Pacific Division TV Season in Review

12 Jul

The Pacific Division ends our season in review of NHL television teams.  I hope you’ve enjoyed our look back at the 2010-11 season in terms of each team.  Our final review is after the jump.  For our previous reviews, click on the following links –


ANAHEIM DUCKS FS West/Prime Ticket John Ahlers & Brian Hayward

Ahlers likes to use plenty of cliches and that hurts his game call.  One of his signature lines is “coast to coast like buttered toast!”  Thank goodness he doesn’t use it more often.  I’ve listened to Ahlers for a long time through his former work with the IHL and Tampa Bay so I’m used to him.  The sad part is he’s gotten worse as time goes by.  I don’t consider Ahlers terrible but he’s often blinded by team loyalty.  Hayward has been with the Ducks since the beginning.  His calls vary from accurate to outlandish.  He loves exclaiming, “what a stop” which is fitting since he was a goalie.  He goes overboard with his love towards goalies.  Kent French is ok as a reporter and the departing Bill MacDonald was always fun to listen to during post-game coverage with Hayward. GRADE: C-

DALLAS STARS FS Southwest/KTXA Ralph Strangis & Daryl Reaugh

These two are the best in the business today.  They have tremendous chemistry and it’s rare that I don’t watch a game that they are calling.  Strangis is able to use humor but he doesn’t get too silly.  He’s able to balance himself which is one reason that he’s so good.  His partner, “Razor” Reaugh is famous for his vocabulary. Razor is more than a great linguist though.  He knows the game inside and out.  He makes great points and always stays on message.  How many other NHL analysts make you drag out a dictionary?  Reaugh does but he does it effectively.  He’s totally unbiased and never holds back.  Even more amazing is that this pair juggles the radio/TV simulcast and it never changes the effectiveness in their calls.  Craig Ludwig is decent as a studio analyst but he doesn’t hold a candle to the guys in the booth.  GRADE: A

LOS ANGELES KINGS FS West/Prime Ticket Bob Miller & Jim Fox

Miller is a legend in the business and is still one of the best.  Even after covering the game for 30 years, he’s still sharp and is a joy to listen to.  He’s concise, accurate and is still passionate about the game.  Fox is passionate but isn’t always concise.  He sometimes rambles and forgets what he’s talking about.  Even with that, he’s fair and when he stays on message, is very solid.  Heidi Androl may have a reputation of being just a pretty face but her feature reports are usually entertaining.  They aren’t always informational but they are worth watching.  Patrick O’Neal is a decent reporter but often fails to ask the right questions or get much information out of the players.  GRADE: B+

PHOENIX COYOTES FS Arizona Dave Strader & Tyson Nash

Strader is certainly on the top of anybody’s list of play by play men.  He’s had plenty of national gigs and he hasn’t lost much since he first joined the Red Wings as an announcer.  He calls the game well and always keeps up with the pace of the game.  He’s rarely unprepared and might make the least mistakes of any announcer in the league.   Nash still needs a little polish and isn’t to Strader’s level yet.  That’s not to say that Nash won’t get there though.  He’s very entertaining and he’s definitely improved since he first stepped into the booth a couple of years ago.  Give this duo another two or three years and they should move up to the top of the ladder.  Todd Walsh is a solid reporter and has done several strong features during intermissions.  My only complaint is when the Yotes bring in kids to help call the game but they need to do everything to try to promote the team better.  GRADE: A-

SAN JOSE SHARKS CSN California Randy Hahn & Drew Remenda

Hahn is a great announcer but his screaming can get on my nerves.  He’s certainly not a screamer like Dave Mishkin but he can get over excited.  I think he calls the game fairly, he just gets too excited about the Sharks but not with outlandish that Jack Edwards does.  Remenda had a short stint with CBC before coming back to the Sharks.  Like Hahn, he’s usually fair and at times, is one of the better analysts in the game.  Unfortunately, he sometimes gets lost with his message and takes a detour.  This rambling takes the game a different direction and hurts the broadcast.  The Sharks have a decent studio team and Bret Hedican has shown quite a bit of improvement as an analyst.  I’d like to see him get a shot as an analyst either on television or as part of a radio broadcast.  GRADE: B+  


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