(October 5, 2011) Less than one month before the start of the coming hockey season, Muskegon Lumberjacks General Manager Tim Taylor needed a play-by-play broadcaster. His friend, Chicago Express GM Wade Welsh suggested Matt Gajtka, who had recently been a finalist for the Express’ broadcasting job. Taylor called Gajtka and, following a quick series of meetings, Gajtka is the new Broadcaster/Communications Director for the Lumberjacks.
“Its my second go around in the USHL,” say Gajtka, who spent last winter with the Youngstown Phantoms. “I enjoyed the league the first time around. There are a lot of young up and coming players – a lot of guys you’ll see in the pros. I thought it was cool to see the prospects before they became known to the larger hockey community.”
Besides his experience, one factor that made Gajtka a good fit for the Lumberjacks is he and his wife recently moved to nearby Grand Rapids.
“I never sent anything through the mail [to the Lumberjacks] and relied on my STAA Talent Page to show them what I had done and could do for them,” Gajtka says. “Thanks again for your service…it’s helped me land a job more than once now.”
Muskegon has been home to professional hockey for 50 years. It is their second season in the USHL. “Hockey is in their blood here in Western Michigan and the team is a big part of the community,” Gajtka says. “That is appealing to me.”
Gajtka is also excited to work under Lumberjacks owner Josh Mervis, a former Division I college coach. “He really gets the game, is committed to the game and has invested a lot of money in the arena and the franchise,” Gajtka says.
The Lumberjacks boast a solid radio tradition and their games are broadcast on an FM station. “Its not even a given anymore that you are going to be on the air in any minor league sport,” says Gajtka.
“Im happy to get back into the game. That’s for sure!”
(Visit Matt’s STAA Talent Page).