Bob Cole Will Return to HNIC Next Season

As was first reported by Damien Cox last Friday, Bob Cole has not called his last game for Hockey Night in Canada. HNIC host Ron MacLean confirmed the news just before game 7 of Kings vs. Blackhawks last night. Many fans thought Rogers might not retain Cole, who was the primary voice of HNIC through 2008 before taking a secondary role. Cole turns 81 later this month. Terms of the deal were not revealed, and Rogers has not made it official. In fact Rogers has yet to confirm any play-by-play announcers or colour commentators for their NHL coverage, which begins in the fall. They likely will not release these details until after the Stanley Cup Final, which begins Wednesday night in Los Angeles. However, I do expect Rogers might release this before July 1. However, some more details of Rogers’ NHL coverage, including the start time and details of Hometown Hockey, will likely be revealed at City’s upfront presentation in Toronto tomorrow afternoon, June 3.

EDIT: Steve Lepore is reporting that Dave Randorf is leaving TSN to join Sportsnet as a NHL play-by-play announcer. I’m not surprised Randorf is leaving TSN considering James Duthie will assume his role of CFL on TSN host, which was part of the new contract he signed with TSN last December. Randorf’s other main gig at TSN is calling regional NHL and IIHF games. Next season TSN’s main hockey commentators, Gord Miller and Chris Cuthbert, will be available to call those games. Stay tuned for updates.

17 thoughts on “Bob Cole Will Return to HNIC Next Season

  1. Small mistake : the Stanley Cup final begins in Los Angeles, not New York.

  2. Kind of a surprise to see Randorf jump to Sportsnet. Im curious if this means Mark Lee is potentially out for the late CBC game next year.

    • Remember that there can be 7 games on a Saturday that Rogers can show. There can be up to 5 games in the first half of the doubleheader and 2 games after that. That could have Lee doing some games and who knows maybe some Wednesday games too.

    • I would be shocked if Sportsnet employees Lee. Hughson, Randorf, Romanuk, Cole are top 4. I’d think they would use guys like Broadhead, Brown, Quinn before hiring Lee.

      While they could show up to 7 games, I’d be shocked if they do anymore than 3-4 early (CBC, City, SN, maybe SN1/360) and 1-2 late (CBC, SN) most weeks. And maybe 1 in the afternoon. So that’s only 5 games on average.

      My guess is Hughson gets Sundays as well. Randorf and Romanuk split Wednesdays and Thursdays. Unless they give Hughson Wednesday too or have a rotation.

      • Shorthouse and Bowen could be used for calling national games too after the top four commentators. I think Hughson will do Saturdays and Wednesdays the majority of the time. Those days can be busy and FX Canada can show games as well. For the Sunday game, he might do that game as long as it is close to where he called the Saturday game.

        • Or they could schedule his Saturday games around where the Sunday game is. I.e if the Sunday game is in the west, he does the 10pm game. If its in the east, he does the main 7pm game.

  3. Looking forward to your blog again with the City presentation.

  4. Well it looks too potentially according to Awful Announcing that Paul Romaniuk will join SN as well.

    That means they’ll have these play by play announcers to choose from:
    Jim Hughson
    Paul Romaniuk
    Dave Randorf
    Bob Cole
    Dean Brown – Former Sens
    Kevin Quinn – Oilers
    RJ Broadhead – CHL
    John Shorthouse – Canucks
    Rob Kerr – Flames

    Analysts will be interesting to see.

    Pretty sure Simpson remains. Galley as well. Millen, Healy (3 man booth), Hrudey, all these are from the hockey night team. Garrett, Potvin, Debrusk, Simmer are existing SN guys.

    I am sure they’ll be looking at some other options.

    They have lots of panel people.

    Strombo is hosting weekends. Maclean and Cherry too will work weekends.

    Millard and Marek are the weekday hosts.

    They’ve annointed Cox as an insider to join Kypreos and probably Friedman as the main insider guys.

    They currently have Scott Morrison, Doug Maclean and John Shannon as well. Healy and Hrudey could see studio time and there’s PJ Stock and Kevin Weekes from the CBC too.

    And then there are the slew of other hosts like Christine Simpson, Andi Petrillo and Cassie Campbell-Pascall to likely find jobs for as well, and hopefully relevant ones.

    Thats a large cast of characters. Hopefully there will be some new additions and some subtractions of some of the names above. But its a decent start in my opinion and they have 12 years to figure it out.

    • The other person who does Sportsnet games is Joe Bowen. He’s been doing Leafs games on Sportsnet for years. I know he’s not too everyone’s taste but I’d take him over Kevin Quinn or Rob Kerr.

      • John Shorthouse does Sportsnet Canucks games could be utilized as well.

      • Bowen is employed by MLSE, not Rogers, I believe. Not that they couldn’t employ him. But I think he is too associated with 1 team. Quinn was their guy for Vancouver 2010, so I think he’d be the first choice after the top 4.

        • I agree with you about Kevin Quinn, he did do national games for Sportsnet from 1998 to 2002.

          • But isn’t Quinn the Oilers play by play guy? That being said he’s as much associated with one team as Bowen is.

  5. This is off-topic, but any word of TSN’s plans for programming in the event of a CFL players strike. Also, hasn’t James Duthie been through enough work stoppages, 2 in the NHL, and now he’s the host of the CFL on TSN and they’re going on strike. How much can one take?


  6. Hey guys, sounds good,right?
    Right now it looks like they become cooler.
    Thanks, good info.

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