TSN has added two big names to its roster with NHL coach John Tortorella and 18-year NHLer Ray Ferraro joining NHL on TSN for the 2008-09 season.
Tortorella moves directly from behind an NHL bench into the TSN studio, making his broadcast debut as part of the NHL on TSN panel for 60 games, including weekly appearances on TSN's marquee Wednesday Night Hockey telecasts. The 16-year NHL coaching veteran and 2004 Jack Adams Trophy winner will appear alongside studio host James Duthie and Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger.
Ferraro will work approximately 30 games as a game analyst, making his NHL on TSN debut in the broadcast booth October 14 alongside play-by-play announcer Chris Cuthbert, as the network's regular season coverage gets underway with Colorado @ Calgary at 9pm et/6pm pt. Ferraro will also contribute regularly to SportsCentre and TSN.ca. The 400-goal scorer replaces former NHL on TSN game analyst Glenn Healy, who left the network earlier this year to join the NHL Players' Association as Director of Player Affairs. Ferraro previously appeared on TSN as a guest analyst during the network's coverage of the 2002-03 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
''John is one of the boldest and most colourful personalities in hockey and Ray calls the game just like he played it – with passion and integrity,'' said Mark Milliere, Vice-President, Production, TSN. ''Both men live and breathe hockey and understand what the viewers want in terms of instant analysis and insightful commentary during a game. They will be very entertaining and engaging additions to the NHL on TSN.''
Tortorella, head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the past seven years, is the all-time leader in wins by an American-born NHL head coach (239). In 2003-04, he guided the Lightning to the franchise's first and only Stanley Cup title and was named NHL Coach of the Year.
Throughout his career, Tortorella has forged a reputation for his frankness – most memorably during a 2004 playoff series when he called out Philadelphia Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock for talking to Lightning players: ''[Hitchcock]'s not in the battle of two quality teams here. He should shut his yap.. it's disrespectful and it's wrong. It's gutless. That's gotta stop. Park your ego, shove it in your pocket, it's about the two teams.'' His former GM, Jay Feaster, said of Tortorella: ''John is a passionate man. There's not a political correctness gene in his body.''
Tortorella promises to be the same person behind the NHL on TSN desk as he is behind an NHL bench.
''I have not been groomed for public speaking, but that's part of the job as an NHL head coach,'' said Tortorella. ''It's tough to contain your emotions in the heat of the battle, but I don't know how to communicate any other way but honestly. And sometimes that gets me in trouble.''
Prior to joining TSN, Ferraro worked as a game analyst on Edmonton Oilers telecasts for the past five years and as a studio analyst on ESPN's NHL2NITE. He also appeared as a studio analyst on the NHL on NBC and as an in-studio commentator for men's hockey during NBC's coverage of the 2006 Torino Olympic Winter Games. Ferraro is also a regular on the TEAM 1040 radio station in Vancouver and Canucks TV.
Ferraro played for six teams during his 18-year NHL career (Hartford, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Los Angeles, Atlanta and St. Louis), scoring 408 goals and 490 assists in 1,258 NHL regular season games played. He also played in 68 NHL playoff games, recording 21 goals and 22 assists. In addition, Ferraro played in the 1992 NHL All-Star Game and was the WHL Player of the Year and leading scorer in 1983-84.
''The NHL on TSN is a first-class production and I'm very excited to be joining this talented broadcast team,'' said Ferraro, a native of Trail, B.C. ''As a broadcaster, it's a tremendous opportunity to work on a national stage like the NHL on TSN and bring the excitement and intensity of the NHL to hockey fans across the country.''
Cuthbert and Ferraro will share duties with Gord Miller and Pierre McGuire, as TSN will use two broadcast teams for the network's extensive NHL coverage. Building on their success from last season, TSN will once again use innovative techniques during its hockey broadcasts, utilizing the 1-Up/1-Down and Front Row Centre approaches. The 1-Up/1-Down technique has Miller/Cuthbert in the broadcast booth with McGuire/Ferraro providing analysis from between the benches at ice level, while Front Row Centre features both the play-by-play announcer and game analyst calling the game between the benches from ice level.