When John Garrett announced his departure from Vancouver Canucks regional broadcasts on Sportsnet during the third period of a game back in March, the rumour mill started churning out names before the game had even ended.
Former NHL star and current ESPN broadcaster Ray Ferraro seems destined for the role. Numerous sources have indicated to Daily Hive that the Vancouver Canucks organization has made a major play to bring Ferraro into the mix to be John Shorthouse’s new broadcast partner.
Unless Ferraro has an out-clause in his contract with ESPN, the 58-year-old native of Trail, BC will be limited in his game coverage for the Canucks broadcasts to no more than about 25 games.
A broadcast veteran with ESPN, TSN, NBC, and Sportsnet since he retired from pro hockey in 2002, Ferraro should fit seamlessly into the broadcast with Shorthouse and Dan Murphy, as the trio are known to golf a few rounds together in Vancouver during the summer.
If all goes according to plan, Ferraro could then join the Canucks broadcasts on Sportsnet full time during the 2024-25 season, after his contract with ESPN expires. Until then, the Canucks would need to secure another colour analyst for the other 50+ games and that’s where things have gotten interesting.
Garrett hasn’t retired, and was calling playoff games with Shorthouse on Sportsnet during the Bruins-Panthers series. We know that Garrett will call select games during the 2023-24 season, but whether those will be regional or national broadcasts is still unclear. Additionally, some of the Canucks broadcasts will be featured on Hockey Night in Canada, which will mostly be called by a national crew, leaving roughly 40 games needing a second voice alongside Shorthouse.
And with that, the rumour mill has spit out other names, including former Canucks netminder and Sportsnet 650 colour analyst Corey Hirsch, who has filled in on television broadcasts before. Randip Janda, who currently sits alongside Brendan Batchelor in the Sportsnet 650 radio booth, has had his name pop up as well as a fill-in for select games.
Former Canucks colour analyst on TSN 1040, Dave Tomlinson, has also been mentioned numerous times as a potential fill-in option, however the 55-year-old North Vancouver native is the current analyst on Seattle Kraken radio broadcasts and several logistics would need to be sorted out if that were to happen. However, Daily Hive has been told the interest is there if given the opportunity to fill the role on a part-time basis, if logistics can be met.
Sportsnet also has a stable of former NHLers and former Olympic women’s hockey team alum on their broadcasts who could fill in on broadcasts, especially during eastern road swings. Sources have suggested that Jennifer Botterill could get a few games in the booth and Canucks fans would certainly love an opportunity to hear Kevin Bieksa play the role of colour analyst on a broadcast or two.
One thing seems certain, and that is that fans will likely hear a variety of voices on Sportsnet’s Canucks television broadcasts next season.
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