Morning Free Association: New Broadcasters and Old in New Places

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A couple weeks back, we talked about the finer points of the new television deals that the NHL inked with ESPN and TNT. Yesterday, we talked about Wayne Gretzky moving from the Oilers front office to the TNT studio. Now, let’s talk about some other hires in broadcast and the league.

Last week, ESPN made a bold move in hiring Leah Hextall as a play-by-play announcer for the network. She’ll be doing NHL games for sure and other duties, which may include calling other games for other leagues. While she won’t be the lead announcer, which looks to be either Steve Levy (current MNF) or Sean McDonough, both of whom are currently with ESPN.

Hextall became the first woman to call a NHL game last year when she voiced play-by-play for a Calgary Flames – Vegas Golden Knights contest. She is accomplished and knows the game of hockey. Like seriously, hockey is on her blood: her grandfather was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1969 and her cousin in former Flyers goalie and current Penguins GM Ron Hextall. He grandfather Bryan was considered one of the top wingers in the NHL in the 1940’s when he played for the New York Rangers.

ESPN has also hired Ray Ferraro and Brian Boucher as analysts for the broadcasts.

TNT will have a top broadcasting pair of Eddie Olczyk and Kenny Albert.

Now for some league hires.

After dismantling their front office, the New Rangers have hired former player Mike Grier as a senior advisor to the GM specializing in working with prospects as well as hockey decisions.

And the New Jersey Devils have hired Olympic Gold winning player Meghan Duggan for a newly created role within their Player Development group. This new role is Manager, Player Development within the club’s Hockey Operations Department. Her role will encompass the following:

Duggan will work closely with Senior Vice President/Assistant General Manager Dan MacKinnon across all levels of the development department’s operations, with a specific focus on on-ice and off-ice information. She will coordinate with the Athlete Care group, Development Coaches and Management on the design, improvement and execution of progress plans for all players within the organization. Duggan will be responsible for staff schedules, synthesizing information regarding prospects and AHL/ECHL players while assessing all players through in-person and video scouting. Additionally, she will join the Devils’ staff in on-ice development throughout the year.

While the NHL might be slow to embrace change, it seems that individual teams are embracing diversity through their hires. I hope this trend continues.

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Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. Crazy thunderstorm yesterday. Nugget and I both went into thunderstorm anxiety mode. I put in earbuds and cranked music and Nugget hid under the couch.

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

Boomer turned in a little early, then after the thunder started getting bad, he came back downstairs and hid in his crate. It was adorable. He also doesn’t like to traverse the stairway in the dark, so I had to go up and turn on the lights, and coax him into making a decision about stairs.

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Aw, bless him. Have you seen the video clip of a pitbull tiptoe-ing down a corridor because he’s afraid to wake up the cat? They can be such sorties

The London Bear
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The London Bear

*softies

Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

Awww poor Boomer!

The London Bear
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The London Bear

Hiya folks.

Yay for diversity! Nationally broadcast games tend to be the ones that are blacked out on my NHL tv, but I’m sure I’ll get to see some ESpN coverage at some stage.

Turns out I shouldve had the rent on GB last night! Not only did they cover the 3.5-goal spread, they WON THE FRICKIN’ GAME! I can’t find out when their last regular-time win in the worlds was, but it was not more recently than 1951! Sonia suggested we celebrate with a shot of Slivovica. Now I have a headache ….

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Sonia suggested we celebrate with a shot of Slivovica. Now I have a headache

I need to know about Slivovica!!! If my knowledge of language is any good, I suspect that means “water of life”. Of course, it could also mean ” ooga booga ” for all I know. grin

IntentionallyWidenberg
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IntentionallyWidenberg

I believe it translates to “life-altering hangover” lol
I usually enjoy regional specialty boozes. Don’t know this one.

The London Bear
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The London Bear

It’s a plum brandy. Slivka = plum in Czech/Slovakian. 52% abv. You don’t need many shots!

Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

Thought I almost jinxed the game! Saw it was their first regulation win at Worlds since 1962. I wonder, does the UK have more success at Worlds or Eurovision! lol

The London Bear
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The London Bear

I was trying to find out when their last one was! Probably before most of the players fathers were born!

Arizona draftee Liam Kirk has four goals in four games. Hopefully the big club give him a chance, although he has been playing in the OHL. I’m not really sure of the hierarchy of leagues.

does the UK have more success at Worlds or Eurovision

We’ve certainly got more points from the Worlds over the last few years!

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Good morning!
Diversity!!! It’s about time and a long way to go, but it has started… Yay!
So, it’s the Islanders. It took them a bit to find their stride after the trade deadline, but find it they did. Plenty of Bruinslayers on that team, but this is the new look Bruins. Should be a nerve wracking, nail biting, heart attack of a good time. Go Bruins!!!
You can probably tell by the longwinded nature of my comment who’s anonymous.

Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

There was once a comment on here from Anonymous. Thought it was you but turns out it was actually IW!