After weeks and weeks of rumours and heresay, our pals at Sportsnet made things official earlier yesterday with the announcements of their television and radio broadcast teams for Calgary Flames games.
The television team will feature Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey, presumably for all regional games and the majority of national games involving the Flames. The radio team will have newcomer Derek Wills join Peter Loubardias for all regular season and pre-season contests.
A 20-year broadcasting veteran, Ball joins the Flames following a three-year tenure with Hockey Night in Canada and time as the radio voice of the Vancouver Canucks. Hrudey is a veteran colour analyst and joined the media ranks following a strong NHL career as a netminder. Ball and Hrudey are taking the place of the old team of Rob Kerr and Charlie Simmer. Without casting aspersions on their predecessors, I don’t think it’s controversial to say this new team is an upgrade. At worst, they’re a more experienced pairing. They notably called several Flames games in the 2013-14 season on Hockey Night in Canada, including that 8-1 whuppin’ of the Edmonton Oilers and the line-brawl game against the Vancouver Canucks.
Derek Wills joins the Sportsnet 960 crew after a lengthy 13-year tenure as the voice of the Hamilton Bulldog of the AHL. He joins Loubardias, who’s called a lot of hockey over the years and had great chemistry with Peter Maher last season. I’m hopeful Wills will be able to establish himself as different and distinct from Maher, because it’s gonna be tough sledding if he tries to be too similar to Maher.
In other news, three pre-season Flames games will be nationally televised!
- September 24: Kraft Hockeyville game in Sylvan Lake vs. Arizona (Sportsnet 360)
- September 25: vs. Vancouver (Sportsnet 360)
- September 26: at Vancouver (Sportsnet One)
I don’t know why they’re television three pre-season games nationally, but I don’t make those decisions. I just enjoy the fact that we all get to see three more games for the prospects than we would otherwise.