Friday, 5 June 2020

Hockey Gets Its Voice Back

I won't like when I say that my formative years watching hockey had three names that carried my Saturday nights: Bob Cole, Don Wittman, and Chris Cuthbert. Before Jim Hughson arrived on the scene, Chris Cuthbert was the man who carried the late game broadcasts on Hockey Night in Canada while Bob Cole handled the early games out east. When Sportsnet grabbed the NHL rights away from CBC and TSN, there was hope that the voices who had been the narrators to some of the greatest hockey moments I had ever witnessed would follow, but Chris Cuthbert moved to TSN to continue calling CFL games where he's one of the best in the football business as well. Today, though, it was announced that Chris Cuthbert had left TSN for Sportsnet and his rightful place back on hockey broadcasts.

From the words used today by Sportsnet, it sounds like his return is slated for the remainder of the 2019-20 season whenever the NHL puts its product back on the ice.

"A true master of his craft, Chris's voice has been at the centre of some of the country's greatest hockey moments," President of Sportsnet Bart Yabsley said in a release. "Chris's stellar career achievements, positive attitude as a person and popularity with audiences make him a tremendous addition to our broadcast team and reinforces our commitment to delivering world-class hockey coverage across Canada. Along with hockey fans coast-to-coast, we look forward to the return of the NHL and Chris's debut on Sportsnet."

Getting Cuthbert back for the playoffs this year would be a major coup for the Sportsnet, and it actually would encourage me to watch those games that he's calling because I am a big fan of Cuthbert's work. When hockey broadcasters are well-informed, passionate, and into the game they're calling, the experience for those watching at home is that much better. Chris Cuthbert is all of those things when calling hockey.

Want proof? Here you go.

And, of course, there was this golden moment for Cuthbert to call and the country of Canada to celebrate.

As much as I'll miss hearing Chris call CFL games on TSN, getting Chris Cuthbert back for NHL games is one of the best moves that Sportsnet has made in recent years when it comes to their coverage of the game. I'm sure there's a significant cost to bring Cuthbert in based on his body of work and his experience, but count me in as a viewer in the ratings game if it means I get to listen Chris Cuthbert call some of the biggest goals in hockey history once again.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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