His impact is often overlooked, but always revered. His influence is often understated, but always necessary. He is one of the best in the world at what he does; and he is the voice of the Carolina Hurricanes
For many Carolina Hurricanes fans, there was never a time when they didn’t know who John Forslund was. If you ever where a fan of Hurricanes hockey than you found yourself being privy to a greatness you may have never noticed.
Whether you grew up watching the incredible talent of Ron Francis and Glen Wesley, or the incomparable grit and leadership of Rod Brind’Amour and Erik Cole, or even the underrated years of Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner, you remember his voice well; a voice that is darn near unforgettable.
Hockey is an interesting sport. It is a sport of tradition, heart, determination, passion, and greatness. These qualities are so clearly defined by a man who seems like he lives this great game, a man who has come to be defined by it; but has never skated a game on NHL ice.
What John Forslund has become to the fans of this team is simple; legend. He is a folk hero. He is always present with us, and he has been the reliable voice that has spoken over some of our greatest memories.
Incredible hockey moments that where made real by Forslund, we weren’t just sitting in our living rooms, or listening on the radio, he made us feel like we were there.
When the arena filled with excitement, he made it palpable. When times were tough, he made them optimistic. When the team was good, you could feel it. When they were bad, you could feel that too. He was always fair, and always honest.
HEY HEY WADDYA SAY! ITS A CAROLINA HURRICANES GOAL!!
What is so interesting about this, is how many of us take this for granted. We all know how great John is, and we all readily acknowledge it, but how often is that? It seems that many of us take this talent for granted.
We have never known a time without him, we’ve never really known the game through the eyes of anyone else. That is special. Its special because of how important he was to this market. A market that didn’t take to this game quickly, a market that didn’t understand the game at first. For the city’s early fans, Forslund was a God-send.
As time went on, we got a little more knowledgeable; we got a little more full of ourselves. John continued to be John. His tenure with the team was always recognizable despite the lack of talent and lack of success.
He is the picture of longevity; the man has been calling Hurricanes/ Whalers games since before five of the players on this season’s team where even born. Only two players on the roster where born before Forslund first took a job in Hartford.
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Longevity isn’t the only reason for his legend, it is just how darn good he is. For this city, the catch phrases that Forslund has imparted to us have become universal. How many times do you hear it in your head when the Hurricanes score? “Hey, hey whaddaya say? Carolina Hurricanes Goal!”
Till the end of time, John Forslund will be synonymous with hockey in Carolina, and the Carolina Hurricanes. He will be the voice over these teams. Talent have come and gone, but Forslund remains. He is the voice for which our community was built, and he will continue to be the voice for which that community thrives.
Many Carolina fans learned the game through his love for it. We learned to adore it through him. In many ways, he taught us the passion, tradition, determination, and greatness that we understand in this game, and he did with the enthusiasm that helped pull us in.
Generations of fans have experienced hockey being called by John Forslund, and generations more will have the same pleasure. He is our Vin Scully. He is beloved, he is cherished, he is exceptional at his job, and he will always be etched in the very fabric of this franchise.
And That’s Hockey Baby
Question for CC Readers: What is your favorite Quote from John Forslund?