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Hully gone, and contingency plans revised.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007
So Brett Hull wasn't invited back for another season alongside Ray Ferraro and Bill Clement at the NHL on NBC, as has been reported by a few media outlets, as well as other bloggers. What was originally celebrated and trumpeted as a way to add a bit of an edge to the pre-game, intermission, and post-game coverage down at "30 Rock", turned out to be one of the more awkward and seemingly annoying parts of any NHL coverage on NBC.

Now before anyone jumps on me and defends Hull, let me make it clear that I liked a lot of what Hull tried to do in adding controversial and/or important topics to the mix. Clement's a great lead host, however he can lack passion at time ... and Ferraro, while articulate and emotive, still seems to be as threatening as a cardboard cutout when put in to a position where he needs to explain his opinion. With Hull thrown in to studio, Clement and Ferraro were forced to think quicker, actually put up a more lively debate, and deal with something of a Devil's advocate for the NHL's status quo.

But there's a lot to be said for chemistry between co-hosts, and on numerous -- numerous -- occasions, it seemed as though Hull just did not click well with either Ferraro or Clement. A personality conflict, perhaps? Or maybe it was simply the way that Hull presented his side of things. Regardless of why, Hull didn't seem to fit the role of an in-studio commentator.

I think, in large part, one issue was Hull's method of humor: scathing, and sometimes hard to tell whether he was kidding or being sarcastic, or if he was actually being serious and/or malicious. There's a fine line between the colorful, animated yet civil debates between the 3 - 4 panel of hosts on NFL Live on ESPN, for example ... and something of a combative environment, a la the NHL on NBC.

What NBC needs to do is find someone with a similarly inquisitive personality as Hull has, but who is more easily deciphered in terms of body and verbal language, and who may also have an even more amicable personality. To that end, I'd be all for seeing Jeremy Roenick send in a resume.

We've all seen Roenick as he's made the rounds on TSN, Sportscenter, ESPNews, Pardon the Interruption, TBDSSP, and the like. The guy has a very sociable personality and most every show host seems to just love to have the guy on; but he's also not at all afraid about giving people a piece of his mind.

So, yeah. That's just my take on that issue.

A small note on Friday's draft gathering: a helpful Anonymous has informed me that a radio show may be hosted at the Bud Light Arena Pub just around the same time as me and Drew are planning things. At the moment, everything is still "GO" in terms of where we meet, when we meet, and the like. However, if things turn out to get too crazy or things are much too packed at the BLAP by 4:30 pm, there will be a backup plan.

Outside of the back entrance/exit of the Bud Light Arena Pub, where the stairs leading down to Cotters are, there is something of a lounge area: seats, couches, a TV, a table ... pretty much a nice, comfy, cushy spot for people to lounge in. While it isn't in the pub, per se, it's just a mere several paces from the doors into the pub. If we are unable to find any room at all in the pub, this'll be the perfect place to relocate to.

I'm going to do my very damnedest to get some photos of the places in question I am referring to during the day today so that no one is left lost or confused, since I have a bad habit of explaining directions in the worst ways imaginable. So just hang tight, folks.

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  • At 9:36 AM, Anonymous Sarah said…

    JR did some color during the last World Cup. It was actually pretty was kind of like having a fan in the booth, the way he'd hoot and yell when something happened on the ice. He's got some personality, but I'm not sure he's suited for color work during a game. Maybe the between periods commentary would be more his speed.

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