Nashville Predators fans are eagerly awaiting tomorrow morning's debut of the newest sports radio station here in Middle Tennessee, 102.5 "The Game", which will serve as the flagship for Preds games this season.
"Crazy Charlie" Saunier (who you can follow on Twitter as @CrazyCharlie615) moves over to 102.5 as the station's sports director, after having produced The Thom Abraham Show on WNSR. Charlie has been actively working to serve Nashville's hockey fans for quite a while now, and what follows is a Q&A on both his new job at The Game, and what the station has in store for local puckheads...
Q: Tell me about your new role with 102.5, and specifically your involvement with the Preds broadcasts.
My official job is Sports Director for 102.5 The Game. My time will be split between Producing The Aaron Solomon Show (weekdays 3-6) & all Nashville Predators games. I will be taking over as The Flagship Producer of The Predators Radio Network for Jeremy Bennefield who has moved into the role of Assistant Program Director. I will be responsible for the entire broadcast of 2 pre-season games & all regular/post season games. I will be assisted at the new 102.5 The Game studios by at least one other person in the control room. It is a very exciting moment in my life to not only be doing what I love, but to be doing it for my favorite hockey team. I will miss attending games live & will have to officially retire as a member of Section 303- Row L Seats 9-10 since 03 (will my name one day appear on the Cell Block Banner in memory?)
Q: The only major unknown about the broadcasts is the status of Willy Daunic as pre- and post-game host. Is there any news yet there?
As of today, I have no knowledge of which talent will be involved with Pre/Post Show. Everyone has been so focused on launch day.
Q: Besides the games themselves, what can hockey fans look forward to within 102.5's new sports format?
More coverage of The Nashville Predators than any other station has ever even attempted. The Aaron Solomon Show will include a Preds update every day once we get closer to the season. Tom Callahan & Terry Crisp will be regular guests. I will also feature writers from The Central Division on a regular basis. The 1st Qtr will have an awesome feature called "Coffee with the Coach" where Barry Trotz will come in studio & do 30 minutes of discussion & take phone calls. Wade Belak will have a show & there are some feature shows being worked on for the build to Opening Night (some looking back at last year type stuff- just in the writing phase so far). We will also have great cross promotion with 102.9 The Buzz & the audience that started to build up last year. Finally, I will add a few new music tracks to the broadcast-- once I figure out how to do that.
Q: You've been mentioning on Twitter that you're looking to start playing hockey. What's that experience been like so far?
I finally did it. Two weeks ago, I played in my first open hockey game at A-Game in Franklin. This is something I consider to be life changing moment! It was brutal. I was so tired after just 2 shifts & I'm not sure I have ever been that winded. It was also amazing. I learned more about hockey in 2 hours that day than I had in 34 years of living on this Earth. My only good moment was when I set a screen & really held strong & my team scored. Even after taking skating lessons for over a year to prepare for this, I now realize how much more I must do just to play at that level. I will keep trying & maybe one day get good enough to play on a regular basis. The process has given me new perspective into the details of the game & just how difficult it is to do the amazing things we see every night in the NHL. It was important to me personally & professionally to take on this journey & I think more media types should learn the game so coverage can continue to grow & improve in the market. Keep up with me if you wish, but remember I have had 13 concussions & sometimes make little sense!
Thanks to Charlie for the info, and best of luck to him and the rest of The Game as they launch Monday morning...