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List of American Stanley Cup Finals television announcers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of American Stanley Cup Finals television announcers.


Announcer Years Network(s)
Al Albert 1985 USA Network[1][2][3]
Kenny Albert 2014 (Game 1); 2021 NBC/NBCSN
Marv Albert 1976-1977 NHL Network
Ted Darling 1976 NHL Network
Win Elliot[4] 1966 NBC
Mike Emrick 19871988; 19951999; 20062020 ESPN
Dan Kelly 19691972; 19771980; 19821985 CBS[10][11][12][13]
NHL Network
USA Network[14][15][16][17][18][19][20]
Jiggs McDonald 19891992 SportsChannel America
Stu Nahan 19671968 CBS
Sam Rosen 1986 ESPN
Tim Ryan 19731975; 1980 NBC[21]
Gary Thorne 19932004 ESPN
Ken Wilson 1986 ESPN
Bob Wolff 1966 RKO General

NBC aired Games 1 and 4[22] of the 1966 Stanley Cup Finals between the Montreal Canadiens and the Detroit Red Wings. Win Elliot served as the play-by-play man while Bill Mazer served as the color commentator for the games.[23]

For the 1968 playoffs, Jim Gordon worked play-by-play and Stu Nahan worked color commentator and intermission interviews for CBS. During the regular season, Gordon and Nahan[24] alternated roles each week. For instance, Gordon did the worked play-by-play on December 30 while Nahan worked play-by-play the next week. In 1968–69,[25] Dan Kelly did play-by-play while Bill Mazer did color and intermission interviews.[26][27] While Dan Kelly once again handled all of the play-by-play work in 1971, Jim Gordon replaced Bill Mazer[28] in 1970–71. For the CBS' Stanley Cup Finals coverage during this period, a third voice was added to the booth (Phil Esposito in 1971 and Harry Howell in 1972).

From 1972–73[29]1974–75,[30] NBC not only televised the Stanley Cup Finals[31] (including a couple of games in prime time[32]), but also weekly regular season games on Sunday afternoons. NBC also aired one regular season and a couple of playoff games in prime time during the first couple of seasons. Tim Ryan and Ted Lindsay (with Brian McFarlane as the intermission host) served as the commentators for NBC's NHL coverage during this period.[33][34][35]

For the Stanley Cup Finals, Jiggs McDonald[36] served as the play-by-play man while Bill Clement was the color commentator for SportsChannel America. Also during the Stanley Cup Finals, Mike Emrick[37][38][39] served as the host while John Davidson[40]> served as the rinkside[41][42] and intermission analyst[43] (Herb Brooks filled that role in 1989).

2003 was the only year that ABC broadcast both the NBA and the Stanley Cup Finals that involved teams from one city in the same year, as both the New Jersey Nets and the New Jersey Devils were in their respective league's finals. During ABC's broadcast of game three between the San Antonio Spurs and the Nets in New Jersey on June 8, Brad Nessler, Tom Tolbert and Bill Walton said that ABC was in a unique situation getting ready for both that game and game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals between the Devils and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim the following night, also at Continental Airlines Arena. Gary Thorne, Bill Clement and John Davidson mentioned this the following night, and thanked Nessler, Tolbert and Walton for promoting ABC's broadcast of game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals.[44]

CBC feeds (1978-1981)

Announcer Years Network(s)
Bob Cole 19801981 Hughes
USA Network
Danny Gallivan 1978 NHL Network
Dan Kelly 19781980 NHL Network
Jim Robson 1980 Hughes

Color commentators

Announcer Years Network(s)
Don Awrey 1977 NHL Network
Curt Bennett 1976
Brian Boucher 2020–present NBC/NBCSN
Bill Clement 19862004 ESPN[45]
SportsChannel America
John Davidson 19951999; 20032004; 2006 Fox
Phil Esposito 1971 CBS
Emile Francis 1966 RKO General
Jim Gordon 19671968; 19711972 CBS
Gary Green 19821985 USA Network
Harry Howell 1972 CBS
Ted Lindsay 19731975 NBC
Mike Liut 1985 USA Network
Bill Mazer 19691970 CBS
Pierre McGuire 20062019 NBC/NBCSN
Stan Mikita 1976 NHL Network
Lou Nanne 1980 CBS
Eddie Olczyk 2007–present Versus
Mickey Redmond 1986, 1988 ESPN
Chico Resch 1976 NHL Network
Garry Unger

