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Aurora resident and TSN legendary broadcaster Darren Dutchyshen dies at 57

May 23, 2024   ·   0 Comments

Multiple generations of sports fans mourned the passing of one of Canada’s most engaging television sports broadcasters.

Aurora resident and TSN legend Darren Dutchyshen, 57, died on Wednesday “surrounded by his closest loved ones.”

TSN reported that Dutchyshen died following “a long battle with prostate cancer.”

The energetic anchor revealed that he been diagnosed with prostate cancer in September 2021 and had disclosed that the cancer had metastasized throughout his body.

“It’s not the kind of cancer where you ring a bell. It’s still in the base of my skull, my ribs, my legs, my hips.”

Dutchyshen noted valiantly on-air that the cancer was treatable and reassured his viewing audience that he felt “really, really good.”

TSN’s poignant tribute to Dutchyshen was hosted by Aurora’s own James Duthie who was joined by Dutch’s long-time co-hosts Jennifer Hedger and Rod Smith in a moving memorial segment to their Saskatchewan-born colleague.  All three TSN mainstays praised the iconic SportsCentre anchor’s “endless enthusiasm for narrating highlights” and his “infectious love of the sports he covered.”

Smith and Hedger praised his “positive energy on the set” and championed Dutch’s “ribald humor” that never abandoned him, as noted in a statement on Thursday by his family.

“His sharp wit remained until his final moments, classically delivering plenty of jokes—most of them pretty good and all of them inappropriate.”

It is this kind of sharp wit and positive energy that will be missed by viewers and Dutchyshen’s sudden passing moved many Aurorans when news broke on Thursday.

Aurora Tigers’ owner and governor Jim Thomson shared Western Canadian roots with Dutch.

“I knew Dutch back in Edmonton. He was a young sportscaster and I was a young hockey player. We both had common goals and worked hard to achieve them. He and I go back a long time.  His son Tyler skated with me at Summer Hockey Camps. Dutch always brightened a room when he walked into it. He was way too young to pass away.”

The former NHLer was impressed by the on-air chemistry of Dutchyshen and Jennifer Hedger as well as many of the legendary anchor’s personal qualities.

“Dutch and Jennifer were an amazing team for so many years on TSN. I remember when he arrived at TSN. He was an excitable, funny sportscaster. I also remember how he turned into this massive man—his physicality, his workout regimen. Dutch’s commitment to his body was so impressive, but he was also a great and devoted father, husband, and friend.”

Thomson also praised Dutch’s authenticity: “Most importantly, he was one of the good guys. We had an old saying in hockey when we wanted to praise a teammate– we’d refer to him as a gem.  Dutch was a gem. So well-respected. We lost a really, really good guy today. It’s a sad, sad day for his family and his fellow broadcasters.”

It was also a sad day for Aurorans who knew Dutch away from the broadcasting studio and starring in a different role: as a great hockey and baseball dad.

Long-time Aurora resident Jim Keon extolled the virtues of Dutchyshen’s positive energy around the rink and diamond.

“Darren’s son Tyler and our son Michael played hockey and baseball on the same teams when they were young, around  the ages of 9 to 12. Despite his busy schedule at TSN, Darren and his family – he had three children – attended many of the games. Darren was an enthusiastic and positive parent and a great supporter of his son and the teams. Darren had a big personality and was a popular member of the parent groups.”

Dutchyshen’s big personality will, indeed, be missed by the townsfolk of Aurora as well as millions of Canadian sports fans who loved a Dutchy with their coffee and sports highlights. Rest in Peace.

By Jim Stewart



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