Alums Make Their Mark in TV

In a guest post for SB Nation, we look at the wealth of former college players now in broadcasting.
craig simpson
Former Michigan State star Craig Simpson - shown here with his son, North Dakota defenseman Dillon - is CBC's top NHL analyst.

College hockey’s influence on the ice and in the front office at the NHL level has been well documented.

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Now, in a guest post on SB Nation, College Hockey Inc. looks at the proliferation of NCAA alums calling the games, particularly on national broadcasts during these Stanley Cup playoffs.

Every national broadcast in these playoffs has featured a former NCAA star in the press box, at rinkside or in the intermission studio.

[Brian] Engblom, the former Wisconsin star, works on NBC’s broadcasts between the benches. The network also features Pierre McGuire (Hobart) and Joe Micheletti (Minnesota) in similar roles, plus Keith Jones (Western Michigan), Mike Milbury (Colgate), Anson Carter (Michigan State) and Chris Therien (Providence) in studio.

On CBC in Canada [Glenn] Healy, who preceded Jones at Western Michigan, counts among his colleagues Craig Simpson (Michigan State) and Garry Galley (Bowling Green). Over on TSN, where Engblom also works in the regular season, viewers will find Mike Johnson (Bowling Green) and Aaron Ward (Michigan).

Is it a coincidence that these former college players – such a small minority in their playing days – have taken over TV?

“All of your life experiences prepare you for life after playing professional hockey,” Healy said. “College is a great foundation for the dynamics needed in broadcasting.”

Goalies, it’s been said before, seem to make the best analysts, and the former college players in the broadcast booths follow that theme. NHL analysts include former goaltenders from Harvard (Tripp Tracy), Lake Superior State (Mike Greenlay) and Minnesota Duluth (Chico Resch), to name a few – not to mention Healy and the former Cornell tandem (Daren Eliot and Brian Hayward) mentioned in the article.

Oh, and one more thing worth noting: Don Cherry did not play college hockey.

NCAA Alums in NHL Broadcasting
CBC Garry Galley Bowling Green
CBC Glenn Healy Western Michigan
CBC Craig Simpson Michigan State
NBC Anson Carter Michigan State
NBC, TSN Brian Engblom  Wisconsin
NBC, PHI Keith Jones Western Michigan
NBC Pierre McGuire Hobart
NBC, NYR Joe Micheletti Minnesota
NBC Mike Milbury Colgate
NBC, PHI Chris Therien Providence
TSN, NHLN Mike Johnson Bowling Green
TSN Aaron Ward Michigan
NHLN, BOS, NYR Billy Jaffe Michigan
ANA Brian Hayward Cornell
BOS Andy Brickley New Hampshire
BOS Bob Beers Maine
CAR Tripp Tracy Harvard
CHI Troy Murray North Dakota
COL Peter McNab Denver
CBJ Bill Davidge Ohio State
DET Darren Eliot Cornell
MIN Mike Greenlay Lake Superior State
NJ Chico Resch Minnesota Duluth
PIT Jay Caufield North Dakota
SJ Bret Hedican St. Cloud State
SJ Jamie Baker St. Lawrence
VAN Dave Tomlinson Boston University
WSH Craig Laughlin Clarkson
Any missing? Let us know.


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