Cranbrook native Dustin Nielson will be the voice of the Spengler Cup on TSN.
Nielson will call the play-by-play action for all 11 games at the tournament which will run Dec. 24-31.
“I’m thrilled. I can’t even put it into words, to be honest with you. When they offered me the gig for the holidays I couldn’t believe that they were offering me the opportunity. Hopefully, it ends up working out and I get more opportunities,” said Nielson.
The Spengler Cup is an annual hockey tournament that is held in Davos, Switzerland. The last three years Team Canada has won the tournament. Canada has 15 Spengler Cup Championships, which ties them for most with HC Davos.
When Nielson found out he was chosen his first reaction was excitement.
“Excited and overwhelmed, a little emotional as well. Doing play-by-play for 12 years and then getting an opportunity like this,” he said, adding the downside will be missing the holidays with his family.
Having the chance to call the tournament, Nielson describes as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“Hopefully it can become a regular thing if I do well,” he said.
Preparing for the tournament is no easy task, but Nielson says he will have to practice the names.
“Five of the six teams play in Europe, so it’s a lot of international names,” he said.
“It’s just lots of hours of prepping and making sure you know how to pronounce the names, what numbers these guys wear and some background information on them. I’ve always had a pretty good mind for that type of stuff, so hopefully, it makes it a little bit easier.”
The teams in the tournament include HC Davos, HC Ocelari Trinec, HK Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Kalpa Kuopio Hockey Oy, Team Canada and Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers.
Team Canada will face the host HC Davos on Dec. 26.
Nielson is a former graduate of Mount Baker Secondary School, has called games at the FIBA American Women’s Basketball Championships, was the play-by-play for the AJHL Fort McMurray Oil Barons, called hockey games for the University of Alberta and does play-by-play for Canada West University Football Games.
This opportunity he says ranks at the top of his list.
“Just the location itself, Davos, Switzerland from what I’m told is one of the nicest cities on the planet. So, that’s going to be amazing. The fact that it’s going to be on TSN is incredible,” said Neilson.
“By far for atmosphere, the platform and the quality of hockey this is going to be the biggest one.”
He currently has a morning show called “The Nielson Show” on TSN 1260 Edmonton every weekday from 6-10 a.m.