Rick Ball leaving Flames broadcasts after 10 seasons to join Chicago Blackhawks

Photo credit:Brett Holmes-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
7 days ago
Rick Ball, who became the television voice of the Calgary Flames just in time for their magical 2014-15 season and remained in the role for a decade, is leaving to become the main play-by-play voice of the Chicago Blackhawks.
Ball, 57, earned rave reviews from fans in Calgary during his tenure, in which the Flames qualified for the playoffs five times and reached the second round twice. He teamed with numerous colour analysts in Calgary, including Kelly Hrudey, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, Jason York, Greg Millen, and Garry Galley.
The Blackhawks elected to hire Ball to replace Chris Vosters, who lasted just two seasons in the play-by-play role after replacing the legendary Pat Foley, who had been with the Blackhawks for decades.
The Athletic‘s Scott Powers was the first to report the news of Ball’s departure from Calgary on Thursday morning.
Before joining the Flames in 2014, Ball worked as a regional commentator for the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets and made periodic appearances on Sportsnet’s national broadcasts. Even during his Flames tenure, he routinely called playoff series for Sportsnet and United States-based networks after Calgary was eliminated.
Ball brings decades of hockey play-by-play experience to his new role in Chicago, something his predecessor with the Blackhawks did not possess. Vosters began his broadcasting career in baseball before being hired by the Blackhawks in 2022.
“One thing we know is that our fans value a deep hockey knowledge and experience, and it was important to us that our broadcast reflect those values,” Blackhawks president of business Jaime Faulkner told The Athletic. “Every year after the season concludes, we evaluate our broadcast talent in the booth for both radio and TV, and also in-studio, to determine if it is at the level our fans expect and deserve. Based on our own evaluations, as well as feedback from key stakeholders and partners, we felt we need to make a change in this role.”
Sportsnet has not commented publicly on Ball’s departure. It’s unclear at this point who will succeed him on Flames television broadcasts — or if radio broadcaster Derek Wills, who also just completed his 10th season with the Flames, could be a candidate.

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