FAREWELL, JOHN WIEDEMAN
Islanders radio play-by-play announcer John Wiedeman is leaving the organization to take his "dream job" as the radio voice of the Chicago Blackhawks.
"We love John and made our feelings clear to him that he had an important place in the Islanders family," said Chris Botta, the team's Vice President of Communications. "But this is a special opportunity for John. He told us that this is a dream job for him, a job he'd never thought would open up in his lifetime, and we did not want to stand in his way. We wish John and his family the best in their new life in Chicago."
Wiedeman joined the Islanders in 2001 and made a formidable team with radio color commentator Chris King. The Islanders will introduce a successor to Wiedeman later in the summer.
In an email, John sent out heartfelt thanks to everyone in the Islanders organization, especially the fans:
"Leaving Long Island will be difficult in many ways as we will be saying goodbye to friends and associates, many of whom feel like family members. But regardless of how far we travel, the memories of the wonderful times we had together will always go with us.
"Thank you to my broadcast partner Chris King for his good nature, energy, enthusiasm for the job and hard work. Chris bleeds Islanders blue and orange, but never lost an objective point of view during the broadcasts he prepares for better than any color commentator I've ever worked with. Thank you to the man who makes New York Islanders hockey possible: owner Charles Wang. Charles has been kind, caring, thoughtful and generous to me and my family in too many ways to list here. Thank you, Charles. It was a pleasure working for you.
"In closing I want Islanders fans to know that no matter where I go or what I do, you'll always occupy a special place in my heart. As I've grown older I've come to realize that people move in and out of our lives every day and rarely do we stop and say thank you to those around us who help fill our lives with good times and good deeds. As they say, all good things come to an end at some point and I had five wonderful years here on Long Island, largely because of all of you and I think you should know that. It's my sincere hope that you will treat my successor as well as you treated me, because whoever he is, he's a lucky guy, coming into a good situation with a great bunch of people.
Best wishes and good luck to all.