station with some range, and good production people.

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