The Panthers hired Doug Plagens to be their new radio voice Thursday morning.
Plagens replaces long-time radio play-by-play announcer Randy Moller, who recently joined the television broadcast as the Panthers’ analyst on Fox Sports Florida. It was Moller, the vice president of broadcasting for the Panthers, who basically chose his successor out of 120 applicants since the position became available eight days ago.
“My lifelong goal has been to call hockey games in the NHL and this is a great place to do it,’’ said Plagens, 30, via conference call Thursday.
Plagens, who grew up in hockey-crazed Detroit and played “stay-at-home’’ defense for Trenton High School’s state championship team, received his Masters’s Degree in broadcast journalism at Syracuse University where he called his first professional hockey game (Syracuse Crunch of AHL) in 2007.
Plagens has spent the previous four seasons with Cavaliers Operating Company, serving as the radio and television play-by-play broadcaster for the AHL’s Lake Erie Monsters and Arena Football League’s Cleveland Gladiators. Plagens also was selected as an announcer for the 2015 AHL All-Star Game and served as a feature reporter for Access Cavaliers on Fox Sports Ohio.
“We made the decision very quickly,’’ Moller said. “We got a rising young superstar that South Florida hockey fans are going to love. Not only with his on-air personality, but with the way he calls the games, but also the way he’s integrated with the fans and media and all the organizations he’s been with.’’
Plagens will do radio play-by-play for 82 regular season games and playoff games if the Panthers qualify. He will co-host pre- and post- intermission in-game spots as well as produce and host a weekly network radio show on the team’s flagship station, WQAM-560.
Plagens is quite aware of Moller’s colorful personality and unique goal calls in which he utilizes pop culture references and movie lines.
“You can’t duplicate what Randy did and I just hope to bring the same enthusiasm to every broadcast, every time I’m on the mike,’’ Plagens said. “This is the best job in the world and my goal is to make everybody enjoy listening as much as I enjoy calling the games because there’s nothing else I’d rather do.’’
Plagens’ season in the AFL is over and he said he will head to South Florida after Labor Day. Panthers rookie camp begins on Sept. 11 and training camp starts on Sept. 18.
The television crew includes Moller, in-game co-host Drew Goldfarb, color analyst Denis Potvin and play-by-play announcer Steve Goldstein.
Credit to the Sun-Sentinel who originally published this article