There was a pretty big shift in the sports broadcasting world on Friday.
After 15 years calling hockey and football games for TSN, Chris Cuthbert has left the company to call play-by-play for Sportsnet.
It’s a massive get for Sportsnet who has been struggling to make the most of their purchase of the NHL’s broadcasting rights. Cuthbert’s voice is legendary in the hockey world having had called games for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada prior to starting with TSN — one of his more famous calls being Sidney Crosby’s Golden Goal. And to be fair, he has many other incredible calls from his career.
The move is going to cause a shakeup in the broadcasting world. First of all, if you’re a CFL fan, you won’t be hearing Cuthbert on the call anymore and that will be a major change in and of itself.
If you’re a hockey fan, well good news for you. You’ll be hearing a lot more Cuthbert moving forward.
In a statement released Friday, Sportsnet says more details will be made in regards to its broadcasts teams and coverage as the return to play approaches.
And that got me thinking: Could there be an impending shakeup to the Oilers broadcast team?
Kevin Quinn has been the voice of the Oilers for nearly 20 years, as highlighted by our own Robin Brownlee in this 2011 piece.
Quinn’s voice has become synonymous with the Edmonton Oilers. Often soft-spoken on the call, Quinn is maybe best known for his OOOVVVERR TIIIIIMMMMMEEE WINNNEERRRR whenever, well, the Oilers win in overtime.
In my eyes, he’s done a fine job as the Oilers head play-by-play man for Sportsnet. He calls a tight game.
His colour commentator for the last six seasons has been Drew Remenda who isn’t exactly a fan favourite around Edmonton. Highly respected in the hockey world with years as a coach and commentator, Remenda is often critical — for better or for worse — of the Oilers. He’s a surefire fan of tough, gritty hockey and often offers praise to players who, well, maybe don’t deserve it.
Remenda took over the colour role from Louie DeBrusk who is often still found on Oilers broadcasts between the benches and providing analysis. DeBrusk has undoubtedly been a fan favourite in Edmonton for a long time. A former tough guy, he understands the nuances of the game from all aspects and breaks down the game in a great way. He’s definitely someone on the up and up in the world of hockey broadcasting.
The much-beloved Gene Principe has been covering the Oilers since Rogers purchased Sportsnet from CTV in 2001. Known for his consistent use of puns, Principe, much like DeBrusk, has become a major fan favourite. A shrewd interviewer, his strength lies in his ability to elicit strong interviews in short amounts of times from players — a skill not many have.
Long story short, the Oilers in large have a fairly strong broadcast team by my eye. The group all offsets each others skills well. If there’s a potential for a shakeup at Sportsnet, who knows what could happen to the Oilers broadcasting team.
I could very much see a radio play-by-play guy like Jack Michaels get headhunted for a TV role at some point in the future. He’s one of the best out there.
And that leads to the final question: What would you do with the Edmonton Oilers broadcast team, fans of the Nation?
On Twitter: @zjlaing