As the legendary play by play voice of the National Hockey League’s Toronto Maple Leafs, 70-year old Joe Bowen has stood the test of time as one of the absolute best in the business. And now there is another Bowen who has taken to calling games behind the mic.
Joe’s youngest son, 21-year old David Bowen, is currently enrolled in the sports administration program at Laurentian University in Sudbury. As part of on the job training, David has emerged as a superb play by play man for the Sudbury U16 Nickel Capitals of the Great North Under 18 Hockey League. And on a recent Nickel Capitals broadcast on Hockey TV, David was joined by his dad, Joe, who did the colour commentary.
It may be a ways down the road yet, but listening to David, he certainly has the delivery and personality — not to mention an exceptional knowledge of hockey — to be able to follow his dad in a full time career on the airwaves.
No slouch as a hockey player, David was an exceptional goalie who, besides starring for the Rayside Balfour Canadians (now Sudbury Cubs) of the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League, proved that he could play at the Ontario Hockey League level.
Though never given a real chance by the OHL team that drafted him, the Sudbury Wolves, David showed what he could do when called upon. Promoted by the Wolves three times over three seasons, all David did was post a record of 4-1-0 with a save percentage well above .900 and a goals against average well under 3.00.
Having graduated from the NOJHL, school is where David is at right now. And possibly in training to become a future star play by play man like his old man.
A few words about Joe.
Born and raised in Sudbury, he got his play by play start with the OHL Wolves on radio station CKSO. I got to know Joe back in the mid 1970s and we still keep in touch. And let it be noted that old Joe has never forgotten his northern Ontario roots. Nor has he ever lost his friendly, good natured, easy to talk to ways.
At any rate, 49 years apart in age, father and son Bowen got to share the broadcast booth together recently when they teamed up for that U16 Sudbury Nickel Capitals game.
Hockey is in the Bowen family blood. So too, it would appear, is calling hockey games.
Holy Mackinaw, David, you are almost as good as your old man. Almost. But not yet.
Maybe one of these days.