Eddie Olczyk Joins Kraken TV Broadcast Team | Seattle Times Sports

July 18 – A league source has confirmed that longtime NHL player-turned-host Eddie Olczyk will join the ROOT Sports booth for Kraken games this season alongside play-by-play man John Forslund, who he is paired with on national broadcasts throughout the season. years.

Olczyk, 55, a member of the American Hockey Hall of Fame and brother of Kraken assistant general manager Ricky Olczyk, will be part of a new three-way stand alongside Forslund and current on-air analyst JT Brown. Additionally, the plan is to have Olczyk fill his full national broadcast schedule with TNT, meaning he won’t be available for all Kraken games and may not start the season with the team. ROOT Sports.

Olczyk will also do additional work for the team and the network, including recorded video segments and profiles.

The Chicago Sun Times first reported that Olczyk would be joining Kraken’s broadcasts after doing local analysis on his former Chicago Blackhawks team’s games over the past 15 years. The team released a statement Monday afternoon thanking Olcyzk for his contributions.

“We will miss him as much as our fans will,” he said.

The Kraken has yet to release a statement confirming Olczyk’s hiring.

Talks with the Blackhawks to renew Olczyk’s deal, which expired June 30, have slowed in recent weeks. Multiple sources familiar with the situation said talks with the Kraken began last month, when it was decided the team would keep Brown if Olczyk joined the show.

Brown, also a former NHL player, joined Kraken broadcasts last year with almost no on-air experience other than giving interviews and team officials are said to be pleased with his progress and the connection he made with the audience.

Olczyk’s arrival, however, should help bolster broadcasts, which began with sky-high ratings last season before quickly plummeting along with the team’s on-ice fortunes. Figures provided by a broadcast source show Kraken games earned a 0.96 rating for the season on ROOT Sports – numbers inflated by a strong opening month when the team was still a novelty for fans. local sports fans.

After scoring a dazzling 5.5 in the franchise opener against the Vegas Golden Knights and a solid 2.2 average in eight October games, Kraken’s shows have dropped to an average rating. from 1.4 in November to 1.3 in December. In January, ratings had dropped to an average of 0.7, then hit a low of 0.6 in February and March, respectively.

The Sports Business Journal reported in May that the Pittsburgh Penguins had the NHL’s highest ratings among US-based teams at 5.43, followed by the St. Louis Blues at 4.28, Buffalo Sabers at 3.78 and the Minnesota Wild and Vegas each at 3.04. The Kraken finished ahead of 10 other teams, including the New York Rangers (0.87) and Los Angeles Kings (0.4), both of which play in much larger and crowded sports markets with a global pool higher of potential viewers from which their percentage of ratings was derived.

The Florida Panthers in the playoffs had odds of 0.46, while the New Jersey Devils (0.20), Arizona Coyotes (0.16) and Anaheim Ducks (0.15 ) completed the last three. The report did not include numbers for teams based in Canada, nor the Carolina Hurricanes or Nashville Predators.

For years, Olczyk has also shown NBC Sports on NBC Sports, many alongside Forslund, and continued to do so for TNT under his new contract with the league from last season. Under the terms of his deal with Kraken, according to the Sun Times article, he will continue to make TNT games nationwide.

After being drafted third overall by the Blackhawks in 1984, Chicago-born center Olczyk played 1,031 regular season games in 16 seasons with six different teams, scoring 342 goals and adding 452 assists. He also played for Team USA at the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo and coached the Pittsburgh Penguins for parts of two seasons starting in 2003-04, compiling a record of 31-64-8-10. .

Olczyk also engaged in a very public battle with stage 3 colon cancer beginning in the summer of 2017. In March 2018, he declared himself “cancer-free” and wrote about his ordeal in a book titled “Beating the Odds: In hockey and in life” co-written with Toronto sportswriter Perry Lefko.

This story will be updated.

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