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Ranking Those Who Broadcast Our Game On TV

from Derek Zona of SBNation,

ONE STAR (or less)

Ken Daniels, Mickey Redmond, Larry Murphy - Detroit Red Wings: Listening to the Red Wings crew is like sitting at your local watering hole and watching the game with the sound off. Redmond and Murphy tell tale after tale, interrupt Daniels at every turn, attempting to one-up each other from the pre-game show to the final horn, laugh uproariously and rarely pay attention to the action on the ice.  Daniels, to his credit, tries to call a game every once in awhile, but typically gives up by the second period.

FIVE STARS

Pete Weber, Terry Crisp - Nashville Predators: Another pairing hidden away in an extremely weak television market, Weber and Crisp know what they’re talking about and connect with both the stereotypical “new Southern hockey fan” and long-time fans alike. Crisp played for a decade and won two Stanley Cups, then coached for a decade and won another, and he puts all of that experience into each broadcast.

He has no fear of taking a Predator to task for poor play or a mistake. He’s plugged in with the Preds and is quick to point out when an inside tip about a tactic or strategy is applied on the ice. Weber calls a fair and error-free game and moves seamlessly from explaining the basics of the game to calling out line chances and on-ice play.

more broadcast teams listed…

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Comments

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Andy from FightNight's avatar

Giving the Preds’ bumbling crew five stars while giving FSD one is just stupid. Murph drags them down a bit, but Ken and Mick are A class.

Posted by Andy from FightNight on 07/12/11 at 09:19 AM ET

Avatar

Pretty harsh on the Detroit crew, eh?  Since this was clearly your own opinion and no criteria seems to have been set, there is no point in arguing what you believe.  However, I will say that as an ex-Michigan native who had to move, I really missed hearing those guys call the games.  Missed it enough in fact to switch my broadcast provider and upgrade my package deal just to hear those guys calling the games. 

Ken Daniels calls it as it is - I mean, Versus’s let him call a few games at the end of the year this past season. 

Micky Redmond - that guy puts things into perspective like no one else…example given: “What’s that hanging from the top right corner? A jock strap, because Pavel Datsyuk just undressed Niklas Backstrom”.

Larry Murphy - HOFer with great insight into the game.  Clearly, you have never watched “Lessons with Larry”  smile

Posted by fmer on 07/12/11 at 09:27 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

The Detroit crew was easily 4 stars when it was just Daniels and Mick—Murphy was always okay between periods, but he is not smooth on television and is prone to pointless, incoherent rambling. I think adding him was a mistake. I think 1 star is unfair given how good Daniels and Mickey are, but I can admit Murphy is quite awful and really drags it down a a star or two.

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/12/11 at 09:32 AM ET

perfection's avatar

uproariously funny if you ask me. i actually thought for a minute that “one star” MUST be the best and “five stars” simply MUST be the worst. Ken Daniels is indisputably one of the best play by play guys in the business if not sports. Bubba…. well, not so much IMO.

i don’t actually care enough to read anymore about this (especially when the rankings are so obviously absurd), but it’s hard not to wonder if the boys in Anaheim also got 5 stars… I can’t stand them. Or LA. Or San Jose.

But maybe I’m the one who’s wrong… after all, I can’t STAND “Edzo” and he just seems to get hired by every network for every game. But I also live in Chicago where he does local Hawks games and his smugness is amplified exponentially for these. He drives me crazy with his perpetual loud, obnoxious, wrongness. I actually think he gets all of the national games because he’s the most “American” sounding color guy they can find who isn’t totally incoherent.

Posted by perfection from LaLaLand on 07/12/11 at 09:39 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

eh they Give a Glowing rating to Jeff Rimer who Sucks

Posted by Evilpens on 07/12/11 at 09:46 AM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Profile of writer:  “Derek Zona is the only Edmonton Oilers fan marooned in Western Pennsylvania. He spends his time talking about PDO and Fenwick with dumbfounded Penguins fans”

That alone makes him sound like he’d have a great national perspective on the game.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/12/11 at 09:55 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

When did everyone decide the announcer and commentators for the teams’ radio and TV broadcasts should be objective?

These are guys that travel with the team all season. I think in most cases they are actually getting paychecks from the team they work for, not the radio or TV station.

