Who Will Replace the Legendary Pat Foley in the Broadcast Booth?
Blackhawks fans have known the hall of fame broadcaster Pat Foley for a while now. He has been calling Blackhawks games on NBC Sports Chicago and WGN radio for over 40 years, starting on the radio in 1981 and then transferring to television in 2008. I am someone who looks up to Pat Foley because I want to be an announcer when I'm older and it certainly will be sad to see him go. The Blackhawks announced before the season started that it would be Foley's last season in the booth in his brilliant career. So the question is, who will be tasked with filling his spot?
There have been many candidates throughout the season, as the Blackhawks organization tries to find Foley's replacement. Foley has been working with Eddie Olczyk for years now and the duo has filled Blackhawks fans with joy ever since they started working together. Their chemistry is unmatched and they are excellent together. With Pat Foley leaving and Eddie Olczyk commentating horse racing and the NHL on TNT, who will be taking their spots? When Olczyk is not announcing either of those, I expect him to be doing Blackhawks games but now that leaves us with a play-by-play announcer and a color commentator. Some of the candidates for the play-by-play spot have been Jason Ross Jr., Chris Vosters, Mike Monaco, Stephen Nelson, and Alan Fuehring. Some of the candidates for the color commentator have been Colby Cohen, Nick Olczyk, and Caley Chelios. They have all gotten in a good number of games and the Blackhawks have a good set of candidates to work with. Jason Ross and his deep voice have been the front runner for the play-by-play in my opinion (Ross actually went to middle school with Alex Debrincat) and the other favorite for the position in my opinion is Chris Vosters. He calls big ten games for pretty much any sport and has good experience in college hockey. Both of these guys are very good announcers and they have very great careers ahead of them.
Now onto the color analyst. When Eddie Olczyk is not announcing games, I fully expect his son, Nick Olczyk, to be in his place. Nick has taken after his father and has become a great announcer. He called Indy Fuel games for a while, and then got the call up to announce on the radio with the great John Wiedeman. Nick has now done games on television, mostly with Pat Foley and Jason Ross. We all hope that Troy Murray is feeling ok and we all hope that he is able to get back to his normal schedule and announce on the radio with John Wiedeman for every game. Murray has been rotating in and out after his diagnosis with cancer. The Blackhawks have also had someone in between the benches at home games, giving the inside scoop of what is going on in the Hawks bench. The main people for that are Colby Cohen and Genna Rose, who are both great. I expect them to be rotating out of that spot for the rest of this season and next.
So now the question is, who will be filling in for the two hall of fame broadcasters? For me, the best combination is Jason Ross and Nick Olczyk. They feed off of each other very well and they are both very young and have a great future together if the Blackhawks do decide to hire them. I do believe they are the front-runners for the positions, but there are many great candidates out there. For every Hawks fan, it will be very sad to see Pat Foley exit the broadcasting booth after so many great memories with the team. He truly is the best in the business and has been so great in his legendary career. I hope the best for him, whether that is retirement or announcing for another franchise.
-Jack P. (IG: @jackpolkow / Twitter: @polkowjack)