Remembering Darren Dutchyshen

Darren Dutchyshen ITV Edmonton
Photo credit:Screenshot/YouTube
Zach Laing
1 month ago
Canadian broadcasting legend Darren Dutchyshen has died at the age of 57.
The longtime host of TSN’s SportsCenter, Dutchyshen started with the network in 1995, hosting weekend editions of SportsDesk and CFL Live.
But Dutchyshen’s roots in the broadcasting business dig deeper than that. The Saskatchewan native got his first job in sports there, working for STV in Saskatoon before a stint with IMTV in Dauphin, Man..
Then, in late 1988, Dutchyshen got his big break hosting Edmonton’s ITV Sports Night, the city’s only half-hour, week-night sportscast.

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“Darren was very different from the really staid, suit and tie types,” his boss at ITV, Ann Stark, told the Edmonton Journal in a March 1990 feature, noting how since his hiring, ratings had tripled. “We opted for his sort of vibrant personality just to get everybody’s attention.”
Get everybody’s attention he did. Throughout his career, Dutchyshen was always known for his larger-than-life personality, captivating the minds of Canadians from coast to coast to coast with his fervour for highlight packages. Ask many Canadian media minds, yours included, and they’ll often say how “Dutch” played a key role in their love of sports.
That’s because his passion for sports oozed into everything he did, regardless of the sport, game, or time of year the game was played. It’s that passion that made him feel like your friend. It’s that passion that lifted those around him.
Dutchyshen never had any broadcasting idols growing up, he told the Edmonton Journal in that aforementioned feature. Growing up in Porcupine Plain, Sask., they only had one TV channel. Instead of getting his style from listening to others, “his verbal style from his family, which argued and cheered wildly whenever a game was on,” the Journal’s Davis Staples wrote.
“I had to scream to get my words in,” Dutchyshen said.
At the time, Stark said they were already worried about losing him to higher-paying jobs elsewhere, with Dutchyshen discussing his desire to host a national broadcast one day.

That break would come years later when, in 1995, he joined TSN.
The Edmonton Journal reported that he was the lone candidate to audition for the role he would take as an anchor, which was good enough for him to beat out Vic Rauter for the role.
Dutchyshen’s legend would only grow, becoming one of the country’s most popular and engaging sports personalities as a mainstay on TSN’s flagship news program, hosing with co-anchor Rod Smith and, later, Jennifer Hedger.
“Darren Dutchyshen was a legend of Canadian sports broadcasting, a great teammate, and an essential part of TSN for the last three decades,” said Stewart Johnston, senior vice president of sales and sports for Bell Media.
“A larger-than-life personality, Darren’s incredible sense of humour and magnetic energy made him a natural broadcaster who connected easily with viewers. His enthusiasm reminded us every day of why we love sports. Most significantly, Darren was a friend to all of us at TSN, and we will miss him dearly. Our thoughts and heartfelt condolences are with his loved ones.”
He would go on to play a key role in the Kraft Celebration Tour, taking his SportsCentre show on the road across Canada for years and also hosting prime-time Olympic Coverage during the 2010 Winter Games and the 2012 Summer Games.
“He passed as he was surrounded by his closest loved ones,” the Dutchyshen family said. “His sharp wit remained until his final moments, classically delivering plenty of jokes – most of them pretty good and all of them inappropriate.”
Dutchyshen was outspoken about his battle with prostate cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 2021. He returned to the airwaves a year later, revealing his cancer had metastasized throughout his body.
Oilersnation and The Nation Network mourn Dutchyshen’s death and extend condolences to his friends, family, and colleagues.

Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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