The Federal Hockey League’s oldest-franchise, the Danville Dashers, have filled a role that has gone unused over the last few years. That is the position of a full-time voice of the team.
Under first-year GM Diane Short, that is no longer the case, as today the organization officially welcomes Marcus Grasenick as their full-time Media Director and broadcaster.
This is the first professional hockey job for the 27-year-old Illinois native, who has spent nearly the last seven years as the voice of Northern Illinois University’s ACHA hockey teams.
While with NIU, Grasenick acquired the title of Director of Broadcasting, and spent the 2016-17 season as the ACHA Division III Chief of Broadcasting.
Grasenick is a graduate of the Illinois Media School, which lead to his opportunity with NIU.
“I had the chance while at IMS with a classmate of mine to create and launch the NIU hockey broadcast network. In my six years since, I’ve broadcast over 150 games, as well as being part of the ACHA D3 National Tournament the last three seasons,” said Grasenick “I can not thank the front office and staff of NIU enough for giving me start in broadcasting.”
It was through these National Tournaments that lead to Grasenick’s befriending with now-Thunderbirds broadcaster Zak DeBeaussaert, and subsequent opportunity with Danville.
“I’m very good friends with Zak…and we were talking about the season ahead. He asked if I’d like to move to the FHL and he thought Danville would be a great spot. So, he got me in touch with Diane, and the process was really easy and smooth,” said Grasenick “Diane reached out to me, and we talked about what she wanted in the position, and I shared some new ideas and thoughts of how to make the broadcast the best it can be. As we now know, the rest is history.”
For Grasenick, this was the culmination of years of self-improvement and constant betterment of his broadcast network.
“I’ve been looking [to move up] for maybe the last few years, but I knew that I still had work to do and grow as a hockey broadcaster and NIU gave me that chance,” said Grasenick “When the Dashers called and the position was open, it was time to move up. It just felt like the right fit, and with Danville only two hours from home, it will be nice to still be close to family and friends.”
After initially putting the call out for a broadcaster as an intern-based position, the Dashers and GM Diane Short decided that this was a position better fit for Front Office.
“We felt that the timing was right to bring someone on with his type of experience to take us to the next level. Marcus will be handling broadcasting, all aspects of social media, along with assisting me with corporate sponsorships,” said Short “Having a full time Media Director will allow me to focus on other areas of the office, and he will be a great asset in guiding interns.”
For Grasenick, this fits exactly into the vision of what he hopes to turn the Dashers Media Network into.
“I plan on making this a professional network. I have plans to do a coaches show, create player profiles, being creative with social media and finding ways for fans to interact with me during games,” said Grasenick “Diane is a great ambassador for the broadcast, and I look forward to making this something special.”
This obviously won’t be his first time creating a media network, overseeing interns, or making a high-quality broadcast program.
All of NIU’s games the last few years have been live-video streamed on Facebook with high-quality video and audio, and he was responsible for coordinating all broadcasts for his first ACHA D3 National Tournament.
He worked with teams in the German Elite Hockey League (DEL) to test-run an English-focused broadcast program for streaming to the United States, but due to financial and feasibility issues, the partnership never amounted.
Grasenick has also previously organized broadcast Collegiate Summer Baseball with his colleague Paul Chivari.
For Grasenick, being a native to Illinois and following the FHL the last few years, he is excited to be joining such a historic organization.
“I have heard nothing but great things about the organization from the hockey community and look forward to making my mark this season. With this being my “hometown” team it will be great to start with the Dashers,” said Grasenick “I’m excited to interact with the passionate fans of Danville, and bring the game of hockey to life if they can’t be at the game. Hopefully my passion for the game shines through.”
Grasenick was a voice on the ACHA D3 National Championship broadcasts for the last two years, and his professionalism and broadcast-style can be heard on tons of streams available online.
In fact, here’s the 2018 ACHA D3 semi-finals broadcast of Carolina’s DeBeaussaert (PxP) and Danville’s Grasenick (Color) together on the call.
This is a great hire for the Dashers, and for fans in Danville. Grasenick is a passionate, knowledgeable, and incredibly likable personality to add to a Front Office. The competition for FHL Broadcaster of the Year becomes a legitimate battle now, with the bevies of talent this league is beginning to hold.
Congratulations to Grasenick and the Dashers organization, we anxiously await the Dashers broadcasts this year!