The Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings won't be the only squads chock full of veteran talent at the Staples Center this evening. Fox Sports Arizona's roster will also have plenty of veteran talent on display. The regional broadcaster will have a crew of people who combined have won 21 Emmys. The familiar on-air talent alone has more than a half century of combined NHL broadcast experience.
Welcome Back Old Friends
According to veteran producer Graham Taylor, who has been working on Coyotes broadcasts for the past ten years, fans can expect to see a combination of the returning and new segments on this season's telecasts. Familiar broadcast elements will include the shot graphic which debuted last season, color analyst Tyson Nash will once again be broadcasting from between the benches "at select home games;" and there will be six Kid Kasters opportunities for local children ages 10-14.
Taylor stated this season that those selected for the Kid Kaster role will get to "interview a player, join Todd on the pregame along with Matt & Tyson in the booth during the 1st intermission, and get a VIP tour of our production truck during the game. We enjoy giving these kids an opportunity to experience a slice of life at an NHL rink on our telecasts." For information on times/dates for this season's Kid Kaster auditions click here.
Fox Sports Arizona's coverage will once again include pre and post game shows. This means plenty of air time for the two most senior members of the broadcasts, Jody Jackson and Todd Walsh. This will be Jackson's 10th season working on the telecasts, while this will be Walsh's 18th on the TV side. Walsh has also worked on the radio since the team's inaugural season in the Valley.
As for new elements on the broadcasts, Taylor stated: "We’ll expand the "Listen In" player mic segments, further develop updates of Arizona youth and alumni players who have gone on to bigger and better (i.e. kids that played minor hockey here and are now playing DI), plus debut some "Franchise Favorite" features on select telecasts this year."
"We have also added two new "dyno" super slo-mo cams to our home shows, which can highlight the plays and players like we’ve never had the opportunity to before." The "Franchise Favorite" segments Taylor mentioned will involve fun snapshots of Coyotes' moments from the past.
In the Broadcast Booth
Now in his fifth season as the Coyotes television play by play announcer, Matt McConnell, says, "it’s always great to start the season and get back with the group after going our own ways for several months. What I believe makes our group good, is the passion we all have for the game. It’s fun to come to the rink everyday with this great group, win or lose. In one way or another, we’ve all grown up with the game and respect its heritage. For me, a guy that only made it to bantams as a player, calling games is the next best position to playing in them and I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds."
As for on the ice, McConnell's excited to see the new crop of talent. "I’m very much looking forward to seeing how the young players adapt to the speed and skill of the rest of the league. Last season, we spent a lot of time talking about the future. Well, some of it has arrived including Max Domi and Anthony Duclair. They have the opportunity to not only begin their careers in the NHL this season, but also be the flag bearers, if you will, for the future of the franchise."
He's not alone in wanting to see how the team's young players like Domi and Duclair adapt to the NHL. The Coyotes' fanbase will have 76 opportunities to listen to and to watch along with McConnell.