There’s an obvious problem when you have a call as homer-ish as that call when Seabrook got injured, but I think that’s the exception to the rule.

I think a good hometown crew should slant toward the team they cover—I don’t care about what’s going on with the opposition team, that’s why I watch the Wings broadcast…

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/12/11 at 09:57 AM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

But Nathan, if they’re not objective, then how will all of those poor misguided hockey fans ever be able to show their faces when talking about how much they love their team? 

Home-town announcers are a plague on this great sport and a distraction from the universal truths that we should all accept while rooting for or against grown men playing a game for our amusement.

...I think stuff like this comes from fans of horrible teams. There’s not much to be homerexcited for coming out of Edmonton these days. If it’s hard to get excited about your own team, then it’s easy to begrudge people doing the same for theirs.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/12/11 at 10:09 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

So they ranked the St. Louis, Columbus, Washington, and Nashville broadcasts over the Detroit and New Jersey?  Beninoti and Rimer might be the worst in the business.  This guy needs to lay off the sauce.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/12/11 at 10:19 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

bezukov AMEN !

Posted by Evilpens on 07/12/11 at 10:32 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

Posted by Evilpens on 07/12/11 at 09:32 AM ET

You seem to be as tired with Rimer as I am, are you in the CBJ viewing area?

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/12/11 at 10:43 AM ET

SnLO's avatar

So he (Derek Zona) writes: The rankings below are entirely subjective, but I’ve used the same criteria to rank each crew—criteria that are flushed out as we go.

Other than citing homerism against the local home broadcast team, the criteria does not really flush out as he indicates (other than personal preference, which I’m sure must be born of some sort of bias).  This whole ranking is only worth the paper, er… ink…. uh… cyberspace it’s written on. Then again, if it’s objective is to generate hits for advertisers, it may be effective, and I suppose that’s worth something to somebody.

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 07/12/11 at 10:45 AM ET

SnLO's avatar

Opps. Insert/replace if its objective in that last sentence

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 07/12/11 at 10:47 AM ET

Hootinani's avatar

Ken and Mickey are the only non-biased announcers in the game.  They both have no problem calling out a Wing for stupid play or acknowledging that a Detroit player just got away with a call.  Guys like Olcyk, Crisp, Rimer, the Hurricanes and Kings crews all watch and report every play and call through team-colored glasses.  And none of them would even be able to get through a broadcast if you took away the cliches and buzz words like dynamic, fronting, physicality, stick-to-it-tiveness and so on.

The fact that Mickey has the guts to call the refs on their BS instead of making the same damn excuse of “they have the hardest job in any sport” makes me love him even more.

Anywho, this list is about as accurate as Pierre McGuire’s play-by-play, so I’ll keep enjoying listening to the best crew in sports, and continue to hit the mute button every time the Olcyk’s of the hockey world open their mouth.

Posted by Hootinani on 07/12/11 at 10:48 AM ET

Avatar

I was so excited to show you all subjective proof substantiating my claim from last year that Weber and Crisp are two of the best.  Then they went and ranked Rimer just as highly.  Perhaps I should reconsider my position.

Posted by VandyBuck on 07/12/11 at 10:50 AM ET

Nate A's avatar

Hmm….must be Opposite Day. They still do that right?

Posted by Nate A from Detroit-ish on 07/12/11 at 10:58 AM ET

Avatar

My God.
Rimmer?
I’m a wings fan living in columbus and it amazes me how frequently it seems like he’s not even watching the game he’s calling. Some of the shit he comes up with is terrible tripe. And I’m not even talking about when he’s being an absolute homer to a shitty team.

Posted by teldar on 07/12/11 at 11:01 AM ET

Evilpens's avatar

bezukov Nope Get NHL Center Ice

Posted by Evilpens on 07/12/11 at 11:02 AM ET

statelouis26's avatar

I agree with most of the posters here, this article sucks balls and for the most part is backwards.  I love Ken and Murph.  Murph is a classic who has great stories and keeps the game interesting.  Sure he’s a homer but guess what, that’s a good thing.  Someone who has an opinion is a good thing.  Kenny is good and does oversensationalize the game like friggen doc.  That man deserves a Richard Zednick.  As soon as anyone enters either zone he screams.  I have a headache afterwards.  The fact he and his dufus partners from versus are better just demonstrate the worthlessness of the article.  Olczek, Jones, and Engblom will start the game drooling over shane doan and the next period they’ll be knockin him and drooling over parise.  garbage

Posted by statelouis26 from Detroit, MI on 07/12/11 at 11:03 AM ET

Avatar

I should have added that even my wife (Canadian but doesn’t watch as much hockey as I do) can agree that he’s a buffoon with no idea about what’s going on during a game.
In short, AARGH.
Rimmer.

