SBD/Issue 87/Sports Media

People & Personalities: Roenick Eyed As NHL's Answer To Barkley

Writer Feels Roenick Could Help Energize
Sport Of Hockey From Broadcast Booth
ESPNCHICAGO.com's Jesse Rogers wrote former NHLer Jeremy Roenick, who appeared as a studio analyst during NBC's broadcast of Blackhawks-Red Wings Sunday, "should become the Charles Barkley of hockey." Rogers: "Why not take that outspoken charm he had for 20 years on the ice and use it to energize the sport from the broadcast booth?" Roenick said, "I'm all for it. That's the direction I want to take things. NBC is giving me some opportunities and we will see what happens. Next up is the Olympics." Rogers wrote if things "go well during the Olympics, look for more of Roenick." But the NHL "needs to go one step further and embrace this idea," and Versus and NBC "need to pay Roenick what he wants and tell him to let fly" (ESPNCHICAGO.com, 1/18).

UNFAIR CRITICISM? The GLOBE & MAIL's Matthew Sekeres reported CBC "HNIC" host Ron MacLean was "criticized" by Canucks coach Alain Vigneault after Saturday's Penguins-Canucks game, which was broadcast by the CBC. Vigneault was "objecting to a pre-game segment" with MacLean and NHL Dir of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell, during which MacLean, "seated beside Campbell, went through a detailed video analysis of a Dec. 8 cross-check" by Predators C Jerred Smithson on Canucks LW Alex Burrows. MacLean claimed that Burrows had an "embellished reaction" to the hit. Vigneault said of Burrows, "I'm happy he didn't see the Ron MacLean bashing prior to the game. I didn't think that was very fair" (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/18). The GLOBE & MAIL's Gary Mason writes MacLean's "10-minute evisceration" of Burrows marks "perhaps the low point of Mr. MacLean's career." The analysis was "one of the most brutal, sustained bits of character assassination ever witnessed on the show" (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/19).

PERSONALITIES: NHL Panthers radio announcer Randy Moller "will miss the Panthers' upcoming two-game trip to the New York area as he rests up after having a health scare" following Saturday's Lightning-Panthers game. Hockey HOF broadcaster Jiggs McDonald is "filling in for Moller -- who is expected to return to the booth" for Maple Leafs-Panthers on Saturday (MIAMI HERALD, 1/19)....ESPN/ABC's Marty Reid and Scott Goodyear will "return to the television booth this year to host ABC's five Izod IndyCar Series races." Former IRL driver Eddie Cheever will also serve as an analyst during the Indianapolis 500. The pit reporters for ABC's coverage will be Jerry Punch, Vince Welch, Jamie Little and Rick DeBruhl (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 1/16).

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