As the NHL Playoffs get set to start next month, one team’s television broadcasts will have a different sound. Earlier this month it was reported that the Carolina Hurricanes had not come to terms on a new deal with TV play-by-play man John Forslund. On Thursday, the team announced that on-ice reporter Mike Maniscalco would take over play-by-play duties for the team’s games on FOX Sports Carolinas.
“It’s bittersweet,” Maniscalco told Luke DeCock of the News Observer. “That’s the only word I can use.”
Maniscalco joined the Canes’ television crew at the start of the 2016-2017 season after exiting Buzz Sports Radio and 99.9 the Fan in Raleigh, where he hosted pre and postgame coverage of the team. In addition to serving as on-ice reporter, Maniscalco hosted intermission reports and pre-game coverage on FOX Sports Carolinas.
He gives a lot of credit to his predecessor. Maniscalco told Barrett Sports Media that John Forslund was integral in helping him make the transition from radio to TV.
“John taught me to be myself and not to change because there is a camera,” Maniscalco said. “He told me be the guy on the radio that I had always been and everything else takes care of itself.”
Forslund will still be calling hockey when games restart. He will be in Toronto, inside of the NHL’s Eastern Conference bubble, calling games for NBC.
Hurricanes management offered Forslund a new contract when his expired on July 1. Under the new deal, he would become an independent contractor and offer a bonus structure tied to attendance. Although Forslund chose not to sign, team GM Don Waddell said that the team would “keep the door open” for Forslund to return.
“That’s nice of him to say. But what does that really mean, though?” Forslund asked in an interview with The Athletic’s Sara Civian. “There’s no dialogue. I would never look at a statement like that and scoff at it, but I want the reality to be there too, of, there isn’t anything happening. I don’t want any false pretense or anything like that with the fans. There’s nothing happening between myself and the team. And until that happens — or if it never happens that’s understandable — then I have to deal with the reality of being free for the first time in my career. It’s the first time in my career I’ve been in a position like this. I’m not really good at it.”
Waddell said that he likes the crew in place and “we’ll get through this and see where we go.”
The team has not committed to Maniscalco remaining in the play-by-play seat beyond the end of this season. Still, he says the opportunity to call NHL playoff hockey for this club “means everything” to him.
“Rod Brind’Amour, the rest of the coaching staff, the players, the training staff and doctors, the front office, everyone there has always treated me so well,” he told BSM via text. “It’s an honor to have this opportunity. I want to carry on the tradition of excellent broadcasters the club have had and do the best job possible for as long as they let me.”
The Carolina Hurricanes open the qualifying round with a best of five series against the New York Rangers on August 1. Maniscalco will work with Tripp Tracey, who remains as the color commentator for Hurricanes games on FOX Sports Carolinas.
Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys
The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.
Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.
But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.
Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.
Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:
Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.
Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”
Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.
The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.
Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.
“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”
Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”
He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.
Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.
NFL Likely To Launch NFL+ Streaming Service This Summer
“A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+.”
According to the Sports Business Journal, consumers could be downloading NFL+ by July. Now, just what NFL+ will be is still yet to be finalized.
Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal reported in the site’s newsletter that live games will certainly be at the center of the league-owned streaming service. It is likely to only be available on phones and tablets with no option to stream to a larger monitor.
The viewing options would be limited. No out of market games would be available on the app. It is meant to replace the deals that recently expired with Yahoo and mobile phone carriers that recently expired.
The app could also include other content. Radio calls, team-created digital content, and league-owned podcasts are all options.
A source tells Fischer that a $5 per month price has been discussed for NFL+. The pricing structure can and likely will change before the app hits the market.