Posted by teldar on 07/12/11 at 11:05 AM ET

Nathan's avatar

Posted by Hootinani on 07/12/11 at 09:48 AM ET

C’mon now… they favor the Wings, it’s clear as day, but my point is, they SHOULD. I will give you that Mick is always playing “call out bad officiating” regardless of who it benefits/hurts, but that’s just one part.

Objectivity on announcing and commentary is only important for a national broadcast (NBC, Versus, CBC, TSN).

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/12/11 at 11:06 AM ET

Red Winger's avatar

I was just thinking this past winter how poor Weber and Crisp are, while watching a Preds game.

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie on 07/12/11 at 11:13 AM ET

Avatar

Ken Daniels is EASILY one of the best call guys in sports, hockey or otherwise. Murph is a goober, but he’s a HOF goober. Mick is, well Mick…if you’re a Wings fan you gotta love him. As for Terry Crisp….BWAHAHAHAHA.

Posted by godblender on 07/12/11 at 11:14 AM ET

Avatar

Objectivity on announcing and commentary is only important for a national broadcast (NBC, Versus, CBC, TSN).

I agree with you.  I know how bad the penguins guys are at being homers, but i also remember when mike lange would at times feel like the homer for the away team and it would drive me crazy.  they play to their audience as they should… unless a national broadcast.

Posted by gretzky_to_lemieux on 07/12/11 at 11:19 AM ET

bezukov's avatar

bezukov Nope Get NHL Center Ice

Posted by Evilpens on 07/12/11 at 10:02 AM ET

Right on.  Keep on preachin’ the good word my man.

My God.
Rimmer?
I’m a wings fan living in columbus and it amazes me how frequently it seems like he’s not even watching the game he’s calling. Some of the shit he comes up with is terrible tripe. And I’m not even talking about when he’s being an absolute homer to a shitty team.

Posted by teldar on 07/12/11 at 10:01 AM ET

Its good to see I’m not the only one stuck listening to this guy when the Wings play the CBJ.  I hate their broadcast.  Bill Davidge has a hockey career barely worth mentioning (not to mention the worst record ever for a Miami University hockey coach) and Rimer usually seems like he is lost.  They are the worst in the game.  This article blew me away.

Ken, Mickey, and Larry might get off track, but they are simply fun to listen to.  I’ll take a crew with some personality any day.  This guy seems to think sheer play by play is the gold standard.  I couldn’t disagree more.  Tv isn’t radio, I don’t need to hear what each player is doing at every moment because I can see it for myself.  Mickey makes the game more personal, and there aren’t too many broadcasts with the historical perspective that Mickey brings to the table.  If that means the occasionally get side tracked thats fine with me, I have a set of eyes to follow the game, and unlike the moron fans in Nashville and Columbus I don’t need someone to spoon feed me the game.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/12/11 at 11:25 AM ET

NIVO's avatar

I love Ken and Mick. I’ve always loved the fact that they are the only ones who will speak if they see a Wing do a bad thing. The honesty is there. And as for Mick “hating on the refs” I think he has the same mindset as myself. He gets frustrated with refs calling piddly mediocre crap and ruining the flow of the game. That goes for both teams, not just my Wings. But if I may add a duo I have loved forever, it was Gary Thorne and Bill Clement. Thorne is one of the few that actually kept me going and gave me the “edge of my seat” excitement as he called some exhilarating scenarios. I so wish Versus or NBC would pick up a contract for that guy.

