Do you want the bad news or the good news first?
The good news is that Michael Gruber, better known as Grubes, has landed his dream gig with the Texas Rangers. The bad news is that he’s leaving the DJ booth in American Airlines Center for good.
The new job is a great fit for Gruber on both a professional and personal level. As the Dallas Stars’ in-arena DJ, he’s developed his craft to the point that even visiting fans reach out on Twitter to show their appreciation. And his dedication to baseball – Rangers baseball in particular – is a matter of longstanding public record:
The seeds were actually planted shortly after Gruber was named the Stars’ DJ in 2013. Rangers public address announcer Chuck Morgan sent him a message seven years ago, asking if he had any video editing experience. Morgan was hoping to recruit him to run the video at the ballpark, but that wasn’t part of Gruber’s repertoire. At the end of the exchange, though, the two had reached a gentlemen’s agreement. At the time, Morgan was running the soundboard, playing the music and doing PA during games, among other duties with the Rangers. Whenever Morgan was able to delegate some of those responsibilities, he would give Grubes a call.
“Chuck Morgan has been a personal hero of mine. I didn’t want to try to force it, obviously,” Gruber said. “There were a couple of times where we looked at doing it before the new ballpark, but the timing didn’t work out or it didn’t make sense.”
Is that a light on the horizon, though? Grubes has given an enthusiastic thumbs-up to his hand-picked replacement, Jonathan “Shippy” Shipman, and it’s easy to see why:
Shipman describes becoming Stars DJ as “the dream job I didn’t know I had.” Along with Stars hockey, he also has a passion for music, but he never thought he’d be able to merge those two interests. As a whole, sports talk radio in Dallas doesn’t devote a lot of time to Stars talk, especially with the Cowboys dominating the news cycle nearly year-round. But Shipman still found a way to quench his hockey thirst, doing a Stars podcast with program director Gavin Spittle when he was at 105.3 The Fan and another ongoing one with former Dallas Star Craig Ludwig on The Hockey Podcast Network....
“He is going to make it even better because he knows the game a lot better than I do,” [Gruber] says of Shipman. “He’s got a great taste in music, a great sense of timing. He’s amazingly funny, and Shippy is just a sweetheart of a guy. I promise it’s not a downgrade.”
Saad has more behind the paywall. [The Athletic DFW]
And tear up as Grubes says goodbye in his own words.
Thank you, Stars fans. I love you! pic.twitter.com/VFkzzmpY6F— Michael Gruber (@tweetgrubes) December 29, 2020
Now that the Bunch of Jerks are honorary members of the #MurderDeathKill Division, we can look forward to things like our only regular-season game on national teevee.
Meanwhile, as former DBD editor Erin Bolen has pointed out, two teams the Stars defeated to win the Western Conference will appear on NBC nine times.
NBC Sports schedule of coverage for the upcoming NHL season pic.twitter.com/hpB0Z1HYYs— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) December 29, 2020
Around The Leagues
The NHL season is days away, but there’s some good hockey going on in the Western Canada bubble right now. The story so far....
Canada and USA didn't have many doubts in their big victories on Tuesday while Russia took a bit of time to finally find their footing. But after a couple of rough outings, Austria finally had a reason to celebrate, despite the loss.https://t.co/yHneGxXNEb— The Hockey News (@TheHockeyNews) December 30, 2020
Meanwhile, the list of NHL superstars who won’t be able to start the new season is beginning to resemble a mass-casualty incident for hockey elite.
Toews, who joins a growing list of Chicago players who aren't available to start training camp, said the organization and his teammates have been supportivehttps://t.co/5Dc24m6RYE— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) December 29, 2020
How will Corey Perry fit in with the Montreal Canadiens? Pierre LeBrun discusses it in his latest roundup.
On Mike Hoffman's deal in St. Louis, other teams who kept tabs on him, on Corey Perry, and on Tampa's salary cap stick-handling in my Monday piece:https://t.co/p4FkXuf4ww— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 28, 2020
A 3.2% chance of winning the Stanley Cup? I’ll ride with those odds.
There are few things like a good Jumbo story to make the day better. Here are more than two dozen of them, from the likes of Joe Pavelski, Jason Demers, Tom Holy, and more.