NHL's TV Color Analysts: Eastern Conference Edition
They are the guys that bring expert analysis to our hockey games every night. Many of them previously played in the National Hockey League. Others languished in the minors. Some of them even played with the team they now represent from the booth.
Color analysts know what it's like to compete against the world's best. Some of hockey's current audience may not have been alive or were too young to know what these guys were like as players. Now is your chance to find out. In this edition, we will focus on the Eastern Conference teams.
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In the 2000-01 season, Andy Brickley started doing color commentary for the Boston Bruins. The Massachusetts native knew them well, having played for them between 1988-89 and 1991-92. He also idolized Bruins growing up, especially Bobby Orr. Brickley played three seasons at the University of New Hampshire prior to his time in the NHL.
Brickley also played for the Philadelphia Flyers (who drafted him in the 10th round in the 1980 draft), the Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils, and Winnipeg Jets (the ones who moved to Glendale).
Rob Ray currently analyses Buffalo Sabres games. The fans of Buffalo know him very well after his 13 seasons with the team. He was one of the toughest guys ever to wear a Sabre uniform, racking up over 3200 penalty minutes in his career. In 1989-90, as a member of the AHL's Rochester Americans, he earned 115 penalty minutes in just 17 playoff games. His NHL high came in the 1991-92 campaign when he logged 354 minutes in the sin bin.
Off the ice, though, Ray was a good guy, winning the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 1999. The award is given to the player that "best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community". He also has a sense of humor.
Goaltender Tripp Tracy never got his shot in the NHL after he was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in 1993. After he finished a four year stint at Harvard, he played in the Carolina Hurricanes system. In two full seasons with the Richmond Renegades (ECHL), he earned a record of 34-29-3.
But, that didn't stopped Tracy for finding success behind the mic. In a few years, he will have been the color commentator for the Hurricanes for 20 years.
Like Rob Ray, Jody Shelley made a career out of using his fists. He fought some tough opponents such as Colton Orr, Bob Probert, Michael Rupp, and Derek Boogaard. In one season with the Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL), he accumulated 420 penalty minutes, while scoring 25 goals.
Through four teams and over 600 NHL games, he scored 18 goals and logged over 1500 PIM. He played his last game in 2013. It was in that year, he was hired on to his current color analyst job with the Columbus Blue Jackets, one of the teams he played for. The Yarmouth, Nova Scotia native also loves to give back to the community.
Years ago, Mickey Redmond preferred to do his talking with his stick. In his fourth season with the Montreal Canadiens (1970-71), he was traded to the Detroit Red Wings. Between 1971-72 and 1973-74, Redmond scored 145 goals, including two straight 50-goal seasons. At the time he did it, Redmond was only the seventh player in NHL history to score 50 goals. Redmond took part in the Alumni Showdown between the Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2013.
Now, Mickey Redmond has been doing color commentary for the Red Wings for 27 years.
In 1973, the New York Islanders drafted defenseman Denis Potvin #1 overall. Seven years later, the Islanders' captain would raise the Stanley Cup for the first of four consecutive times. He also helped get the Islanders to a fifth Stanley Cup Final in 1984, but the Edmonton Oilers exacted revenge for the previous year's loss.
At the time when he retired, he had more goals and points than any other defenseman in NHL history - including Bobby Orr, who is widely considered the greatest defenseman of all time. 310 of his 1052 career points were goals. Potvin is currently the color commentator for the Florida Panthers.
13-year veteran Jason York played for five teams during his career: Detroit, Anaheim, Ottawa, Nashville, and Boston.
In October 2014, Jason was announced as part of the regional Montreal Canadiens broadcast team on Sportsnet.
Ken Daneyko was tough as nails, but he was also an intelligent player and a solid leader. He was drafted 18th overall in 1982 and would make his debut in 1983-84 season. He spent his entire career with the New Jersey Devils, so it's only fitting that he became their color commentator in September 2014. In fact, fans refer to Daneyko as "Mr. Devil".
During his playing career, Daneyko won three Stanley Cups as well as the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 2000. The award is given to the player that best exemplifies "perseverance and dedication to hockey".
Similar to Denis Potvin, center Butch Goring was part of the Islanders' four-cup dynasty of the 1980's. But, while Potvin chose to be the color man for the Florida Panthers, Goring became the color analyst for the Islanders in 2010.
During his playing career, he played eight full seasons with the Los Angeles Kings. The last four full seasons he played there were 30+ goal seasons for him. During the ninth season with them, Goring was traded to the Islanders just in time to be a part of hockey history. He was also awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy and the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy in 1978.
The American-born Micheletti played three seasons in the WHA and three in the NHL with the St. Louis Blues and the Colorado Rockies (who would eventually move to New Jersey and become the Devils). He was named the New York Rangers color commentator in 2006, replacing fan favorite John Davidson, who would eventually move on to work in the front offices of a couple NHL franchises.
He is now the analyst considered a Ranger fan favorite along with longtime play-by-play announcer Sam Rosen. Micheletti has also done nationally broadcasted games for NBC.
Ray Ferraro played 18 seasons in the NHL with the Hartford Whalers, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Atlanta Thrashers, and St. Louis Blues. He was a supremely talented player, but tenacious both on and off the ice, earning the nickname, "Big Ball of Hate" from a teammate. In over 1250 career games, he scored 408 career goals and was only two points away from 900.
Ferraro will work nationally televised games, but usually can be found on the air during regional telecasts of Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators games. The Big Ball of Hate can also be in hockey video games.
Speaking of tenacious players, the phrase would easily describe the player personality of Keith Jones, the current color commentator for the Philadelphia Flyers. Jones also does intermission reports with Mike Milbury for NBC Sports.
A veteran of nearly 900 games, Bob Errey won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins. During his time in Pittsburgh, he registered three consecutive 20+ goal seasons, the best offensive output of his career. He would also see the Stanley Cup Final in 1995 as a member of the Detroit Red Wings.
His NHL career ended in the 1997-98 season, but he played one more as a member of the AHL's Hartford Wolf Pack (NY Ranger affiliate). Errey is currently the color commentator for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has also done work on the NHL Network.
The 70-year-old former goaltender turned TV commentator just wrapped up his last season doing color analysis for the Tampa Bay Lightning. But, Lightning fans will be able to see him during pre and post game shows.
Between 1971-72 and 1975-76, Bobby Taylor played goal for the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins. He was on the roster for the last two Stanley Cup wins for the Flyers, in 1974 and 1975. Soon after his retirement in 1976, he began doing TV color commentary for the Flyers. Eventually, he would shift to doing their radio broadcasts until 1993. That year, he took up the television role with the Lightning.
Laughlin was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1977, but he only played 36 games for them. The next season, he would find himself in a Washington Capital uniform. He would play five full seasons with them, scoring 100 goals during that span (including his only 30+ goal season). After stints with the Kings and Maple Leafs, Laughlin would play a season in Germany before calling it a career.
In 1990, he started his new career, as a color analyst for the Caps.