Sunday 28 September 2014

Habs play by play announcer update: winning candidate to be revealed before season opener

TSN 690 Radio Program Director Chris Bury is not tipping his hat as to who will replace John Bartlett as the new play by play man for Montreal Canadiens broadcasts.

Bartlett left his post very recently to accept a job with Rogers Sportsnet TV, where he will call the plays for regional Canadiens telecasts.

Bury seems to have been using the Habs pre-season games as a chance to evaluate the talent.

Veteran Rick Moffat should be at the front of the line. He's done the job before and only stepped away when CJAD lost the rights to the Habs to TSN. Of course now they are part of the same family. Moffat already worked with colour commentator Sergio Momesso and it has been great listening to them during the exhibition season.

These days Moffat has a full plate. He is part of the TSN 690 morning team, does the sportscasts on the Andrew Carter Morning Show on CJAD and also does play by play for the Alouettes and the Impact.  While Bartlett only worked play by play, the thing I always admired about Moffat is how he would call the plays for a night game and be on the sports desk the following morning. Another plus to Moffat getting the gig would mean Conor McKenna finally getting a permanent spot on the roster. He fills in for Moffat when he is away, spells Mitch Melnick and does the Habs intermission and post game shows. Elliott Price and Brian Wilde could handle the Als and Impact duties.

Price should not be counted out as a candidate either. He was, after all, Bartlett's backup the last few years and has decades of experience with baseball, hockey, football and soccer.

AJ Jakubec from Ottawa's TSN 1200 Radio already has the experience calling games for the Ottawa Senators, Ottawa RedBlacks, Ottawa Fury, Ottawa 67's
AJ Jakubec
and CIS basketball. He has sounded good during his Habs stint.  The other new voice we have heard is Dan Robertson, a polished  play caller from the Maritimes who has been behind the mic for countless university basketball, hockey and football events.  He too did nit seem out of place during his so-called TSN 690 audition.

Bury said that the identity of Bartlett's successor will be announced in time for the face off at the Habs opening game against Toronto on October 8.

"I’ve received a lot of applications from people with all levels of experience and strong resumes," Bury shared with me. "We’re in a good position and excited."

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