NBC's Liam McHugh, Anson Carter Making Names For Themselves On NHL Broadcasts
NBC's Liam McHugh does not have "an extensive hockey background," but has "developed into a stellar traffic cop on a studio show that seems to have gotten better and better since he took over the role" during the '10-11 season, according to Chad Finn of the BOSTON GLOBE. McHugh has been "centering analysts Mike Milbury and Keith Jones, often for an hour of 'NHL Live' pregame as well as after the final horn of the final game has finally sounded." Asked if the grind of the playoffs wears him down, McHugh said, "I'm OK. It's all good. ... The games have been sensational. That certainly makes it a lot easier." Finn notes this year is actually "easier for McHugh" than a year ago, when his "first child was born right before the start" of the '13 playoffs. McHugh: "There was a time last year when I was finishing out the game, leaving the studio at about 2 in the morning, going back to my apartment, and I’m drinking coffee on the way home because my shift was starting at home then." McHugh laughed when he was asked if "working with the opinionated Milbury made it easier to take care of an infant." McHugh: "It’s a little similar, the babysitting. Working with Mike is fantastic. I love the idea that we can start a show, plan something, and then in any moment he can take it in any direction." He added of working with Milbury and Jones, "I like the idea that we’ll structure some things in a pre-show meeting, but if something happens to dawn on me, I can go with it and the producers are good about it" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/9).
GET CARTER: In L.A., Tom Hoffarth writes the respect that NBCSN's Anson Carter has "been accruing for his analysis as he pops up" on the net’s studios "has not been clouded." NBC Sports Exec Producer Sam Flood said of Carter, "He’s such a bright guy, very thoughtful and he deeply cares about getting better. What also impresses me is he works hard and takes the time to make the effort to get better." Flood "thought enough of Carter to put him ... with Dave Strader to call the Kings-Ducks outdoor game last January." Carter said that he "had been prodded by his agent" ever since he retired in '07 to "get into broadcasting, but he didn't feel ready." He thought he was "too close to some players, general managers and coaches, and didn’t want any of his biases to come out on the air." But his agent "got him a tryout at the NHL Network" in '11 and NHL Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille during the next season "asked him to join some Kings’ pre- and post-season road telecasts for Fox Sports West." Carter eventually "worked his way to MSG games" with the Rangers and "then drew interest at NBC" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 5/9).