DETROIT (WXYZ) — History was made this weekend for the Detroit Red Wings.
Red Wings Digital Reporter Daniella Bruce filled in for color commentator Paul Woods on the Red Wings radio broadcast Saturday night, becoming the first woman ever to fill the role on a Red Wings broadcast.
“It took a while for the whole moment to kind of set in that I was the first woman to call a Red Wings game, and I was doing it alongside Ken Kal,” Bruce said.
Having worked for the team for nearly 5 years, Bruce grew up a Red Wings fan listening to Ken Kal, before being called in to make history with him Saturday.
“I've always wanted to be a sports broadcaster," said Bruce. "I had the whole city supporting me. Everyone was reaching out on Twitter, I was receiving a bunch of text messages, DMs, and I was receiving a bunch of support.”
With usual color commentator Paul Woods out on the COVID-19 protocol list, Ken Kal needed a partner. It was his idea to give Daniella a call.
"I started thinking and thought 'well you know, it’s kind of late to get a player to do color so I thought immediately of Daniella,” Kal said. "Daniella is a professional. She really knows her stuff about the game of hockey, she’s really worked hard.”
Kal says it wasn’t until after the decision that he realized history was being made. He's happy the Red Wings were joining the growing list of NHL franchises giving women and anyone else a shot.
“People are good, it doesn't matter who you are," Kal said. "If you’re able to do the job and can communicate well, anybody can do it.”
Bruce and Kal called the game remotely from Little Caesars Arena and the Wings were shut out.
It’s a game the team surely would like to forget, but one she never will. Bruce hopes some young Red Wings fans who might have been listening won’t either.
“I just hope there were some young women listening to me last night and thinking 'wow I can do this, I can break down barriers,'” said Bruce.
“I'm happy for everybody who gets the opportunity to do what they wanted to do... To be able to call a game for you hometown team just means so much,” Kal said. "There's a lot of talent out there and it’s open to everybody.”
Bruce will also be filling in again alongside Kal Sunday night when the Red Wings take on the Anaheim Ducks. You can listen locally on 97.1FM The Ticket.