The Athletic covers hockey

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,181
Cool feature from The Athletic ranking the quality of local broadcasts in the NHL. NESN predictably ranks dead last pretty unanimously. We deserve so much better.

Rest of the rankings here at the piece: https://theathletic.com/1710155/2020/04/01/the-2020-nhl-broadcast-rankings-the-best-and-worst-markets-to-watch-the-games/

31. Boston Bruins
The broadcast: New England Sports Network (NESN) carries Bruins games, with Jack Edwards on play-by-play and Andy Brickley doing colour.



The results: NESN does have its defenders around the league, but they’re outnumbered six-to-one by its detractors, making it by far the most loathed broadcast in hockey. Out-of-market viewers were three times more likely to mention Boston as one of the worst broadcasts in hockey than they were any other team. Local fans tend to be more lenient, but even they are underwhelmed by the product on offer.

Brickley’s commentary generally gets positive reviews in and out of market, but otherwise respondents were merciless.

In market, the most consistent complaint was one of presentation. The screen can be cluttered: for the first period of a January game against Nashville I watched, in addition to the standard scoreboard in the upper left corner of the screen, there was a NESN logo in the upper right and a broad black ticker at the bottom for the first half of the first period. Despite this barrage of graphics, a shot clock for the game was not included.

“Camera work, cuts, replays, graphics, etc. are atrocious,” wrote one respondent, summarizing the feelings of many. “They run a TICKER DURING A HOCKEY GAME.”

Edwards’ passion wins him some fans locally, and even outside Boston there are people who like his work, with one non-Bruins respondent calling him “the definition of chaotic good.” Collectively they’re a drop in the ocean.
No other figure in NHL broadcasting attracted the same level of vitriol that NESN’s play-by-play man garnered.

“I would rather get a colonoscopy from Captain Hook than hear Jack Edwards announce a hockey game,” wrote a voter in Columbus in the most memorable of the many, many comments listing him as the worst play-by-play man in the NHL.

The bottom line: The league’s most biased broadcast is despised outside its local market and doesn’t inspire fans in Boston either.
 

Salem's Lot

Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog!
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Jul 15, 2005
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Gallows Hill
NESN is what it is. A cash cow for FSG. To expect a quality broadcast on the budget they get is too much to ask.
 

The Gray Eagle

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Aug 1, 2001
14,596
I love Jack Edwards and doubly love that he bothers fans of other teams so much. I'm sure fans of other teams much prefer the incredibly boring and lame wallpaper announcing NESN used to have with Dale Arnold.
Screw them, their boring announcers are biased too and their fans too dumb to even realize it.
 

LogansDad

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Nov 15, 2006
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Alamogordo
I must be the only guy who likes Jack. He gave a shit about the team when they stunk under Dave Lewis, and he clearly cares deeply about them now.
I'm mostly there with you, but after over a decade of him his shtick has grown a little tired, and even I roll my eyes when he goes over the top for no apparent reason. I don't know that I would call them the worst in the league, or even close to it, but my wife is a Knights fan so I watch a lot of their games (with the aforementioned Goucher), and he is noticeably better, in my opinion.
 

TheRealness

Don't make him go all Lucic on your ash
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Feb 8, 2006
11,362
The Dirty Shire
I must be the only guy who likes Jack. He gave a shit about the team when they stunk under Dave Lewis, and he clearly cares deeply about them now.
I like Jack too, but he does get on my nerves sometimes. It seems like this year he was missing things, which was unusual for him. Maybe the break will do him good.
 

The Napkin

wise ass al kaprielian
Dope
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Jul 13, 2002
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right here
I'm generally a fan of Jack. I think he's incredibly well prepared and calls a decent game. I also think he would be better if he turned the histrionics down a few levels. Unfortunately it seems like it's happening more lately.
 

durandal1707

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Apr 18, 2007
3,008
When he was on top of things and generally just doing play-by-play, I thought Jack was fine as a hometown broadcaster and his enthusiasm could be endearing at times. But lately he's been calling a lot of game situations completely wrong, saying the incorrect player's name, etc. I could probably forgive a lot of that until he starts on one of his tirades, where he completely loses the plot and makes the NESN broadcast unbearable to watch. Even worse is when he manufactures one, like his rant about Dougie Hamilton's uniform number from yesteryear. It sucks that he has a few years left on his contract because he seems complacent, or worse, emboldened in doing so.
 

TFP

Dope
Dope
Dec 10, 2007
19,181
This was an awesome article where the author setup a group text chain with junior hockey coaches, GM, and Strength Coach and had them all live watch Game 1 between Philly and Montreal and just talk hockey. Excellent stuff.

https://theathletic.com/1988941/2020/08/14/the-hockey-expert-group-text-a-gm-and-four-coaches-watch-an-nhl-game-together/
It was July 30, the last day of the NHL’s exhibition schedule, and I was sitting inside Scotiabank Arena trying to come up with story ideas for the looming playoffs when this one came to me: What if I reached out to some friends and sources from around the hockey world and asked them to join me in a group text for a playoff game?
The idea was simple: Find a handful of people who look at the game in different ways (ideally a general manager, a coach, a skills coach, a strength coach and a player), introduce them, and have them talk shop in real time.
The execution, I knew, would be a little more complicated. Their schedules would have to align for the same game, they would all need to be candid for it to work, and they would have to understand that I’m going to publish everything they say. Nothing could be off the record.
 

The Napkin

wise ass al kaprielian
Dope
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Jul 13, 2002
24,350
right here
Drafting David Pastrnak: How Bruins got a franchise-defining player at No. 25


Keith Gretzky was excited and scared. It was June 27, 2014, and the Bruins’ former director of amateur scouting saw a prize ready to be plucked.
But there was a problem.
The Bruins, owners of the 25th pick, were waiting on one club at No. 24. It was Vancouver.
A month earlier, the Canucks had hired Jim Benning as general manager. Benning was formerly the Bruins’ assistant GM.
Benning, an eight-year Bruins employee, helped write their playbook for the 2014 draft. Not only did Benning know every player his former employer preferred, he shared many of their team-building philosophies.
The Bruins adjusted their list following Benning’s exit. This didn’t guarantee, however, that Benning wouldn’t one-up his former employer.
 

LogansDad

Member
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Nov 15, 2006
19,503
Alamogordo
Drafting David Pastrnak: How Bruins got a franchise-defining player at No. 25


Keith Gretzky was excited and scared. It was June 27, 2014, and the Bruins’ former director of amateur scouting saw a prize ready to be plucked.
But there was a problem.
The Bruins, owners of the 25th pick, were waiting on one club at No. 24. It was Vancouver.
A month earlier, the Canucks had hired Jim Benning as general manager. Benning was formerly the Bruins’ assistant GM.
Benning, an eight-year Bruins employee, helped write their playbook for the 2014 draft. Not only did Benning know every player his former employer preferred, he shared many of their team-building philosophies.
The Bruins adjusted their list following Benning’s exit. This didn’t guarantee, however, that Benning wouldn’t one-up his former employer.
This is an absolutely fantastic article.