CBC feeds (19781981)

Announcer Years Network(s)
Gary Dornhoefer 19791981 NHL Network
USA Network
Dick Irvin Jr. 19781980 NHL Network
Bobby Orr 1979 NHL Network
Mickey Redmond 1981 USA Network

Ice-level reporters

Announcer Years Network(s)
Erin Andrews 2004 ESPN
Brian Boucher 2020–present NBC/NBCSN
Herb Brooks 1989 SportsChannel America
John Davidson 19901992 SportsChannel America
Brian Engblom 19962003 ESPN
Bob Harwood 20062010 OLN/Versus
Jim Kelly 1986 ESPN
Steve Levy 19941999; 20012004 ESPN
Pierre McGuire 2006–present OLN/Versus
Joe Micheletti 1995-1999 Fox
Tom Mees 19871988; 1993 ESPN
Al Morganti 19932002 ESPN
Sandra Neil 1996 Fox
Mickey Redmond 1988 ESPN
Darren Pang 1996-2004; 2011 ESPN
Sam Ryan 20032004 ESPN
Christine Simpson 1997; 20062009 Fox
Charissa Thompson 2010 Versus

Studio hosts

Announcer Years Network(s)
Al Albert 1983 (in Long Island) USA Network
Chris Berman 20032004 ESPN
James Brown 19951998 Fox
Bill Clement 20062007 OLN/Versus
Bill Cullen 1966 NBC
Mike Emrick 19891992 SportsChannel America[46][47][48][49]
Jim Gordon 19711972 CBS
Suzy Kolber 1999 Fox
Bill Mazer 19691970 CBS
Brian McFarlane 19731975 NBC
Liam McHugh 20112019 NBC/NBCSN
Tom Mees 19861988 ESPN[50]
Al Michaels 20002002 ABC
Bob Neumeier 2008 NBC
Darren Pang 2009 NBC
Bill Patrick 20082011 Versus
Dan Patrick 20102011 NBC
Tim Ryan 1980 CBS
John Saunders 19932004 ESPN
Jim Simpson 1966 NBC
Kathryn Tappen 2016–present NBC/NBCSN
Mike Tirico 20172019 NBC
Al Trautwig 19821985 USA Network
Jim Van Horne 1982 (in Vancouver)

NBC's coverage of the 1966 Stanley Cup Finals marked the first time that hockey games were broadcast on network television in color.[51] The CBC would follow suit the following year. NBC's Stanley Cup coverage preempted a sports anthology series called NBC Sports in Action, hosted by Jim Simpson and Bill Cullen, who were between-periods co-hosts for the Stanley Cup broadcasts.

In the 1981–82 season,[52] Al Trautwig[53] took over as studio host for the USA Network. Dan Kelly did play-by-play with either Gary Green[54][55] or Rod Gilbert on color commentary. For the playoffs, Dick Carlson and Al Albert[56] were added as play-by-play voices of some games. Meanwhile, Jim Van Horne hosted Stanley Cup Finals games played in Vancouver.

Things pretty much remained the same for USA during the 1982–83 season. Dan Kelly and Gary Green called most games, while Al Albert did play-by-play on several playoff[57] games and hosted one game of the Stanley Cup Finals.[58][59]

CBC feeds (1978-1981)

Announcer Years Network(s)
Dave Hodge 19781981 (all locations except Montréal) NHL Network
USA Network
Dick Irvin Jr. 19781979 (in Montréal only) NHL Network

Studio analysts

Announcer Years Network(s)
Brian Boucher 20162019 NBC/NBCSN
Herb Brooks 1989 SportsChannel America
Anson Carter 2015–present NBC/NBCSN
Terry Crisp 19981999 Fox
John Davidson 19901993; 20002002 SportsChannel America
Brian Engblom 20062010 OLN/Versus
Ray Ferraro 20062007 NBC
Brett Hull 2007
Keith Jones 2006–present OLN/Versus
Mike Liut 1985 USA Network
Barry Melrose 19952004 ESPN
Mike Milbury 20082019 Versus
Dave Maloney 19951998 Fox
Pierre McGuire 2008 NBC
Mark Messier 20062008 OLN/Versus
Ryan Miller 2010 NBC
Eddie Olczyk 2006
Darren Pang 1994, 1996, 2004 ESPN
Jeremy Roenick 2010; 20142019 NBC/NBCSN
Jim Schoenfeld 1993 ESPN
Patrick Sharp 2019–present NBC/NBCSN
P. K. Subban 2018 NBC

