By Jason Rademan
Jason Shaver has been the play-by-play voice of the Iowa Stars since the club’s inception in 2005, but has dreamed of calling Stars games his entire life.
Shaver, 34, grew up in Minnesota’s Twin Cities, where his grandfather, Al Shaver, was the legendary radio voice of the Minnesota North Stars for 26 years. Wally Shaver, Jason’s father, is currently the radio play-by-play announcer for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers hockey program, and now Iowa Stars fans enjoy the radio call from this third-generation broadcaster.
“People joked when I was younger that they just assumed I’d be a hockey announcer since my grandfather and my dad were so successful in the business,” said Shaver. “My grandpa used to tell me all the time how much he loved what he did, and how he never regretted a day in his life going to work. So once I got into high school, it started to become natural that I was drawn to this business. The North Stars allowed me to get a press pass during weekday games and I’d sit in the Met Center press box, recording games onto a tape recorder and just practicing the craft.”
Shaver was a good goaltender — his childhood hero was Andy Moog, who played for a Wichita club in the Central Hockey League where his dad worked — and competed at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, where he studied communications. Upon graduation, Shaver got a job as the play-by-play announcer for the Waterloo Blackhawks in the USHL, and subsequently, the Texas Wildcatters, an ECHL expansion club in Beaumont.
After two seasons in Beaumont, an old family friend played a key role in helping Shaver make the jump to Iowa. Jason’s grandfather, Al, was the radio broadcast partner for a handful of years with a familiar face to Stars fans, Ralph Strangis.