The NHL is moving to new networks next season, as hockey is making its return to the ESPN airwaves and making its debut on TNT after Turner picked up the rest of the rights package. There was a movement when ESPN picked up NHL games again to bring back long-time NHL on ESPN announcer Gary Thorne, and while it remains to be seen if ESPN will make the call to their former voice of hockey, we now know who will be the lead play-by-play man for TNT’s coverage.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported on Wednesday that veteran broadcaster Kenny Albert — who has long been with Fox Sports, the NHL on NBC, and is the radio voice of the New York Rangers — will be their lead announcer and handle play-by-play for their four Stanley Cup Finals over the next eight years. Marchand also notes that with Doc Emrick retired, Albert is expected to call the 2021 Stanley Cup Final for NBC this year in their final season of NHL hockey before the new TV deal kicks in.
Albert is well known to sports fans nationally for his work on the NHL on NBC, MLB, NFL, and boxing on Fox, and also fills in on Knicks broadcasts when Mike Breen is assigned to ESPN games. That the 53-year-old is getting his chance to be elevated to the top NHL broadcast nationally is a well-deserved recognition of his work.