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Bob Cole Still Calling The Games

from Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail,

There is much about the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs that is unusual. Not the least of which is the prospect of Phoenix meeting New Jersey in the “Insolvent versus In Chapter 11” final series. But one tradition has endured into another playoff year: Bob Cole calling games for Hockey Night In Canada.

Not everyone is cheered by this, of course. While Cole still has the booming church-organ pipes, his recall of names and faces leaves a number of fans boiling. On the “either you love him or hate him” barometer Cole ranks right up there with Pierre McGuire and Greg Millen in terms of response. He’s the link to HNIC’s glorious past, but many of our correspondents feel he should already be a part of that past now.

continued plus more NHL topics related to broadcasting…

Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: bob+cole



Bob Cole is a consummate professional and gentleman. I appreciate his fair and objective game call. He respects the opponent and the audience. He isn’t a homer and maybe that is why some in the Great white North don’t like him. Sure his age is showing and he does make mistakes on names, but I don’t care that much. The other second string “national announcer” Lee is like listening to paint dry. Yes, it is even more boring than watching it.

Posted by timbits on 05/06/12 at 10:01 PM ET


Has anyone seen NHL viewership numbers for Canada in round 2? I’m all for more eyeballs on NBC in the U.S., but is there a big cost in terms of viewers in Canada? Presumably, a million viewers in the U.S. counts for the same as a million in Canada—whether its positive or negative.

Just trying to get a grasp on whether “total” North American viewership is going up, or down. I suspect the latter just because of the group of teams in the second round. Only one original six—and one that isn’t followed the way Detroit/Boston/Chicago are, no Canadian teams. Also some pretty boring hockey markets like St. Louis, Phoenix, Florida, and New Jersey (no offence to the teams or the fans, but these aren’t exactly the most exciting storylines—great for the teams and fans, but not much beyond that).

Anyone seen numbers? Tried Puck the Media already.


Posted by Mike from Toronto on 05/06/12 at 10:27 PM ET


He isn’t a homer and maybe that is why some in the Great white North don’t like him.

The main reason some in the Great White North don’t like him is because his age is showing and he often gets the names wrong.  He also rambles and meanders.  He also often randomly abandons a thought mid-sentence to start a new one.  He also often makes a decision about what happened on a play and won’t admit he was wrong when replay after replay after replay show that he was wrong.

And if you think he’s not a homer then you’ve never heard him call a Leafs game.

Posted by Garth on 05/06/12 at 11:08 PM ET

wolverine's avatar

I agree with Timbits.  I like Cole when I hear him.  Harry Caray was a legend in Chicago.  Screwed up names and plays like Cole does, but he’s got history man, and you can’t teach that in broadcast school.

Posted by wolverine on 05/06/12 at 11:15 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I really think it’s sad Cole is still calling games, much like I always thought it was sad people continued to let Harry Caray call games even once it was clear his mind was leaving him.

Listening to Cole is downright awkward and uncomfortable at times.

Posted by Primis on 05/07/12 at 12:15 AM ET


What Garth said. Cole often misses penalties and other things that happen during the play, and it’s left to Galley and Healy - the *analysts* - to fill in the viewers on what’s happening. His job is play-by-play. To report what’s happening on the ice to the viewers. I’m sorry, but right now he’s failing at his job. The CBC needs to find someone who can do it adequately.

I respect Cole’s place in the history of the game, and he’s still got one of the best voices going, but he’s not doing the basics of what a PxP man needs to do.

Posted by dzuunmod on 05/07/12 at 01:07 PM ET


Oh, and Mike from Toronto: A blog called “Canadian Sports Media Blog” posts Canadian NHL (and other sports) ratings once or twice per week. Here is the most recent post on ratings: http://canadiansportsfan.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/canadian-sports-ratings-update-may-2-2012/

Posted by dzuunmod on 05/07/12 at 01:08 PM ET

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