Two of hockey’s best reporters are invading American televisions this season.
Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger, two of professional hockey’s most connected reporters, are coming to the United States. Sort of.
TSN’s insider duo have been retained by NBC Sports Network to make appearances during NHL broadcasts this season, according to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated. McKenzie has been hired as a full-time contributor and will appear on NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry broadcasts, in addition to making appearances on NBC’s All-Star Weekend, Stanley Cup Final and NHL Draft shows. Dreger will also appear on NBC programs but Deitsch did not expound upon how extensive his presence will be.
Both Dreger and McKenzie will remain employees of TSN, and will still appear on TSN programming. TSN recently lost control of the NHL rights package when Rogers’ Sportsnet won the rights to broadcast NHL properties in Canada thanks to a landmark 12-year, $ 4.9 billion bid. Sportsnet’s contract with the NHL begins this year, which in turn frees up the time of some TSN personalities.
Fortunately for U.S. hockey fans, this means Dreger and McKenzie will be spending more time on their screens.
Dreger and McKenzie are two of the most reliable reporters in professional hockey. Their reports are essentially press releases, given that their sources are the players, agents and/or executives directly involved in whatever transaction or decision that is taking place. Their segments on TSN provide hockey fans with an inside perspective that allows us to stay directly connected to the daily occurrences — and potential futures — of the league and its players.
However, the only way for United States’ hockey fans to experience that perspective was through streaming apps, podcasts or transcribed accounts through twitter. Now, a broader United States audience will be afforded an opportunity to join in on the fun.