CBC feeds (1978-1981)

Announcer Years Network(s)
Don Cherry 1981 USA Network
Howie Meeker

Broadcast networks

CBS managed to televise the 1971 Stanley Cup Finals clincher on a Tuesday night and the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals clincher[60] on a Thursday night. In 1971, CBS was not scheduled to broadcast Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals, but showed the prime time contest (the first ever occurrence of a NHL game being nationally televised in prime time in the United States) between the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Black Hawks after fans reportedly swamped switchboards at network headquarters in New York City asking that the seventh game be televised. Ironically, the game was not telecast by CBS' Chicago owned-and-operated station WBBM-TV, nor on CBS affiliates in most of Illinois (except areas near St. Louis), and parts of Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa, due to Blackhawks' owner Arthur M. Wirtz policy of not telecasting home games. While Dan Kelly once again handled all of the play-by-play work, Jim Gordon replaced Bill Mazer[61] in 1970–71. For the CBS' Stanley Cup Finals coverage during this period, a third voice was added to the booth (Phil Esposito in 1971 and Harry Howell in 1972).

During the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals between the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers, CBS took a rather calculated risk in not televising the Game 5 match on May 9 (CBS aired regular programming, including the original Hawaii Five-O in that time period on that Tuesday night). This was despite the fact that Game 5 was a potential clincher with the Bruins up three games to one on the Rangers. CBS ultimately lucked out (since the Rangers won Game 5 3-2), and televised the clincher (Game 6) on Thursday night, May 11.

In 1979, ABC was contracted to televise game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals.[62][63] Since the Finals ended in five games, the contract was void.[64] Had there been a Game 7, then Al Michaels would have called play-by-play alongside Jim McKay (between-periods host), Bobby Clarke (color commentator), and Frank Gifford (reporter, who would have been in the winning team's dressing room to interview players and coaches as well as hand the phone to the winning team's coach that that would have allowed him to talk to both President Jimmy Carter and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau). This would give Michaels the honor of being the first announcer to call the play-by-play in all four major sports, having called the Super Bowl, the World Series, and NBA Finals. The game would have started at 5:10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on a Saturday, replacing Wide World of Sports and local news shows that typically followed it on ABC stations in the Eastern and Central time zones.

Mainly influenced by the United States men's Olympic hockey team's surprise gold medal victory (dubbed "The Miracle on Ice") in Lake Placid several months prior,[65] CBS agreed to pay $37 million to broadcast the sixth game of the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals. In return, the NHL happily moved[66] the starting time from prime time to the afternoon.[67] The Saturday afternoon game was the first full American network telecast of an NHL game since Game 5 of the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals aired on NBC. By this time, Dan Kelly[68] was joined by former NHL on NBC commentator, Tim Ryan.[69] Kelly did play-by-play for the first and third periods as well as overtime.[70] Meanwhile, Tim Ryan did play-by-play only for the second period. Minnesota North Stars general manager Lou Nanne[71] was the color commentator throughout the game. This turned out to be the last NHL game on American network television until NBC televised the 1990 All-Star Game.[72][73]

FOX split coverage of the Stanley Cup Finals with ESPN. Game 1 of the 1995 Stanley Cup Finals was the first Finals game shown on network television since 1980 and the first in prime time since 1973. FOX was scheduled to televise Games 1, 5, and 7; and ESPN airs Games 2, 3, 4, and 6. However, from 1995 to 1998, the Finals matches were all four game sweeps; the 1999 Finals ended in six games. The consequence was that – except for 1995, when Fox did televise game four – the decisive game was never shown on network television. Perhaps in recognition of this, Games 3 through 7 were always televised by ABC in the succeeding broadcast agreement between the NHL and ABC Sports/ESPN.

