BY KIRSTEN ODLAND, CALGARY HERALD AUGUST 28, 2014
Derek Wills is the new Calgary Flames play by play man for Sportsnet 960 the FAN.
Photograph by: Handout , Calgary Herald
For the first time in over three decades, there will be a new voice of the Calgary Flames.
Derek Wills, the former voice of the Hamilton Bulldogs, officially ushered in a new era and became the new voice of the team’s radio play-by-play on Sportsnet 960 the FAN announced on Thursday.
Wills replaces the legendary Peter Maher who retired this spring after calling 3,162 games for the club including their 1989 Stanley Cup victory and the 2004 Stanley Cup playoff run. He’ll work alongside radio analyst Peter Loubardias.
The 38-year-old from Port Colborne, Ont., had been behind the microphone for the Bulldogs for the past 13 years and was the organization’s longest-serving employee.
In his time, he called 1,147 games including the 207 Calder Cup. He also called what was the longest game in American Hockey League history in 2004 when the Dogs beat the Houston Aeros in four overtimes.
He was a fill-in for Rick Jeanneret, the longtime Buffalo Sabres play-by-play man, four years ago and called his first National Hockey League game alongside Harry Neale when the Sabres played the Vancouver Canucks.
The new Flames Sportsnet television broadcast team was also announced Thursday. Replacing Rob Kerr and Charlie Simmer are former National Hockey League goalie Kelly Hrudey as the regional game analyst while Rick Ball will join him, handling play-by-play.