GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Griffins hockey on Newsradio WOOD 106.9 FM & 1300 AM was honored by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters (MAB) during its 2016 Broadcast Excellence Awards, held Wednesday night in Lansing.
Bob Kaser’s call of the Griffins’ incredible playoff win over the Lake Erie Monsters in Game 4 of the Central Division Finals on May 10 – when Grand Rapids trailed 4-1 late in the second period before roaring back for a 5-4 victory – was named “Best” in the Play-By-Play Sports category for Commercial Radio Market 2, which includes radio stations in Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Tri-Cities. The award is based on the criteria of presentation and production values.
For Kaser, the Griffins’ vice president of community relations and broadcasting, this marks the eighth time in the last 16 years that his broadcasts have been recognized by the MAB. Griffins hockey on WOOD also won “best” awards for 2015, 2012, 2006, 2003, 2002 and 2001, along with a “merit” award for 2004.
During home games at Van Andel Arena, Kaser is alternately joined by color commentators Larry Figurski, sports anchor for WOOD TV8, and Lou Rabaut, a Grand Rapids attorney and longtime youth hockey coach and advocate.
Kaser, who has become one of most revered and honored broadcasters in hockey during his 38 seasons behind the microphone, called the first NHL games of his career earlier this season for the Detroit Red Wings, handling play-by-play duties for 10 games on the Red Wings’ radio network along with one telecast on Fox Sports Detroit.
“We’ve always felt that we’ve had an NHL-caliber broadcasting talent right here in Grand Rapids,” said Griffins president Tim Gortsema. “This award, as well as the games he has recently called for Detroit, validate our feelings about Bob. We are proud that he continues to represent our organization and bring the joy of Griffins Hockey to our fans.”
Now in his 17th season as the Griffins’ play-by-play voice, the Kalamazoo native received the American Hockey League’s 2009-10 James H. Ellery Memorial Award for excellence in radio broadcasting. During his tenure as director of communications and broadcasting for the International Hockey League’s Kansas City Blades (1990-2000), Kaser was awarded the Bob Chase Award as IHL Broadcaster of the Year for both 1993-94 and 1997-98.