It was a busy offseason in hockey media this offseason. Beginning this year a new television contract kick in for Americans, an official NHL broadcast announced they will rebrand in January, there was a revolving door at the CBC, first with some leaving for greener pastures, then with the new coming in. Here is a recap of the moves made this offseason.
Who’s Out: Scott Morrison (insider, to Sportsnet), Pierre Lebrun (insider, to TSN), Jeff Marek (iDesk host, to Sportsnet)
Who’s In: David Amber (rinkside reporter), Rick Ball (western based play-by-play), Daryl Reaugh (western based analyst), Andi Petrillo (studio host, GameDay)
One of the biggest moves CBC made is moving Elliotte Friedman from rinkside reporter to iDesk host and Hotstove insider. I think he will thrive in this role, but CBC needs to give him lots of exposure, especially during the Hockey Night pregame show.
Here are CBC’s commentator crews:
Main 7pm ET game: Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson & Glenn Healy
Canadiens games: Bob Cole & Garry Galley
Senators games: Dean Brown & Greg Millen
#1 Western crew: Mark Lee & Kevin Weekes
#2 Western crew: Rick Ball & Daryl Reaugh
Studio: Ron MacLean, Don Cherry (Coach’s Corner), Eric Francis (Hotstove), Elliotte Friedman (Hotstove) Mike Milbury, Kelly Hrudey, PJ Stock
Who’s Out: Pierre McGuire (analyst, to NBC), Craig MacTavish (studio analyst)
Who’s In: Marc Crawford (studio analyst), Pierre Lebrun (insider)
TSN’s main problem this season will be filling the void left by Pierre McGuire. Ray Ferraro will have that task. Mike Johnson will also see an increased workload, as he becomes TSN’s secondary national analyst, secondary Jets analyst and primary Canadiens analyst.
Here are TSN’s commentators:
Play-by-play: Chris Cuthbert, Gord Miller, Dennis Beyak (Jets regional), Dave Randorf (Canadiens regional), Rod Black (fill-in)
Analysts: Ray Ferraro, Mike Johnson, Brian Engblom (Jets regional)
Studio: James Duthie, Bob McKenzie, Marc Crawford, Aaron Ward, Darren Dreger (insider trading), Pierre Leburn (insider trading), Dave Hodge (Hodgemail)
Who’s Out: Peter Loubardias (Flames play-by-play), Gord Stellick (insider)
Who’s In: Scott Morrison (insider), Jeff Marek (studio host), Damien Cox (insider), Rob Kerr (Flames play-by-play)
Sportsnet, who have regional rights to 5 of Canada’s 7 teams, made one of the biggest splashes this summer. Former CBC Sports executive Scott Moore brought a couple familiar faces from the Ceeb over to Sportsnet. Morrison and Marek were both underused at Hockey Night, and should see increased roles at Sportsnet. Marek will host HockeyCentral Tonight, at 11:00pm ET and 2:00am ET on Sportsnet.
Here are Sportsnet’s commentators:
Senators: Dean Brown & Denis Potvin
Maple Leafs: Joe Bowen & Greg Millen
Flames: Rob Kerr & Charlie Simmer
Oilers: Kevin Quinn & Louie Debrusk
Canucks: John Shorthouse & John Garrett
Studio: Darren Millard, Jeff Marek, Nick Kypreos, Doug MacLean, Damien Cox, Scott Morrison, Mike Brophy, Brad May, Marty McSorley
Who’s Out: Nobody! (as far as I know, at least)
Who’s In: Pierre McGuire (primary analyst), Mike Emrick (primary play-by-play), Dave Strader (secondary play-by-play)
The biggest changes at Versus this season is that three regulars, Pierre McGure, Mike Emrick and Dave Strader, have now joined the network on a full-time basis. Versus will re-brand as NBC Sports Network in January. Otherwise, it is more of the same.
Here are Versus and NBC’s commentators:
Sunday (NBC)/Wednesday: Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk & Pierre McGuire
Sunday (VS)/Tuesday: Dave Strader & Brian Engblom
Monday: Mike Emrick & Pierre McGuire
Studio (NBC): Liam McHugh, Mike Milbury, Keith Jones (Versus only)