Remenda Gate- The big news of the week was the announcement the Sharks franchise terminated long time color commentator and a huge fan favorite Drew Remenda. This announcement came as a huge surprise to everyone except for maybe Remenda himself. Teamed with Sharks TV play-by-play announcer Randy Hahn, the two made arguably one of the best broadcast teams in the NHL. They were thought of so highly that NBC Sports Network would also use them for west coast late games with some not even involving the Sharks. There are several reasons to question such a move as this. All questions here are somewhat valid too. Remenda was nothing short of a consummate professional who as an open fan of the team (Drew viewed himself as a just fan in the booth, nothing more). Remenda was never shy about calling it as he saw it. He would defend and praise the team when it needed it, and he would constructively criticize the team when it was necessary to do so. Remenda during the game seven telecast April 30th expressed some dismay at how the team handled the game (as it became apparent a record setting loss was well on its way to becoming a cold reality). Remenda I thought was always point on with his assessments of the team. Being a former bench coach back in the early days of the franchise, he had insight that few others could really bring to the table. Remenda probably forgot more about hockey that those at the very top of the ownership chain have ever known.
The Sharks are not commenting on the reasons for letting Remenda go other than to say they want to take the broadcast in a “different direction” (as with the franchise apparently too). The firing was done by Sharks Chief Operating Officer John Tortora. GM Doug Wilson also was in on the decision too. Remenda is a class act. In interviews on the NHL network as well as a Puckdaddy Podcast with Greg Wyshynski and Jeff Marek, Remenda took the high road and was grateful for the 20 years he had with the teal franchise. Remenda did not take the franchise to task and actually likened his termination to a “Sienfeld Moment” (“It’s not you, it’s me”). To me this was a sad and somewhat unfortunate decision made by the Sharks. Usually decisions like this come from the very top which means the ownership likely made the call. Remenda may have been viewed as too honest with the fan base and with cost cutting moves likely in the works, Remenda’s thoughts were probably more that the top brass wanted to deal with. The truly sad thing is the message this sends to the rest of the broadcasting staff both on radio and TV. “Keep your criticisms to yourself if you want to keep your job.” Remenda is a class individual who will be missed and certainly never forgotten. He not only was a color commentator, but he was also a teacher. Many people, especially the younger group of team teal fans learned much about the game of hockey through Remenda through the telecasts, the Drew’s Clue’s segments and even sometimes in person. The Sharks let a true asset to the franchise walk out the door. Remenda hinted that he may look to get back into coaching though not at the NHL level. If Remenda does this it would certainly be to his further credit. At the same time, I would not be surprised to see him in a broadcast both maybe next post-season covering games for NBC Sports Net, or even TSN or CBC. In fact, if I were the head of an NHL team and needed a solid color commentator who had strong knowledge of the game and league, Remenda would be the first person I would call. Remenda has handled this whole situation not only as a professional and with true grace plus extreme class, but also as a man. Remenda is someone you want your kids to look up to. He not only calls a good game, but plays the game of life the right way too.
Remenda will be missed by the Sharks fanbase. San Jose Sharks, this is your loss, not Remenda’s.