There is a column on Tom Reid that will appear in Thursday's Star Tribune. This is a bit more on Reid as he enters his 16th season as a Wild analyst, and his 48th winter as a Minnesota hockey presence – on the ice, next to Al Shaver and now Bob Kurtz on radio, and in television booths with various NHL and Gophers partners.
Reid’s admiration for Shaver and Kurtz knows no bounds, but his greatest thrill as a broadcaster might have been working with Danny Gallivan one night for a Washington Caps-Montreal game in Landover, Md.
Reid comes from Fort Erie, Ontario, a short hike across the Peace Bridge to Buffalo, N.Y. His father Allan was a Maple Leafs fan, but Tom was a Canadiens’ fans – partially because of Gallivan’s spell-binding broadcasts.
“Jean Beliveau was my hero, and Danny Gallivan’s descriptions were a big reason for that,’’ Reid said. “One night in the early ‘80s, we were on the East Coast, and Danny’s partner had a situation where he wasn’t available. I was able to sit in with Danny on the broadcast.
“That was unbelievable for a kid from Fort Erie who was so shy that his legs would start shaking if he was called on to say something in class … working with Danny Gallivan.’’
The death of Beliveau, Reid’s hockey-playing hero, in December 2014 wasn’t personal in the same way as others in recent times. It was another reminder of the cycle of life of which we seniors citizens become increasingly aware.
Reid, now 70, lost some of his closest hockey friends _ Muzz Oliver, J.P. Parise and Glen Sonmor – in the 13 months from November 2014 to December 2015.
More recently, Walter Bush died at 86. Bush was the North Stars' president when Reid was acquired in a trade with Chicago. Later, Bush got him the job as Al Shaver's analyst when the Stars' radio broadcasts moved from the modest signal at 830 on the AM dial to the mighty 1500.
The trade to Minnesota for Reid came on Feb. 14, 1969. He went home in the offseasons for several years to Fort Erie, Ontario. He received a green card in 1976 and has been a full-time Minnesotan for 40 years. He became a U.S. citizen in 2005.
He will be starting his 14th season as the analyst for Kurtz’s play-by-play for Wild radio broadcasts on Thursday in St. Louis. Before that, he did the Wild’s first two seasons on television.
He also is the proprietor of Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub, one of the earliest saloons – food and beverage – to appear on West Seventh Street with the arrival of the Wild and the Xcel Energy Center in 2000.
Reid was asked if his introduction to Minnesota actually dates back to the winter of 1963-64. That’s when hockeydb.com, an exhaustive and appreciated hockey database, continues to insist Reid played junior hockey for the Fort Frances Royals.
Fort Frances is right across the border from International Falls, so obviously Reid would have slipped over to the Falls that winter ... might even have seen Larry Ross' dynastic Falls High Broncos put a whuppin' on Iron Range foes a couple of times.
“One problem: I never heard of the Fort Frances Royals,’’ Reid said. “I don’t know where that comes from, because I didn’t play in Fort Frances.
“I did play Junior C hockey back home in Fort Erie. Those Forts in Ontario might confuse some people, even if they are 1,000 miles apart.’’