Barenaked Ladies voice: IT’S BEEN-
One hell of an offseason for the Chicago Blackhawks, who are knocking it down to the studs across pretty much everywhere they can find it in the wake of a disastrous season and the Kyle Beach scandal still fresh in the minds of fans, and it appears that they’ve chosen to even cut costs in their own broadcast booth, as longtime color commentator Eddie Olczyk will not be returning after a good 16 years at the position, and he will be coming Seattle to take up a similar role, while also keeping his TNT commitments.
Prior to the ESPN and TNT deals, Olczyk was part of NBC’s national coverage of the game as the lead color commentator alongside Mike Emrick until his retirement; from there he split time between the national broadcast, the local Chicago broadcast, and NBC commitments such as being a staple of the network’s horse racing coverage. Before that? NHL player for 16 years with the Rangers, Penguins, Jets, Leafs, and Blackhawks. And oh, by the way, he also happens to be the older brother of Kraken assistant general manager Ricky Olczyk.
As for what this means for the current setup that features Johnny Forslund and JT Brown, it means that JT and Eddie will probably be switching out games every so often as his work for TNT allows, at least according to Geoff Baker over at the Times:
Personally speaking, on national broadcasts Olczyk was the least offensive part of the broadcast usually, though that’s not saying much as national broadcasts up till the ESPN/TNT deal featured the weirdest, moistest man in Pierre McGuire and the physical embodiment of seasonal depression in Mike Milbury.
Compared to both of them, he could be considered a highlight.
But even then, for the Blackhawks, he was definitely good on the mic, and it’ll be a good experience for both JT and Eddie to keep themselves fresh over the course of the season.
Welcome Eddie Olczyk to the Deep!