It is getting real. The players checked into the NHL bubble cities of Toronto and Edmonton. The Nashville Predators decorated player rooms with family photos, this writer is one of five U.S. journalists to make it across the border to cover the games, and those oh so important games are about to begin. On Monday, NBC announced the layout and personnel of the NHL broadcasts.
The NHL placed the games in Toronto seemingly at the behest of their Canadian broadcast partners, but NBC is in charge of the world broadcast feed. Since the peacock network has the reigns, venerable Doc Emerick and his iconic inflection with sawed-off descriptions, such as “waffleboarded,” will headline the crew play-by-play announcers. Emerick will call the games from a home studio in Michigan.
NBC will air Game 1 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens at 8 p.m. on Aug. 1.
In addition to Doc, Kenny Albert, Mike Tirico, John Forslund, Brendan Burke, and Gord Miller are the other play-by-play announcers.
In total, NBC will use 20 announcers on the broadcasts. Some will be in the arena, yet others will be in the Connecticut NBC studios. Also, according to NBC PR, Eddie Olczyk, Mike Milbury, and AJ Mleczko are the color-analysts. Pierre McGuire and Brian Boucher will be between the glass.
Pittsburgh Penguins fans who love to hate on McGuire should know McGuire will be stationed in Edmonton. Penguins fans will get a healthy dose of Boucher on their broadcasts from Toronto.
Liam McHugh, Kathryn Tappen, and Tirico will host the studio coverage with Patrick Sharp, Keith Jones, and Anson Carter. NBC reports Olczyk, Jones, and Carter will contribute to both studio and game coverage.
NBC also said it would have enhanced audio elements and camera angles for the games. EA Sports will provide artificial crowd noise (sorry, I couldn’t stop them).
The good news for fans is NBC Sports will present 120 hours of NHL broadcasts from the Qualifying Round on their networks, including NBC, NBCSN, and USA Network beginning Aug. 1. They will have at least 10 hours of wall-to-wall NHL action each day from Aug. 1-5, including the Round Robin games.