The Panthers didn’t take long in finding a radio replacement for Randy Moller.
One week after Moller was moved to the television side, Florida hired Doug Plagens from Cleveland’s American Hockey League team, the Lake Erie Monsters.
“We have a rising, young superstar that South Florida hockey fans are going to love,” Moller said. “Not only with his on-air personality and the way he calls a game but the way he is integrated with the fans and the media and the organizations he’s been with. He’s going to be a big part of our organization.”
Plagens, 30, has spent the past four seasons calling games in Cleveland. Prior to that, Plagens called ECHL games in Boise, Idaho.
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Plagens also did play-by-play for Cleveland’s Arena Football League team. Like the Monsters, the Cleveland Gladiators are owned by the Cavaliers.
“It has been my lifelong goal to call games in the NHL,” Plagens said. “This is a great place to do it.”
According to Moller, the Panthers got 120 applicants for the job. Moller said “very few” were considered.
“We knew what we wanted,” Moller said. “We were looking for someone specifically who is a rising young star, very talented, can multitask and be involved in social media. As soon as we heard Doug’s tape, we did some research.”
Plagens heard about the opening last Wednesday via Twitter after it was announced Moller was moving to television.
By Monday, Moller and co-owner Doug Cifu had listened to Plagens’ audition tape and made contact.
The team hired Plagens Wednesday.
“We made the decision very quickly,” Moller said.
Don’t expect Plagens to continue Moller’s tradition of using movie lines and pop culture references in his goal calls.
“Randy was awesome and you can’t duplicate what Randy did,” Plagens said. “I hope to bring the same enthusiasm to the games.”