To me, there was never a better hockey announcer than Dick Irvin. He could do it all: play-by-play on TV, play-by-play on radio, colour man, studio host, whatever. He could probably operate a TV camera if he had to. The ultimate pro. The anti-Bob Cole. Luckily, I met him once, and he didn't disappoint.
So my cousin was chairman of the board of McClelland & Stewart publishing, and this secured me an invite to a party in Montreal celebrating M&S's Quebec-based authors. Mr. Irvin was there promoting the book you see above. I was so nervous to even approach him, I had such man-love for the guy, but my mom dragged me over. He couldn't have been nicer. Class all the way.
I told him about the way it felt like he was talking to me when he would say, at the beginning of his radio broadcasts, "The Canadiens are skating from right to left on your radio dial, and on your television screen (emphasis in original), for those of you enjoying the game that way, watching their video and listening to our audio." That was me! I was doing that! (p.s. it's not because I didn't understand French, I do, it's just that Mr. irvin was so good. Now I do the opposite, turning off Bob Cole if it's Saturday night and turning on CKAC on the radio.) He smiled and said thanks, and thanks for listening. And he signed my book, which I still have.
There really isn't much point to this story except that Mr. Irvin is one hell of a classy guy. Like most of the Habs family.