MARION -- Hearing the blues on the radio usually means listening to artists like Buddy Guy or B.B. King.
But this upcoming NHL season, hockey fans in Southern Illinois can listen to the St. Louis Blues on the radio now that WGGH AM-1150 and 98.5-FM, also known as "Monster Radio," has become a team affiliate.
The Marion-based radio station began airing Chicago White Sox baseball games recently in addition to a long list of local high school sports broadcasts, but will now have hockey joining the lineup.
"We feel like getting the Blues is another step in making WGGH a radio station that the community wants to listen to," said Tim Petrowich, the station's general manager. "By adding the Blues, we now have a professional sports team on the air year round with the White Sox."
Petrowich signed a contract agreement with the Blues on June 20.
"We reached out to the Blues right after the season ended in the spring," Petrowich said. "We know there are a lot of Blues fans in this area and we want them to hear the Blues on WGGH."
The broadcasts will come from KMOX 1120 AM, which has served as the Blues' flagship station in St. Louis for 44 years.
The 2018-19 season begins on Oct. 4 when the Blues host the Winnipeg Jets. Five of their 82 games will be against the rival Chicago Blackhawks. The regular season ends on April 6.
St. Louis went 44-32-6 this past season and placed fifth in the Central Division and ninth in the Western Conference. The Blues missed the playoffs by losing to Colorado, 5-2, on the final day of the regular season.
The radio broadcasts are led by play-by-play man Chris Kerber. Kelly Chase, a former Blues player who was the team's color analyst for 18 seasons, stepped away from the booth in June. His replacement hasn't been announced yet but is reportedly expected soon.
The Blues and White Sox join WGGH's growing list of sports presentations. In addition to football and boys basketball for the Marion Wildcats, the station also carried games featuring Goreville, Johnston City and Crab Orchard during the 2017-18 school year -- including Goreville's trips to the state finals in baseball, softball and boys basketball.
This fall, Petrowich said, WGGH will air all Marion and Johnston City football games, with the Indians having two games broadcast live and the other seven by delay the next day. There are also talks of possibly including Vienna-Goreville football, he said.
The local sports are the only thing that could keep hockey fans from hearing the Blues during the season.
"We will always carry high school sports before professional sports, no matter what the situation," Petrowich said.
For more information, contact Petrowich at firstname.lastname@example.org.