Saskatoon, SK – The Saskatoon Blades and Saskatoon Media Group are pleased to announce a 4-year contract extension as the official Saskatoon Blades radio broadcast rights holders. The new partnership will see Blades broadcasts transition from 92.9 The BULL FM to 98 COOL FM. Saskatoon Media Group is the parent company of both stations, meaning long-time voice of the Blades, Les Lazaruk, will remain on as the team’s play-by-play announcer.
“As we enter our 25th season broadcasting home and away games for the Saskatoon Blades, Saskatoon Media Group is pleased to announce that the new radio home of the hockey team starting in September will be 98COOL FM,” explained Saskatoon Media Group’s General Manager, Vic Dubois. “The games have been broadcast on 92.9 The BULL FM for many years but we know that Blades fans will follow the team as they move up the dial. The voice of the Blades, play-by-play announcer Les Lazaruk, will continue to be the familiar voice we hear on every game from SaskTel Centre and locations around the league. We look forward to an exciting 2018-2019 season as the host broadcaster for Saskatoon’s Major Junior franchise”.
Les Lazaruk will be entering his 25th season as the voice of the Blades, opening the season in Swift Current on September 21st by calling his 1800th career game.
“It was Shrek who said, ‘change is good, donkey!’, and I believe that to be the case with this new radio contract between Saskatoon Media Group and the Saskatoon Blades. I’m excited for a fresh start on a different station,” said Lazaruk. “This will be the fourth different location on the radio dial (750-AM, 600-AM, 92.9 FM and 98.3 FM) for me and the fourth different set of call letters (CJWW, HOT-93, 92-9 THE BULL, 98-COOL). Blades’ fans always seem to find us, no matter where we are, and I’m very appreciative to them for their support.” Lazaruk followed his excitement with optimism for the upcoming season. “On the ice, the Blades have been trending steadily upwards since hosting the Memorial Cup in 2013. While that hasn’t translated into a playoff spot in the last five seasons, the best is yet to come for Saskatoon’s major junior franchise!”
The excitement is mutual as Saskatoon Blades President Steve Hogle chimed in on the new deal which also features several other changes. Beginning this season, Les Lazaruk will host a live 1-hour pre-game show from the concourse at SaskTel Centre prior to home games. Fans will also get a chance to hear from the players and staff every Thursday morning on 98COOL FM.
“We are very excited to build upon our relationship with Saskatoon Media Group and we’re looking forward to the future on 98COOL,” said Hogle. “The word ‘cool’ is synonymous with hockey and a great word for describing the long tradition our two organizations share. With this 4 year agreement, our fans will continue to enjoy quality broadcasts of all Blades games, exclusive interviews, features and unique offers in the years ahead.”
The first broadcast on the new station is set for Friday, September 21st at 7:00pm from Swift Current with the pre-game show on 98COOL FM beginning at 6:30pm. The Blades will then return to SaskTel Centre for the 2018 home opener against the Broncos the following night on Saturday, September 22nd.