Today our TSN family is grieving. We have lost a great friend, and one of our most valuable producers. Rick Hodgson passed away suddenly this morning. He was just 36, leaving behind his wife Jennie, and young son Rickey.

You may have seen Rick. His moment in the TV spotlight was playing the Zach Galifianakis look-a-like in our Panel Hangover video a couple of years ago. In fact, the entire genesis of that bit was that Rick looked like Zach. It gave us an excuse to create some idiocy.

Rick took great pride in his acting debut - growing his beard for months, and ordering the same t-shirt and satchel Zach wore in the movie.

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He was brilliant in it. I will never forget Anze Kopitar losing it, unable to do his lines, because Rick was lying underneath the Kings dressing room bench, somehow keeping a perfectly straight face.

We shots scenes at an L.A. Kings game, where Rick had to stop and take photos with fans who thought he was actually Galifianakis. We howled for hours at the idea people believed Zach would go to a hockey game in his full Alan attire.

Those may have been Rick's only 15 minutes of TV fame, but for us, he was a superstar every night.

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He was responsible for basically every piece of video that you see during a TSN Hockey pre-game or intermission. When someone on the panel wanted to tell a story using hilites, Rick and his editors would be the ones to put it together. He did it brilliantly. Rick was the engine of our show.

And he was just a great great guy, loved by all of us. When the big company Christmas parties ended a few years ago, Rick threw his own, renting part of a downtown bar for us. He would host every year wearing a full Santa outfit. It is always the best party of the year. We'll make sure it stays that way, buddy.

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Late yesterday, Rick and I were going back and forth on emails, as he got ready to edit a couple of interviews we did for Sunday's Grey Cup telecast.

You could leave anything with him and be assured it would end up looking great on television.

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One of his last selfless gestures was a text to a colleague early this morning saying he was at the hospital having chest pains, and would need someone to cover for him today.

And then he was gone.

We can't believe it. Can't make sense of any of it. We are devastated for Jennie and Rickey, his parents Richard and Loren-Lea, and all of Rick's family.

He is irreplaceable at TSN, and in our hearts.