Could the Two New Great Faces for the NHL on TV Be Jeremy Roenick… and Jim Dowd?

We’ve said many times before that while we like Eddie Olczyk, we don’t think he’s the NHL’s long term answer to the position of “#1 analyst”, especially considering he’s filling the shoes of guys like John Davidson, Bill Clement and Barry Melrose, who all brought either a knack for making the insignificant details of hockey engaging and telegenic (Davidson), or a good sense of humor, and the idea that the fan needs to be entertained as well as informed (Melrose, and to a lesser extent Clement).  

So obviously, with Brett Hull a somewhat failed experiment in broadcasting history, the NHL has pretty much played it safe as far as analysts go.  But there’s going to be a couple of players either retired or retiring soon that you can add to the mix, given that they have an interest.  Here are a couple people I think should be given a chance at NBC and VERSUS over the next couple of years.

Jeremy Roenick 

Putting Jeremy Roenick in a list of probable future TV hockey analysts is an inevitability, like a probable Blink-182 re-union after Travis Barker’s plane crash.  The realistic view of this is that JR will probably be in the booth one day, but will he want to commit to the work.  Doc Emrick and Eddie Olczyk likely log at least 100 days a year traveling to and from hockey games.  Does Roenick have the time for that in the midst of his clothing line, acting career and whatever else he spends his time doing.

But boy, if he did, he would be gangbusters.  Finally, someone who can be as controversial and entertaining as Charles Barkley was.  He fits the template, a very good-to-great player who’s said his share of stupid things (Remember his lockout tirades against angry fans?) but genuinely cares about the game, and can relate today’s sport to fans in a language they can understand.

Jim Dowd 

Jim Dowd might have been the name that surprised you upon reading the title of this piece, but if you’ve heard the man on NHL Live lately, occasionally co-hosting, you’ll see why the guy is perfect for the job.  He’s cool, calm and knows what questions to ask as an interviewers.  He’s played for 10 teams, and is loved everywhere he goes.  Moustache in the picture above aside, he is telegenic, and most importantly, like Roenick: He’s an American.  From Jersey.

I don’t wanna’ turn myself into Don Cherry-Americanized, but I think a lot of Americans don’t care to hear from the good ‘ol Canadian boys they often see talking about the game on the TV.  How much more unlikely a success story is Jimmy Dowd?  Guy from Brick, New Jersey wins the Stanley Cup with the Devils, goes on to enjoy a pretty successful, journeyman career.  He’s a working-class guy that TV viewers can relate to, and that’s hard to do with today’s game of guys making millions to play the sport.  Dowd would be a great, JD-esque analyst who casual viewers on TV would identify with.

Pierre McGuire 

Because it’s fun to polarize people.  I happen to really enjoy whenever Pierre McGuire says something.  He speaks his mind without coming across as a blowhard.  He makes no secret of the fact that he LOVES the way certain players play (“That’s not a Dion that’s a DOUBLEDION!”) and pretty regularly the only NHL analyst worth actually tuning into for a game I wouldn’t watch otherwise.

His schtick on American TV obviously doesn’t make him a popular choice, but perhaps pairing him with Emrick in the booth would make him the voice the NHL needs.

But would any of these guys really move the needle as far as ratings?  Maybe Roenick, but likely none of them.  But hey, we’re all about NHL TV broadcasts improving, and these are three men whom – if implemented on them – could make watching hockey without a mute button a lot more tolerable.


2 Responses to Could the Two New Great Faces for the NHL on TV Be Jeremy Roenick… and Jim Dowd?

  1. Pingback: Thanks Jimmy « Puck The Media

  2. Pingback: Top 10 pop culture moments in Jeremy Roenick’s career | - Your primary source for all sporting news

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