Billy Jaffe, Rising Star

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It wasn’t so long ago when nobody outside of Atlanta and Long Island knew who Billy Jaffe was. Jaffe started out as the Thrashers radio announcer in 2000. After his time in Atlanta, Jaffe moved up to New York to replace Joe Micheletti on Islanders broadcasts. Over the last three years, Jaffe’s star has begun to finally skyrocket – and it couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

I still remember Jaffe’s first broadcasts with the Islanders. Since his partner Howie Rose was out broadcasting the Mets in the 2006 playoffs, Jaffe was paired with legendary broadcaster Jiggs McDonald. Right away, the enthusiasm and charisma of Billy Jaffe was evident, even as the Islanders were getting blown out regularly on the season-opening West Coast trip. Jaffe was quick to win over the Islanders faithful, winning a New York Emmy Award in his very first season.

While Jaffe has been a member of the Versus team since the lockout and has been held in high regard in the media capital of the world, it wasn’t until Jaffe’s regular appearances on NHL Live that he became a household name for hockey diehards. This season, he’s been all over the place, appearing on what seems like every show on the NHL Network. He hasn’t been on Versus as much as I’d like, but he’s in the booth now after spending time as a sideline reporter. Just another notch on the belt of Billy Jaffe.

Billy Jaffe might not be the face of hockey, but he’s a young, likable face in a sport that needs all the media help it can get. A few weeks ago, this very blog asked who would be the play-by-play voice of the future once Doc Emrick retires. If you’re looking for a potential color commentator of the future, Jaffe could easily be the guy. He’s well on his way to great things in this industry, and as an Islanders fan, I’m privileged to hear him call 82 games a year.

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That’s all for me. Thanks again to Steve for the opportunity to guest blog today and for including me with all of the other great bloggers you read this week. Feel free to check me out at The Rivalry. Enjoy your weekend!

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