Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Broadcaster Profile- Jack Edwards, NESN

I'm proud to continue my spotlighting of hockey broadcasters with the latest addition to my Hockey On the Radio blog, the next feature takes a look at the work of Jack Edwards, the television voice of the Boston Bruins on NESN.

Jack Edwards is a very recognizable fixture in New England, as the passionate and energetic voice of the Boston Bruins on NESN. One of the most prepared and knowledgeable hockey broadcasters to ever work behind a microphone, Jack got his start in the game of hockey working on the UNH broadcast team covering Wildcat hockey. From there Jack's hockey work expanded to ESPN where he covered the Frozen Four for the network. He also provided play by play for ESPN's National Hockey Night from 1999 to 2003. Jack came to Boston in the 2005-06 season, where he handled the play by play for road games, splitting coverage with Dale Arnold who provided play by play for home games. In the 2007-08 season Jack took over the play by play for all games for NESN.  Jack was awarded a Stanley Cup ring in 2010-11 following the Bruins Stanley Cup win over Vancouver. Always willing to tell it like it is, Jack is paired on Bruins telecasts with fellow UNH alum and former Bruins and NHL player Andy Brickley.

As I have noted on many other occasions, preparation is the crucial hallmark of any any broadcaster, and Jack has defined preparation down to a science. His prep is as detailed as any broadcaster in the business, in any sport. To illustrate, here is a sample prep chart that Jack uses in a typical broadcast of Bruins hockey:

As you can see, Jack's system breaks down every possible occurrence you could see in a game into minute detail, color coded for easy reference. This particular chart tracks special teams specialty information. I also am a big fan of color coding as it the easiest way to aid identification quickly. 

Outside of hockey, Jack has a wide range of sports play by play experience. His career was launched in New Hampshire, working for WGIR radio as both a play by play announcer and as a sports anchor.  He has also worked for WMUR-TV out of Manchester. Jack has also spent time at WRKO in Boston, and as a weekend anchor at WJAR TV in Providence. He has also done a stint at WCVB TV in Boston as well. Jack did his ESPN work while concurrently employed at WCVB. Nationally, he covered alpine skiing at the 1988 Winter Olympics for ABC. He also moved on to WHDH TV in Boston, the CBS affiliate, where he covered the US Open and the 1991 Olympic Winterfest. He has also covered the Davis Cup for ESPN. Jack's resume at ESPN spanned many events, including SportsCenter anchoring, Little League Baseball, the 1996 X games, and the 2002 FIFA World Cup. 

Jack also joined College Sports Television in 2003. 

In addition to his Bruins work on NESN, Jack also participates in a show called "The Instigators", in which he debates hockey topics with such NESN hockey personalities as Andy Brickley, Dale Arnold, Barry Pederson, to name a few. 

Here is an excellent compilation of Jack's work on NESN as the TV voice of the Bruins: 


Be sure to catch Jack and Andy Brickley on the call of Boston Bruins hockey on NESN from October to April. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Broadcaster Profile- Tom Caron, NESN, ASN

Welcome back to my Hockey on the Radio Blog and thanks as always for visiting. It's been a few months since I last posted- the rigors of the college hockey season (as well as other hockey assignments) and a bout with the flu have left me struggling to catch up, but I hope the wait for you will have been worth it. In my last feature, I introduced you all to Mike Murphy, who stepped in at UNH to replace Dan Parkhurst with their radio coverage. This time around we'll learn about another iconic broadcaster from the TV side who has done it all here in New England on NESN- from Hockey East, to the Red Sox, and beyond, Tom Caron.

Anyone who has followed sports in the New England region, particularly on NESN, will be familiar with the next broadcaster to be featured on the blog. Tom Caron is one of the most recognizable and popular voices in all of New England. He began his NESN career in 1995 and has been a fixture at the network ever since. There are many projects Tom has been involved with over at NESN- I'll begin by talking about his hockey work, which is most relevant to this blog, and then exploring his other notable work from there.

In terms of his hockey work, Tom is the voice of Hockey East on NESN and ASN, serving as the lead play by play announcer during college hockey season for the game of the week. He also provides coverage of the Beanpot Tournament yearly for the network, paired with Boston Bruins TV analyst Andy Brickley. TC, as he is often called by friends and colleagues, has also covered the Bruins for the network, functioning as a studio host. He has also done play by play for the Providence Bruins of the AHL for NESN.

Tom also hosts the very popular NESN program " The Instigators" which spotlights a roundtable discussion of trending topics in the NHL. The program frequently features Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley serving on the panel to discuss and debate these hotly contested issues.

Prior to coming to NESN, he provided play by play for the AHL's Portland Pirates, where he also hosted a weekly hockey feature for WPXT-TV in Portland, as well as calling the action for the New England Stingers of the Roller Hockey International League. Tom began his hockey career covering the Montreal Canadiens for WPTZ-TV in Plattsburgh, New York.

As extensive as Tom's hockey experience is, he also is very busy in the summer serving as the studio host for Boston Red Sox baseball on NESN. He hosts the pre and post game shows before and after every Red Sox game on the network, where he is joined by a rotation of former Red Sox players who join in on the analysis, namely Dennis Eckersley, Steve Lyons, Jim Rice, and Tim Wakefield.

Tom's baseball career goes way back as well, as his first job out of college was covering the Vermont Reds, the AA affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. He would go on to cover the Montreal Expos (at the same time he was covering the Canadiens) for WPTZ in Plattsburgh. Tom also has been at the play by play mike for the Pawtucket Red Sox on NESN as well.

Throughout his storied career, he has held anchor jobs at WNNE-TV in Hanover, New Hampshire, along with WGME-TV in Portland Maine and WPXT-TV in Portland.

He can be heard frequently on WEEI-FM discussing the Red Sox, as well as WBLM-FM and 101.3 in Burlington, VT.

Tom graduated with a degree in journalism from Saint Michael's College in Vermont, and prior to that from Lewiston High School in Lewiston, ME.

His work has earned him three New England Emmy Awards, a New York State Broadcasters Award, two James Ellery Awards (for excellence in AHL coverage), and the ECAC Media Award. Tom is also a member of the Portland Pirates Hall of Fame, along with former Boston Bruins goaltender Byron Dafoe, former Washington Capitals goaltender Olaf Kolzig, and Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz.

Here is a video clip of Tom addressing his alma mater about his experiences and the field of sports broadcasting:


And another speaking engagement with Tom at Southern Vermont College:


Tom Caron can be seen on NESN and the American Sports Network on Fridays during the college hockey season, on the first two Mondays in February covering the Beanpot, and on a nightly basis prior to and after every Boston Red Sox telecast on NESN.