Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
'Team Starman' weds hockey interests
They first met during a discussion of “the finer points of hooking and holding,’’ Dave Starman recalled. And their first date conveniently was timed for the night before a Michigan-Lake Superior State game played on Feb. 15, 2008.
“But the whole Valentine’s Day thing never clicked with her,’’ he said.
Why would it? To that point, Shireen Saski’s relationship with Starman, a Long Island-based hockey scout, TV analyst and coach, primarily was based on friendship and a shared interest in the sport.
But after that Valentine’s Day it became more than that. By July of 2010, they were getting married, complete with personalized pucks at the reception.
Earlier that year Saski had left Fox Sports Detroit after 11 years, freeing her to join CBS Sports Network as a rinkside reporter – on the same crew for which Starman was the analyst.
Awkward? “No, it was so comfortable, like studying in college with your boyfriend,’’ Saski said. “It’s really fun to share this passion and be able to travel around and cover games.’’
The couple spoke Thursday morning en route from their Lido Beach home for a weekend series between Vermont and top-ranked Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Starman said he was aware of Saski well before she was of him, thanks to her work covering college hockey and the Red Wings – her favorite childhood team. He admired her work and her knowledge in addition to her appearance.
It wasn’t until 2007 that they met, at a rules seminar with Central Collegiate Hockey Association officials, whose work Starman had criticized on the air. Saski was among the other media members invited.
Starman introduced himself. “I had no idea who he was,’’ Saski said. Soon they were speaking regularly on the phone, for longer and longer periods. By the end of that season, things took a serious turn. And here they are.
If Starman hadn’t been at the network so long it might have been a delicate matter to add his wife to an existing crew. But he said it has been “really seamless. They refer to us as Team Starman.’’