Legendary broadcaster Doc Emrick left huge shoes to fill when he retired from his position as the voice of the the biggest NHL games on television including the Stanley Cup Finals. It leaves NBC with a big decision as to who should take his place.
According to The New York Post, NBC plans to wait until later in the NHL season before determining who will fill his role. As of now, the front runners are Kenny Albert, Brendan Burke, and John Forslund.
As the face of NBC, Mike Tirico has called games before and is also a potential candidate. Yet with the Summer Olympics scheduled so close to the Stanley Cup Finals, logistics could get in the way, as noted by The Post’s Andrew Marchand.
There are a number of factors weighing on the timing of this decision. The report notes, “NBC wants to show deference to Emrick, who is arguably hockey’s all-time best play-by-player. Its contract with the NHL ends at the conclusion of this year. And, perhaps most importantly, with the pandemic still ongoing, it is possible the schedule could be disrupted. As of right now, the Stanley Cup would conclude on July 9 at the latest.”
As the Rangers’ radio play-by-play announcer, Albert has been calling conference finals games on NBC for years. Burke can be heard calling Islanders games while Forslund recently left his position doing Carolina games. However, all three candidates are no stranger to NBC as they are all already featured on NBC’s regular-season and playoff coverage.
With the start of the NHL season just days away, NBC will follow the NBA’s lead and have announcers call all games locally. Away games will be called in the studio while home games will allow announcers to be in the arena.