Posted by NIVO from underpants gnome village on 07/12/11 at 11:31 AM ET

Avatar

He seems to get the premier announcer right, Weber is excellent and Bob Miller in LA is a legend. Knowing the thin skins in Detroit would squeal over anything that criticizes the franchise, his comments are right on. Redmond is a baboon and begins his howling about bad calls against Detroit before the first puck drops. Being a homer isn’t a crime, but being stupid is another thing.

Posted by timbits on 07/12/11 at 11:46 AM ET

Avatar

Terry Crisp is one of the very worst color guys in hockey. Harry Neale used to be solid but he’s pretty bad now. I also can’t stand Drew Remenda. Peter Mcnabb is also one level too high. As far as teams go, Loubardias and Simmer aren’t bad. They aren’t a five star crew but near as I can tell there are no five star crews on that list to begin with…especially not the Preds pair. Pretty surprised he put the Wings’ crew so low, though.

I guess I just disagree with pretty much everything that guy wrote which is fine since it’s an opinion piece.

Posted by Iggy Rules on 07/12/11 at 12:10 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I don’t care how they rated DET’s crew (and I can’t tell youo how much, as a WIngs fan, I hate Larry Murphy and that they still allow him on TV), fact is that the “top” crews they listed are really, really bad.

The Preds announcers in particular are horrible.  I’ve seen better broadcasting from college kids, or even HS kids.

The best broadcast team in the league WAS Dave Strader and Darren Pang in Phoenix.  But the Coyotes/NHL were too stupid to renew Pang, who now is stuck in St. Louis with a goober as a partner.  And Strader is stuck with Tyson Nash, who at times makes Larry Murphy look friggin’ coherent.

Pat Foley and Ed Olczyk are awful.  As much as I hate Olczyk, I’m pretty sure I hate Foley even more.  And I hate Olczyk a lot.  But Foley has no redeeming qualities at all, even when Olczyk can accidentally stumble into making a good observation or point.  Mick Foley would be better than Pat Foley, even minus all those brian cells Mick Foley’s lost…

Sam Rosen is AWFUL.  Aside from having a terrible voice, he often doesn’t relay the actual play of what’s going on (I’ve literally seen him get confused and give up and start making things up), and is far easily sidetracked.

Rick Jeanneret is an absolute affront to the sport and his time behind the mic cannot end soon enough.

What we learned from this article I guess is that Derek Zona is an idiot and a fan of self-promoters and clowns, instead of just a hockey fan and the game being called the RIGHT way.  He’s not there to watch the hockey, he’s apparently tuning in to be “entertained”.

Posted by Primis on 07/12/11 at 12:14 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Redmond is a baboon and begins his howling about bad calls against Detroit before the first puck drops. Being a homer isn’t a crime, but being stupid is another thing.

Posted by timbits on 07/12/11 at 10:46 AM ET

Yeah, I hate it when all of those stupid baboon announcers get inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame for their stupid baboon broadcasting.

http://www.kuklaskorner.com/index.php/tmr/comments/red_wings_broadcaster_mickey_redmond_reflects_on_hockey_hall_of_fame_induct/

Idiot.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/12/11 at 12:14 PM ET

Avatar

Idiot

You have that one cornered.

Posted by timbits on 07/12/11 at 12:33 PM ET

Leo_Racicot's avatar

Being a homer isn’t a crime, but being stupid is another thing.
Posted by timbits on 07/12/11 at 10:46 AM ET

I’m lost on these sentiments, timmy.  You of all people should know that sweeping generalizations are received as dead on arrival commentary, I expect more from a varsity letterman like yourself.

Posted by Leo_Racicot on 07/12/11 at 12:34 PM ET

SnLO's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/12/11 at 11:14 AM ET

Nice dig

Posted by SnLO from beyond the M-1 on 07/12/11 at 12:35 PM ET

WingsFaninCO's avatar

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/12/11 at 11:14 AM ET

Nice new avatar

Idiot

You have that one cornered.

Posted by timbits on 07/12/11 at 11:33 AM ET

is that really the best response you have?  You are presented with a coherent response refuting your initial position with fact and this is what you come up with?

Posted by WingsFaninCO on 07/12/11 at 12:47 PM ET

Avatar

I am one of those few that follow the Panthers and I absolutely can’t stand to listen to Billy Lindsey. He is terrible, he bumbles his words and makes awful open mic type jokes. He speeds through like he just drank ten cups of coffee. They went back to the red jerseys, now if only they would bring back Denis Potvin. Billy Lindsey is so bad I often turn down the sound and watch the game with music playing so I don’t have to listen to Lindsey. Whoever this idiot is that wrote this article he should be fired. He has no idea what he is writing about.

