On the surface, things couldn't be better in the Dallas Stars broadcasting world. Ralph Strangis and Daryl Reaugh have been able to bring some fabulous road drama to the people over the past few weeks and just won their second consecutive and fifth overall Lone Star Emmy.
But a gray storm cloud of uncertainty continues to loom about the duo's future. Earlier this year, Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News reported on the stalemate in the contract negotiations between Strangis and the team for an extension beyond the end of this year.
Horn posted an update this afternoon, and it appears there still hasn't been any meaningful progress.
(Stars president Jim) Lites and Strangis haven’t talked in months. Lites says he has made an offer. Strangis said he has received nothing in writing and despite repeated requests he’s still waiting.
"I fear that Ralph might decide to go somewhere else," Lites said over the phone during the Stars Canadian road trip. "I’m patiently waiting for him to come to his senses."
Said Strangis, in his 24th season with the franchise that he accompanied from Minnesota in 1993, "I always believed I would finish my professional broadcasting career with the Dallas Stars but they’ve made me no written offer. With Razor apparently having been given his extension and Jim making no official offer to me, what conclusion would you draw?"
Eesh. And yes, that's a technical term.
Horn goes on to talk about how the situation could be exacerbated by the fact that Strangis and Reaugh have only a professional relationship and are not close friends away from the ice, so there's no united front to present to management. That's not a fault of either man or the relationship itself -- to put it in hockey terms, there are are tons of players who had amazing on-ice chemistry but didn't necessarily hang out together away from the rink -- but it leaves Strangis on more of a lonely island when negotiating.
In a statement to Defending Big D, Strangis had this to say about his relationship with his broadcast partner:
"Razor and I are fine. I greatly appreciate his continued support and professionalism. I hope to remain here for the rest of my broadcasting career, but that is up to them."
Strangis has been with the team since it moved to Texas in 1993 while Reaugh joined the broadcast in 1996. Reaugh has also done broadcasting work in the regular season and playoffs for ABC/ESPN, NBC/NBCSN and Hockey Night in Canada. Strangis has done some play-by-play of other sports as well, including SEC football.
To Strangis and Reaugh's credit, there's been no hint of stress on the broadcast so far, at least not that I've been able to pick up. It's been Stars hockey as it's been for the past 18 years and how most people hope it stays for the next 25 seasons.