© Herald Photo by Dave Leaderhouse
Former Prince Albert Raider play-by-play man Brian Munz is back in Saskatchewan this week getting ready to provide coverage for the 2014 Telus Cup championship game on Sunday at 3 p.m. Munz is currently the voice of the Winnipeg Jets on TSN Radio, but he says he is enjoying watching the Midget AAA game again as that is where his career started while working at CJVR in the mid-1990s.
The Winnipeg Jets didn’t make the NHL playoffs, but the radio voice of the club is certainly keeping his schedule full.
Brian Munz, the former play-by-play man for the Prince Albert Raiders, is in Moose Jaw this week getting ready to call the final game of the 2014 Telus Cup for his employer TSN.
Rather than being over the airwaves, however, he will be on television so Munz is taking in all of the preliminary round-robin action to get more familiar with the clubs. He is doing this so that he can be at the top of his game when the lights are turned on Sunday at 3 p.m.
“Once the puck drops it really is no different (from the NHL),” said Munz during a break in games on Thursday. “I do the same prep work as I did in Melfort and P.A.”
Munz worked for CJVR Radio in Melfort from 1995-2000 before moving to Prince Albert for four years. From there he covered the Edmonton Roadrunners of the American Hockey League during the NHL lockout season of 2004-05 and then made it to the highest level when he did one season for the Edmonton Oilers in 2005-06.
A move to Manitoba delivered him the role of covering the AHL’s Manitoba Moose for five years and when the Jets landed back in Winnipeg for the 2011-12 campaign, Munz made the move as well.
“Most of the people with the Moose got the opportunity to move up,” noted Munz. “The five years before that helped and the Jets/Moose pushed for me to be their guy.”
Munz says the timing couldn’t have been better for him to return to the NHL as his time with the Jets has been nothing short of amazing.
“Year 1 they moved back; Year 2 was the lock-out season and Year 3 they moved to the Western Conference,” says Munz. “In three years of NHL play I’ve got to see everything.”
Being in front of the camera is nothing new for Munz and while he appreciates the importance television has in promoting the game, he still has a soft spot for broadcasting on the radio.
“In the NHL, TV gets all the billing, but I still think there is something - coming from the Prairies and the cold winters – when you listen to a game on the radio,” smiles Munz.
This won’t be Munz’s only trip back to his native Saskatchewan as he is among the list of inductees going into the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey Hall of Fame in July.
“I was shocked,” admitted Munz. “It actually started out with Big Brothers and Big Sisters calling and asking if I could come and emcee and event. I said sure we’ll get together and see if our schedules work out. Then they (SJHL) called and said I was going in too.”
“It’s a great honour,” added Munz. “I wouldn’t be where I am right now in the NHL without the SJHL.”
Munz pointed out that in his first year alone he and his colleagues at CJVR called 144 sporting events. That total also included the RBC Cup as Melfort was the host city for the national Junior “A” hockey championship that first season he was in Melfort.
It has been a lot of hard work, a lot of frequent flyer miles have been racked up and he hopes that all continues in the future. With Rogers Media purchasing the exclusive rights to broadcast NHL games for the next 12 years he says right now he is status quo as he is still under contract with TSN.
Having been around the professional game for a period of time it is almost like the circle has been completed as he returns to Saskatchewan to cover Midget AAA hockey. Having a Prince Albert team in the final would certainly be a nice touch.