Posted by Puckbubba from FL. on 07/12/11 at 01:09 PM ET

J.J. from Kansas's avatar

Redmond is a baboon and begins his howling about bad calls against Detroit before the first puck drops

You got this completely wrong. I don’t know if you’re only listening to half the broadcast or if you just happened to hear Mick on the worst day of his career, but anybody who watches him can tell you that Mickey Redmond loves complaining about refs regardless of the team.

If cliches are such a big problem, then somebody should make a count of how often he tells the audience “all I’m sayin’ is that you wouldn’t be real happy if the refs had called that one on one of our guys”

It’s funny that what seems to be your complaint isn’t even echoed by Derek Zona up there.

Posted by J.J. from Kansas on 07/12/11 at 01:12 PM ET

Hootinani's avatar

C’mon now… they favor the Wings, it’s clear as day

Posted by Nathan from the scoresheet! on 07/12/11 at 10:06 AM ET

Well, since you put it that way…..

Do they root for the Wings?  Absolutely, at least Mickey does, anyway.  Sometimes Kenny shouts so loud for an opponent’s goal that I have to do a doubletake to make sure I didn’t just miss a Wing’s goal.

But they are just as hard on Wings’ players and coaches as they are on the opposition, and they do it night after night.  They are the most honest duo in the league, and they do it from a genuine perspective, not just slapping together a bunch of catch phrases and buzz words to make them look hockey savvy.

Posted by Hootinani on 07/12/11 at 01:12 PM ET

mrfluffy's avatar

Haines and McNabb are that high?

The same guy that deep throats the mic every time the Avs score, then a barely whispered score when the opposition scores?


Right.

Oh…speaking of homer announcers, didn’t Kenny do some work for Versus and NBC this year on nationally televised broadcasts? Yeah…I thought so.

Posted by mrfluffy from A wide spot on I-90 in Montana on 07/12/11 at 01:16 PM ET

Slumpy's avatar

I’ve watched a lot of out market broadcast on center ice cable tv so here’s my favs:
Jeanneret/Neale. By far the most entertaining for me to listen to cal a game. Sad to hear Jeanneret is retiring.
Edwards/Brickley. Another entertaining combo. I don’t mind homer broadcasters. I listen to be entertained and those two work well together.
The rest of the leagues broadcast teams imo are full of one member of team making me want to turn off the volume on my tv.
Emrick. Calls games with detail they only a radio broadcaster should plus voice makes my hangovers worse.
Olczyk. His laugh disturbs me. His boss should ban him from ever laughing on air.
Fox. Miller is old school good broadcaster then there is Fox who has delivery of a used car saleman or informerical guy trying to sell you crap.
Daniels. Redmond always has been entertaining to me to listen to but Daniels is so overbearing and such a motor mouth that I find myself having to almost turn the volume off my tv during games.
Glad I live near the border because the CBC broadcasters are still the best in the NHL imo, any of there broadcaster pairings. TSN’s broadcasters too are top notch.
US. I listen to be entertained and those two still by far do the best job with camera work and broadcasting in that department over the US broadcasters.

Posted by Slumpy from Detroit on 07/12/11 at 01:20 PM ET

bezukov's avatar

The thing I have the most respect for about the FSDET broadcast is the respect with which the other team is treated.  They make a point to highlight milestones for opponent players, opponent teams, and they always interview someone on the opponent squad, every game.  Watching the CBJ on the FSOHIO feed is a whole different experience.  Very little, if anything is said to complement the opponent team, and opponent players are never interviewed.

Here is a prime example of Jeff Rimer sucking:

Strahlman goes knee to knee on Patrick Kane.  When Brouwer takes on Strahlman for throwing a cheapo, Rimer wants the fight stopped because, “Strahlman’s not a fighter.”  Never mind that players who throw hits like that should expect a fight.  The guy knows nothing about the game.

Posted by bezukov from the kids are alright. on 07/12/11 at 01:24 PM ET

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