By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Posts tagged ‘paul roper’
Posted: August 6th, 2013

In case you didn’t know already …
Paul Roper, the Erie Otters’ former play-by-play broadcaster and media relations manager, has joined IMG College in Winston-Salem, N.C., as a network studio host and producer for University of South Florida’s football and men’s basketball broadcasts. Roper, 27, who spent 3 1/2 years with the Otters, will handle putting broadcasts on the air and providing audio to affiliates in Florida, as well as scoreboard updates during pregame, halftime and postgame shows. He also will produce the weekly coaches shows. IMG manages radio networks for more than 90 schools, including broadcasts of Pittsburgh football and men’s basketball on WRIE-AM/1260 and Notre Dame football on WFNN-AM/1330.

Posted: March 22nd, 2013

Peter Sidorkiewicz survived three head coaching changes with the Erie Otters, including his own.
But after 14 seasons, his tenure with the OHL club is over. Sherry Bassin, Otters managing partner and general manager, has chosen not to renew Sidorkiewicz’s contract, which expires at the end of this season, because “they’re looking at going in another direction,” Sidorkiewicz said Friday.
Sidorkiewicz, 49, joined the Otters in 1999 to serve as assistant and goaltending coach under then-coach Dave MacQueen. He replaced MacQueen as coach before the 2006-07 season, but was demoted to assistant under coach Robbie Ftorek after posting an 18-62-1-2 record during one-plus seasons.
Sidorkiewicz, a former NHL goaltender, again chose to remain on staff after Kris Knoblauch was hired to replace Ftorek this past November.
Yet Sidorkiewicz said, “I’m not part of the plan” for the 2013-14 season. “I think they want to get a couple of younger coaches.
Dave Brown, Otters assistant manager of hockey operations, said the staff likely will include two full-time assistants and a part-time goaltending coach, although club officials wouldn’t rule out hiring one of the new assistants to also work with the goaltenders.
Bassin declined to comment on if Sidorkiewicz’s performance factored into the decision. The Otters topped 300 goals allowed – 650 in all – the past two seasons, and their goaltenders – Ramis Sadikov and Devin Williams in 2011-12, as well as Oscar Dansk and Williams this season – struggled mightily.
“I have nothing negative to say about it. We’re looking at different things that could be done,” said Bassin, who added that Knoblauch wants input into the staff. Sidorkiewicz said he worked well with Knoblauch. But with a new coach, Sidorkiewicz said, “you always know (a change is) possible.”
Sidorkiewicz will turn his attention to finding a new job. “It’s like a kick in the gut,” he said of leaving the Otters. “But I have to get off the floor. I have to find a new job.” Bassin said he plans to help Sidorkiewicz find a job at a higher level. “I’m going to do my best to call a lot of people because he would be a wonderful addition to their staff,” Bassin said. “I think the world of him. I’m going to do my best to get him to the next level.”
In other news, the Otters have chosen not to retain Mike Hildenbrand, who spent the past three seasons as equipment manager. Paul Roper, who served as play-by-play broadcaster and media relations manager for the past four seasons, won’t also remain with the club.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 26th, 2012

Paul Roper has broadcast a game at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
But that was basketball. “I think actually doing a hockey game from a NHL rink is something I’ll certainly remember,” Roper, the play-by-play voice of the Erie Otters, said of calling Saturday’s game against the Ottawa 67′s at Scotiabank Place, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators.
Roper, who handled play-by-play of basketball at Seton Hall University, his alma mater in South Orange, N.J., said he has heard media are treated “like gold there” – complete with media notes, meals, television monitors and a restroom in the press box.
“I hear it’s a tremendous experience,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it. And hopefully there’s going to be a big crowd, because I know that will get my energy amped up. I think it’s going to be a great opportunity.”

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: September 18th, 2012

The Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League, in conjunction with the Erie Playhouse, are inviting all singers to join us for national anthem auditions being held Saturday, Sept. 29th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Erie Playhouse (13 West 10th Street).
Candidates will tryout with the chance to sing the Canadian and American National Anthems before Otters games. For more information or to reserve a time slot for your audition, please call Paul Roper of the Otters Office at 455-7779 or email

- From Erie Otters news release

Posted: January 20th, 2012

Posted: January 17th, 2011

The Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League have announced the hirings of Andy Cameron, Tim Herr and Amber Johnson to the front office staff.

Additionally, Hillary Stickney was promoted to a Corporate Account Executive. Media Relations Manager and Play-by-Play Broadcaster Paul Roper received a two-year contract extension.

Cameron moves to the Otters full-time as a Corporate Account Executive after serving as an intern with the Otters since January 2010. A native of Erie, Cameron graduated from Gannon University in December 2010. He will handle corporate and group sales for the Otters while ensuring the fulfillment of sponsorship deals.

Herr will also join the Otters as a Corporate Account Executive. The veteran of the Erie sports industry spent the last three seasons with the NBA Development League’s Erie Bayhawks. Herr began as an intern with the Bayhawks in 2008 and eventually served as Promotions and Merchandise Manager and later as a Corporate Sales Account Executive.

Johnson joins the Otters as an Office Manager. She will handle donation requests and service Season Ticket Holders while also assisting on game nights. Johnson, a graduate of Mercyhurst College, comes to the Otters after two seasons as an intern with the Bayhawks.

Stickney is promoted to the role of Corporate Account Executive after working as the Office Manager since August 2009. In addition to her duties as a Corporate Account Executive, Stickney will retain her duties as Merchandise Manager in selling and keeping track of the team’s merchandise inventory.

Roper will remain as the team’s Media Relations Manager and Play-by-Play Broadcaster until the end of the 2012-13 season. Roper joined the team in September 2009 after calling games for the ECHL’s Trenton Devils for the previous season, during which he was named as an ECHL All-Star broadcaster.

“We’re excited about our new hirings and looking forward to a great second half of the season,” said Otters Assistant General Manager of Administration Shawn Waskiewicz.

- From Erie Otters news release