MARQUETTE - Hockey has always been an important part of Dave Joseph's life and now he's an audible part of the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Ishpeming native Joseph is in his first season of being the public address announcer for the Los Angeles Kings. The 1992 Westwood High School graduate stepped into the role when the NHL season finally started after a lockout.
"I became the PA announcer for the Kings in January after the former PA announcer, David Courtney, passed away in November," Joseph said in an email interview. "He had been with the team for well over 20 years and is probably one of the main reasons I got the job. David was my friend and mentor and taught me all about doing PA. ... He basically trained me (and trained me well) for the Kings job."
Ishpeming native Dave Joseph on the job as Los Angeles Kings PA announcer at the Kings vs. Nashville Predators game Jan. 3 at Staples Center. (Photo courtesy of Dave Joseph)
The hockey part of Joseph's life started early. As a youngster, he played hockey - as well as baseball, football, basketball and tennis - then was on the Negaunee Iron Rangers hockey team while in high school. He went to on to play four years of Division II club hockey at Hofstra University on Long Island, N.Y.
"I was the captain my senior season and went on to coach at Hofstra after I graduated, Joseph said. "I attended a few minor pro tryout camps but soon realized I was probably better suited covering the game and not playing it."
Radio was an interest that became a career while he was in the Upper Peninsula.
"I kind of got into sports journalism by accident," Joseph said. "I started in radio at the age of 16 at Q107, then in Ishpeming. I knew I wanted to go into radio and my neighbor, Tom Mogush, was kind enough to give me my start in radio at Q107.
"After working for my dad at the grocery store (Joseph's SuperValu) for less than a day and figuring out quickly that dynamic wouldn't work, I walked across the street and asked Mr. Mogush if he had any openings at the radio station. He told me to go into the station and see Jim Koski, the program director, who taught me how
to operate the controls and talk on the air. That was my start in radio.
"After some training I became the studio engineer for Northern Michigan hockey games so I got to hear Joe Blake and Tom call the action every weekend. Those were two of my early influences. I also remember going to NMU hockey games as a kid and hearing Tim McIntosh do the public address at Lakeview Arena. I still hear Tim in my head today when I do PA for the Kings."
While at Hofstra, Joseph secured a job with 106.1 WBLI, a music station on Long Island as a weekend on-air post, later earning an internship at 95.5 WPLJ in New York City. He became morning show engineer in 1996 at WABC 770AM, where he stayed for more than three years.
He engineered for "The Rush Limbaugh Show" and "The Sean Hannity Show" at times and after several more moves, wound up in Los Angeles in 2000 and eventually at the ESPN Radio affiliate there. He has become a sports update anchor and reporter, often covering the Kings.
"My career highlight was covering the Kings during their first-ever Stanley Cup Championship last season," Joseph said. "I covered them as a reporter throughout the playoffs and traveled to New Jersey during the
Final for Games 1, 2 and 5. I was on the ice at Staples Center after they won the Cup for the first time and interviewed most of the players, coaches and front office staff for the radio station."
His parents, longtime Ishpeming residents Violet and Larry Joseph, now live in Las Vegas. They are part of their son's favorite memory of his career - so far.
"I got my parents tickets for the season-opener against Chicago back on Jan. 19 and they made the trip out from Las Vegas for the game," he said. "It was really a great moment since the Stanley Cup was in the building, all of the Kings players received their championship rings and the team raised its first-ever Stanley Cup banner to the Staples Center rafters."
Joseph's enjoying where he is at now.
"I'm not sure what's next in my career. I hope to move from radio into TV at some point or maybe get into hockey full time. It would be great to combine the two and do NHL sideline reporting or color commentary for a team or TV network."
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org