Event Previews

NBC and NHL announce schedule and voices for the continuation of the first round Stanley Cup playoffs

A mix of American and Canadian play-by-play announcers will preside over the microphones on NBC's family of outlets. Kenny Albert excels


Kenny Albert is Mr. Ubiquitous which makes him fairly well known but then again not strongly identified with any one team. He is technically the radio announcer for the New York Rangers, But with all his commitments, inside and outside Madison Square Garden, it’s anyone’s guess where he might be, other than an airplane. I’d think he’s got a pretty thick number of frequent flyer miles.

Inside the Garden, he backs up on Knicks games which I believe takes priority over Rangers radio assignments and of course, he’s somewhere in middle of the depth chart of Fox’ coverage of the NFL. Kenny also does some baseball, in a set-up role.

His hockey is truly outstanding and I enjoyed something he wove into an Islanders-Penguins game the other night. He talked about what Isles’ coach Barry Trotz learned from Lou Lamoriello, the Isles 76 year old president. What Lou shared with his coach are evergreen life lessons for everyone. If you arrive somewhere early, don’t wait for the prescribed time, start doing something constructive. Ninety percent of time are wasted on 10% of things that don’t matter and yes, details do matter.

I’ve said this on these pages before, Kenny’s best sport is hockey and he’s a very comfortable listen. Kenny comes up for air, clips his words, calls the play-by-play crisply and let’s the game come to him. Kenny also has little ego and is a good human being!

Gord Miller is a Canadian broadcaster. I’m told American announcers can’t work north of the border. If so, why are Canadian broadcasters being hired here? Don’t we have enough excellent NHL announcers in the United States. Does President Donald Trump know about this?

Alex Faust is a man whose career is on a sharp upward slope. He took over for the beloved Bob Miller in Los Angeles as TV voice of the Kings and is on the potential list to take over for Alex Trebek when he retires as host of Jeopardy!

Mike Emrick, well you know him. If you don’t you’re not a hockey fan. Many will tell you he’s the best ever. They’ve been other excellent network television hockey announcers. How can we forget the sepulchral sound of Dan Kelly who passed way too early. Tim Ryan was pleasant, knowledgeable and identified with the NHL on NBC earlier in his career.

Chris Cuthbert is another Canadian who got by the border. He’s been around hockey broadcasts since the 1980s and done hockey work for NBC for over  ten years.

John Forslund was the television voice of the Carolina Hurricanes. Earlier this year, the club parsimoniously and misguidedly launched a simulcast and Forslund’s TV call is also heard on radio. So be it.  Still, John is a solid television announcer and has been at it for decades.

Brendan Burke followed the Isles’ longtime television voice Howie Rose, a couple seasons ago. Howie, now in his 60s, is doing only Mets radio. Announcers who pace themselves and don’t overwork will wear well and are more likely to retain their sharpness. See the incomparable Al Michaels.

I listened to Brendan about a week ago and he sounds good. He doesn’t over-describe or give listeners a headache by talking or shouting. Thank goodness.

Enjoy the hockey!

Her’es the NHL television schedule for the upcoming days:


Thursday, April 18th

7p, Game 4 – Washington at Carolina, NBCSN, Kenny Albert, Pierre McGuire

8:30p, Game 5, St. Louis at Winnipeg, USA Network, Gord Miller, Ray Ferraro

10p, Game 5,  Vegas at San Jose, NBCSN, Alex Faust, Mike Johnson


Friday, April 19th

7 p, Game 5, Toronto at  Boston, NBCSN,  Mike Emrick, Brian Boucher, Mike Milbury

10p, Game 5, Colorado at Calgary, NBCSN, Gord Miller, Ray Ferraro

Saturday, April 20th  

3p, Game 5,  Dallas at  Nashville, NBC, Chris Cuthbert, Joe Micheletti, AJ Mleczko

7p, Game 6, Winnipeg at St. Louis, NBCSN, Brendan Burke, Ray Ferraro

8p, Game 5,  Carolina at Washington, NBC, John Forslund, Eddie Olczyk, Pierre McGuire

Sunday, April 21st  

7p, Game 6, San Jose at Vegas, NBCSN,  Alex Faust, Mike Johnson

3p, Game 6, Boston at Toronto, NBC, Mike Emrick, Mike Milbury, Brian Boucher


David J. Halberstam

David is a 40-year + industry veteran who served as play-by-play announcer for St. John's University basketball in New York and as radio play-by-play voice of the Miami Heat in South Florida. He is the author of Sports on New York Radio: A Play-by-Play History and The Fundamentals of Sports Media and Sponsorship Sales: Developing New Accounts.

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