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Get to know the new play-by-play voice of the Chicago Blackhawks Rick Ball


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June 6, 2024  (2:02 PM)
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Rick Ball broadcast
Photo credit: Sports WGN

Chicago Blackhawks introduce Rick Ball; fire Chris Vosters

It appears that the Chicago Blackhawks have listened to their fans and have fired play-by-play broadcaster Chris Vosters, after having an interesting first season in NHL calling plays and games.
Chris Vosters had to fill the roll left behind by Hall of Fame broadcaster Pat Foley, as he retired from the Chicago Blackhawks. Chris Vosters showed a lot of energy, but perhaps maybe he should stick to play-by-play calling basketball.
The Chicago Blackhawks have issued a statement, admitting that they've listened to their fans:
«One thing we know is that our fans value a deep hockey knowledge and experience, and it was important to us that our broadcast reflect those values,» said Blackhawks president of business Jaime Faulkner. «Every year after the season concludes, we evaluate our broadcast talent in the booth for both radio and TV, and also in-studio, to determine if it is at the level our fans expect and deserve. Based on our own evaluations, as well as feedback from key stakeholders and partners, we felt we need to make a change in this role.

«We knew it would be difficult to replace someone as loved and talented as Pat Foley when we first started the process three years ago. Of everyone we looked at and available at the time, Chris was the clear favorite, and we were convinced we had found our voice. Chris did a tremendous job calling Blackhawks games, and while it's certainly unfortunate that it didn't work out with him in the end, we're confident that Rick is going to help our broadcast reach new heights and we're excited for him to join the team.»

Below is the Blackhawks's official goodbye to Chris Vosters:
«Chris is a tremendous broadcaster with a very bright future ahead of him,» Faulkner said. «He has a very big voice that lends itself extremely well to being a sports broadcaster. We want to offer our fans a broadcast with deep experience and hockey knowledge. We evaluate things like depth of hockey vocabulary, ability to anticipate the play to use your voice to draw the viewer in, ability to call plays happening with players who don't have the puck, and knowing that sometimes you don't say anything at all.»

Now that Chris is gone, it's time to meet your new broadcaster Rick Ball. Rick Ball is 57 years of age and has spent the last 10 years as the TV played broadcaster for the Calgary Flames on Sportsnet.
Ball stated the following:
«When it was first presented to me, there were probably four main factors: Original Six franchise, world-class city, young superstar centerpiece in Connor Bedard, and, last but not least, Darren Pang, who I consider one of the best all-time at his job,» Ball said. «So when you put those four things, it was a no-brainer.»

The Blackhawks stated the following:
«Rick is an exceptional broadcaster with a resume that includes over 20 years of experience as a hockey announcer,» Faulkner said. «He's called some of the sport's biggest games, on its biggest stages, and on one of its most storied broadcasts. He knows this game and its history, and we believe he will take our broadcast to the next level.»

The Chicago Blackhawks revealed this isn't the only change that's incoming for the organization:
«Now that we have the booth set, our attention is going to be directed to the studio,» Faulkner said. «(In making those hires), hockey knowledge, some connection to the Blackhawks is important to us, energy is important. We are working on the criteria that is important to us because we will have the ability to decide who is in studio. Thankfully, we did have a lot of studio talent, both in the host position and otherwise that had been very strong for us.»

So, Hawks fans, are we happy with this move?
Source: NHL.com
RELEASE: Blackhawks Announce Veteran Broadcaster Rick Ball as New Television Play-by-Play Voice
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Get to know the new play-by-play voice of the Chicago Blackhawks Rick Ball

Do you think Rick Ball will be better than Chris Vosters?

Yes25289.4 %
No3010.6 %
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