Courtesy Peter Maher

He was, at the time, a long way from becoming the soundtrack of an NHL franchise for an entire generation, a Foster Hewitt Award recipient, a Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and one of the most respected names in the play-by-play business. In fact, the idea of going on to call 2,954 NHL games would’ve quite likely made 26-year-old Peter Maher question his sanity.

However, back in 1975, in his hometown of Campbellton, N.B., Maher was a mighty busy fellow, nonetheless.

“I was broadcasting Campbellton Tigers hockey on CKNB Radio, along with the Dalhousie Rangers, located 15 miles away,’’ said Maher, the longtime radio voice of the Calgary Flames. “I’d drive back and forth to call the games.

“I was also doing the morning sports and afternoon sports on the station and writing for two different local newspapers. Along with that, I worked as a correspondent for two other provincial papers, covering sports as well.”

Maher’s son Jeff had already arrived on the scene and his daughter Trisha would soon join the family. So, in retrospect, the decision to make an initial dive into the housing market was, fittingly enough, a “Yeah, baby!” moment.

“We bought a piece of land in a new subdivision in town. At that time, those prefab homes were popular, the kind where you build the foundation and the builder brings the upper level of the house out in two different trailers. So, that’s what we did.”

“We’d been living in an apartment,’’ he said. “But with a second child due, like a lot of people, we figured, ‘OK, we’re going to need a bigger place.’ Room for the kids, a growing family, a good-sized front yard and backyard.

“Campbellton at the time was, oh, around 10,000 people, more like 20,000 taking in the surrounding area.

“We bought a piece of land in a new subdivision in town. At that time, those prefab homes were popular, the kind where you build the foundation and the builder brings the upper level of the house out in two different trailers. So, that’s what we did.”

Maher remembers he and his wife Nancy paying $24,000 for that home, the first of four they’ve owned through the years.

“We kept talking about having the basement finished, but never got around to it – I did put a little office down there for my work at home – because three years after we moved in, I went to Toronto to audition for the Maple Leafs job, and got the job.

“The interesting thing is that coming back home after going to Toronto to call a practice-run game, who else in on the plane? A guy heading out to New Brunswick to coach the Dalhousie Rangers.

“Somehow, we ended up chatting and it turned out he had a home in Milton, Ont., near Oakville, about 35-40 miles from Toronto.

“Well, he was looking for a place near Dalhousie and I was looking for a place near Toronto, so we talked about the possibility of exchanging homes, because I didn’t know how long the thing was going to last for me in Toronto and he didn’t know how long it’d last for him in Dalhousie.

“That’s what got the wheels turning to get the transfer done, so I could keep the house in Campbellton, go to Toronto, bring the family with me and figure it out from there – a chance meeting on the plane.”