Before the 2004–05 lockout, the NHL had reached two separate deals with NBC (who would replace ABC as the NHL's American national broadcast television partner) and ESPN. ESPN offered the NHL $60 million for about 40 games (only fifteen of which would be during the regular season), all on ESPN2, with presumably, only some midweek playoff games, the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final and the All-Star Game airing on ESPN.[74] The NBC deal stipulated that the network would pay the league no rights fees - an unheard of practice to that point. NBC's deal included six regular season windows, seven postseason broadcasts and Games 3–7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in primetime. The contracts were to commence when the lockout ended. The NBC deal expired after the 2006–07 season, and NBC had picked up the option to renew for the 2007–08 season (Just like the AFL/NBC agreement, which the network did not renew in 2006). The NHL and NBC shared in revenues from advertising.

ESPN/ABC will air the Stanley Cup Final in 2022, 2024, 2026 and 2028.


For USA's final full season of NHL coverage in 1984–85,[75][76] Dan Kelly[77] and Gary Green[78] once again, did most games, while Al Albert and Green called the rest. In all, USA covered about 55 games, including 33 in the regular season.[79] Also, Hartford Whalers goaltender Mike Liut was added as an intermission analyst for the Stanley Cup Finals.[80][81]

Games 1 and 2 of the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals were on OLN, while the remainder of the series was on NBC.

Under the terms of the contract running from 20072011, Versus aired 54 or more NHL games each season, generally on Monday and Tuesday nights, and provided coverage of as many Stanley Cup Playoff games as possible (generally two per night in the first two rounds; the Conference Finals are usually played on alternating days), and two games of the Stanley Cup Finals (Games 3 and 4 in 2009,[82] 2010 and 2011).

In 2014, NBCSN broadcast Games 3 and 4, while NBC televised the remaining games. NBC Sports originally planned to repeat its coverage pattern from the last few seasons: NBCSN would televise Games 2 and 3, while NBC would broadcast Game 1, and then Games 4 through 7.[83] After the League scheduled Game 2 on the day of the Belmont Stakes, coverage of games two and four were switched so NBC's telecast of the horse race would serve as lead-in programming to Game 2. Due to the death of a family member, NBC lead play-by-play announcer Mike Emrick missed Game 1. Kenny Albert, who was also the New York Rangers radio announcer for WEPN and announced several national games (including the Western Conference Finals) for NBC/NBCSN, filled in for Emrick in the first game.[84]

It was originally announced that Games 2 and 3 of the 2015 Finals were to be broadcast by NBCSN, with the remainder on NBC. Game 2 was moved to NBC to serve as a lead-out for its coverage of the 2015 Belmont Stakes in favor of Game 4 on NBCSN. As Eddie Olczyk was also a contributor to NBC's Belmont coverage, he missed Game 2.[85][86][87]

On May 27, 2016, NBC Sports announced that if the Finals was tied at 1-1 entering Game 3, then it would have aired on NBC and Game 4 televised on NBCSN. However, if one team led 2-0 (as this eventually happened; Penguins led 2-0), Game 3 would be moved to NBCSN and then Game 4 on NBC.[88] Turner Sports will air the Stanley Cup Final in years 2023, 2025 and 2027 pursuant to their agreement announced April 2021.


In the United States, the clinching game of the 1966 Stanley Cup Finals on the evening of Thursday, May 5 aired on RKO General's stations, such as WOR-TV in New York City and WHCT in Hartford, Connecticut. The commentators for RKO's coverage on that occasion were Bob Wolff and Emile Francis. Wolff at the time did play-by-play for New York Rangers games seen on WOR. Although the TV listings page of the May 5, 1966 edition of the Boston Globe indicated that RKO-owned WNAC-TV in Boston would not carry the game,[89] the then-ABC-affiliated station did clear the broadcast at the last minute.

The 1976 Stanley Cup Finals on the NHL Network marked the first time that the NHL's championship series was nationally televised in its entirety in the United States.[90][91] Starting in the 1978 playoffs, the NHL Network began simulcasting many games with Hockey Night in Canada. In these games, Dan Kelly, who was the NHL Network's lead play-by-play broadcaster, was assigned to do play-by-play along with HNIC color commentators.

The entire 1979 Stanley Cup Finals between the Montreal Canadiens and New York Rangers was simulcast as well.[92] However, had that final gone to Game 7, then that game would have been broadcast on ABC.[93]

Hughes televised Games 1-5 of the 1980 Stanley Cup Finals[94] (the final game, Game 6, was broadcast by CBS). Hughes technically, used CBC's Hockey Night in Canada feeds for the American coverage of the first five games of the Stanley Cup Finals.

See also

Announcers by network




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