Does Hockey Night In Canada hate Ottawa?
It makes you wonder because the Toronto-based operation inflicts announcer Bob Cole on the television viewers of this city.
Cole, an icon of Canadian hockey broadcasting, has long been a Toronto homer and has trouble naming the Senators (who Cole calls “the Ottawa Sens” which no one familiar with the team refers to them as). He mentions more names of Senators in the offensive zone presumably because he can see the names on the back of the jersey.
Cole will recognize Boston’s “Big Chara” because the 40-year-old is huge. He gets named anywhere on the ice.
As for insights into the game, best you wait for the colour man because Cole will give these obvious observations or just odd conclusions.
The best man for calling the Sens is Dean Brown who puts a lot of knowledge and much spirit into the TSN 1200 radio broadcast. Brown should be in the TV booth, not Cole. At least viewers will learn something.
Years ago when Cole called a Senators game on TV, your agent would bring a portable radio into the room and listen to the play-by-play of the game from there. The picture and sound are a little bit off but the radio guys have to interest their audience with good information because they don’t have a picture.
Without doing so purposely, the producers of Hockey Night are saying what your agent is saying by putting Cole on the No. 2 or 3 series this spring. They know the complaints and don’t have him calling the No. 1 audience playoff series with the Toronto Maple Leafs because of the problems, some of which are outlined above, in his call. Were HNIC confident with Cole, he’d be describing his beloved Leafs.
Cole has had an outstanding career. Sometimes you just need to know when to retire.
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