Report: Pierre McGuire Joins The NHL On VERSUS

Wyshynski with the massive scoop:

NBC Sports’ makeover of VERSUS’ NHL coverage will begin dramatically with Monday’s broadcast of the New York Rangers at the Detroit Red Wings.

According to a network source, Sam Flood, executive producer for NBC Sports and the man that’s overseen its Winter Classic broadcasts, will produce Monday night’s coverage.

Pierre McGuire will debut as an “inside the glass” (i.e. between the benches) commentator, joining Doc Emrick and Eddie Olczyk in announcing the game.

On Tuesday, VERSUS studio analyst Brian Engblom will be “inside the glass” for the Buffalo Sabres and the Tampa Bay Lightning. Mike Milbury will be inside the studio in place of Engblom.

Harwood Among Many Fired at VERSUS

From Pat Hickey in the Montreal Gazette:

Comcast’s purchase of NBC Universal has produced immediate changes at Versus, the Comcast network which holds the U.S. cable rights for the NHL and Montreal native Rob Harwood is out as game host and reporter.

“They’re adopting the NBC format and they want an ex-player between the benches,” Harwood said from his home in Vermont. He has a few months left on his contract and Sam Flood, who produces the NHL games for NBC, said they may use him for out-of-town cutaways during the playoffs.

This is a shame. Harwood was never over-the-top or flashy, but he was solid reporter who asked good questions. I’ve heard rumors that VERSUS is cleaning house in the booth as well, and I’ll try and see if I can dig up new info over the weekend. From what I’ve heard, everyone but Emrick and Olczyk is an uncertainty. Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun tweeted that 29 people from the hockey coverage have been let go, including many on air. It’ll be very interesting to see what VERSUS hockey coverage looks like from here. My schedule had Harwood slated to report on Tuesday’s Buffalo/Tampa Bay game, with Sarah Kustok reporting on Monday’s NY Rangers/Detroit game. We shall see how immediate VERSUS’ new format is.

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