Northwest Division TV Season in Review

09 Jul

The Northwest Division is next in our reviews of each NHL television team.  This wide swath has a little bit of everything when it comes to broadcasting.  Our review after the jump.

CALGARY FLAMES Sportsnet West Peter Loubardias & Charlie Simmer

Loubardias is one of the more controversial announcers in the league.  He grates on many people’s nerves especially during his national gig as the voice of the Memorial Cup.  Yes, his goal call can be screeching but he knows his stuff.  Peter is one of the most passionate people about hockey that you will ever meet.  He has knowledge of nearly every player and that shows in his performance.  He’s always accurate and passionate and that more than makes up for any complaints about his voice.  Simmer is an OK analyst.  He likes to stay on point and there’s nothing exciting about him.  He’s an interesting contrast to Loubardias.  Roger Millions is much better in his hosting role than he ever was as the play by play man.  GRADE: B-

COLORADO AVALANCHE Altitude Michael Haynes & Peter McNab

The Altitude broadcasts suffer.  Not necessarily because of their broadcasters but more because of excessive advertising.  Anytime I try to watch an Avs game, ads are thrown up constantly.  There’s constant pop-ups and tickers thrown at me.  Even ad graphics are shown when going to a replay.  I’m sure they need money but they need to tone down their commercialism.  Haynes is a decent guy, but I prefer him on the radio.  His call doesn’t translate nearly as well on tv.  I think he rambles a little too much and he’s a little too biased for my taste.  He’s also prone to making mistakes. McNab also suffers from the rambling habit.  He can also come across as condescending.  At one time, I considered McNab one of the better analysts but those days are gone.  Altitude does a decent job when it comes to studio work with Mark Rycroft as their main analyst but the advertising cuts down on the amount of time they can run features.  GRADE: C

EDMONTON OILERS Sportsnet West Kevin Quinn & Louie Debrusk

Quinn is one of the most underappreciated guys in the league.  He’s stuck broadcasting for a terrible team that many people outside of Alberta don’t care to see.  Thats too bad because they are missing one of the best. Quinn is passionate and a joy to listen to.  It would not surprise me to see Quinn move up to a network role someday similar to Jim Hughson.  I really believe he has that much of a future.  Debrusk isn’t as solid as Quinn.  He makes plenty of excuses for his team, but that’s not much different than how most home team analysts operate.  Quinn would be better off working with a better partner.  I don’t think Debrusk is up to his level and that’s holding Quinn back.  GRADE: B-

MINNESOTA WILD FS North/KSTC Dan Terhaar & Mike Greenlay

Terhaar’s background is in radio but he does a fine job on the television side.  He’s always enthusiastic and has made a good transition to tv.  I’m not sure if I enjoy him over the Gophers’ casters but he’s still pretty good and keeps up a nice pace.  Greenlay’s background is in college hockey so he’s perfect for “The State of Hockey.” He’s among the most knowledgable analysts out there and is pleasant to listen to.  Where the Wild shine is during the intermissions.  They have some terrific segments and features.  Darby Hendrickson and Kevin Gorg are great foils to Greenlay and give you a reason to not flip over during intermissions.  A poor part of their broadcasting is the lack of more HD broadcasts but we hear that’s changing in the near future. GRADE: B

VANCOUVER CANUCKS Sportsnet Pacific John Shorthouse & John Garrett

Shorthouse had some big shoes to fill when replacing Jim Hughson but he’s handled it well.  He has a good tone and keeps up with the play.  I don’t prefer him to Hughson but it doesn’t make me miss Hughson really. He can get a little too biased but that seems to be a tradition for Canucks guys.  Once you get past that, he does a good job.  I’ve always enjoyed Garrett and I miss him on Hockey Night in Canada.  He has a bad habit of being a know it all which hurts his credibility.  Besides that, I think he’s solid.  He can get off topic but is still one of better guys out there.  The Canucks have a good reporter in Dan Murphy and they have some of the better Sportsnet intermissions.  Their reporter roundtables are a mini version of the Hotstove and they usually have a good panel.  Murphy moderates them well and it’s fun to watch.  GRADE: B+



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