Danny Gallivan (1917-1993)
Born in the Whitney Pier district of Sydney, N.S., Danny Gallivan would be become associated as much with the Montreal Canadiens as any of its players. From 1952 until his retirement in 1984 he was the “voice of the Montreal Canadiens”. He would broadcast over 1,900 regular season and playoff games and call games in sixteen of the Habs’ Stanley Cup championships.
After an arm injury cut short a baseball career with the New York Giants, he graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in 1942. He joined CJFX radio soon after and began broadcasting games in the APC League. He moved to Halifax in 1946 as sports director of CHNS and broadcast the Halifax St. Mary’s junior hockey games. In 1950 he replaced the ailing Doug Smith to call his first Canadiens’ game and became the team’s permanent announcer in 1952.
It was his unique and colourful style for which he became famous: Plante would make “a scintillating save” but often faced “a paucity of shots”; Harvey would “feather a pass to the streaking Rocket”; Ferguson’s ”pugilistic endeavours” would take him to the “box of punition”; Captain Beliveau will “take up the oratorical cudgel of his confreres”; Geoffrion’s “cannonading drive” would sometimes be “nowhere near the net”; Lemaire would “feather a pass” to Lefleur who would “successfully negotiate contact”; Robinson would “tip-toe out of his own zone”; Dryden would make “a save in rapier-like fashion”: Awrey would have the puck caught up in his “paraphernalia”; Savard would beat his man with his “patented spinerama”.
He was selected to the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in 1980, the Canadian Sport Hall of Fame in 1989, and received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater in 1985.