D is for Dean and Denis, as in Dean Brown and Denis Potvin. For many of us, our primary experience of our team is mediated by the play-by-play personnel and the colour commentators. For better or for worse, these people become the voices of our club, the sound bites that become forever linked with our greatest successes and most unbearable defeats. Watching a game live is different than watching on tv for several reasons; one important difference is the guys providing the call. Often our opinions on the game are influenced by these voices, we look to them to confirm a bad call or a nice play that we've noticed. Sometimes we disagree with their take and wonder why they can't see the game the way we do. Either way, their influence is undeniable.
The Senators community has been fortunate to have Dean Brown providing play-by-play since the franchise's the beginning. When hockey returned to Ottawa, Sens fans were lucky Dean Brown was already in the city working Rough Riders broadcasts, providing play-by-play for CFL games (Dean provided the call for the 1989 Grey Cup between Saskatchewan and Hamilton). You just know it's Dean calling a game when you hear "Oh my heavens!" or "sudden victory overtime" coming from the your set.
Hall of Fame defenseman Denis Potvin was also there from the very beginning - with the Florida Panthers. Denis provided commentary and analysis for the Panthers from 1993 to 2009. He joined the Ottawa broadcast team for the 2010-11 season. Denis Potvin is not my favourite part of Senators broadcasts but he speaks to a certain type of Sens fan. Potvin provides a perspective nurtured in an era (he played from 1973-1988) that I don't remember. With nearly 20 years of experience in broadcasting, Potvin's verbal fluency is lacking, and he still does not have a grasp on player names. However, Potvin's magic has found a home on twitter (@shitpotvinsays). Statistics are elusive for Potvin, but the advance metrics crowd is not his audience. While he drives me crazy, there are many different kinds of hockey fans and Denis speaks for some of them.
What are some of your favourite Sens calls? What are your favourite memories from the French broadcast? The radio? Feel free to share!
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