Gary Thorne On Returning To ESPN To Call Hockey: "I'd Love To Talk To Them"

So, the big question. How interested would Thorne be in connecting with ESPN again to call games?

I’d love to talk to them about it,” Thorne said.

Giphy Images.

Thorne said neither he nor his agent had reached out to ESPN yet but said he would love to hear the details.

“I’d love to talk about it with ESPN and see what direction they’re going to take with it, what the schedule is going to look like, all of that,” he said. “But from the primary foundational question of, ‘Is that something that interests me?’ Yes, it does.”

ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said his company has had at this point no discussion on who will be the on-air talent for the upcoming NHL broadcasts.

Hey Jimmy Pitaro, get the fuck on this STAT. Give Gary Thorne whatever schedule he wants, whatever set-up he needs, whatever will make him take this job at whatever pace he wants it at. This might be the biggest no-brainer signing of all-time. I mean, fuck, we're already halfway there.

Just get Thorne in the fold. I know Bill Clement just retired but they can at least kick the tires there. If Bill stays dunzo, then grab Edzo if possible. But just get Gary then worry about color. 

Now that the news about the league getting back in bed with ESPN for the first time in 17 years is official, folks will be clamoring for Thorne to return to the place where his voice became synonymous with iconic NHL playoff moments.

The NHL and Disney agreed on a 7-year deal that will bring hockey back to ABC airwaves as well new streaming platforms. Per The Athletic, ESPN will pay the league more than $400M each year. The NHL may still make an additional deal with another network. That's a long way from the $5.5M the league got from SportsChannel for the '91-'92 season.


Love ESPN or hate them, and I've been in the latter group, the NHL being back on ESPN/ABC is great for the league. Having the full Stanley Cup on just ABC is fucking huge. It's well-known ESPN gives more shine to its business partners so now maybe the net can make Connor and Auston as prevalent as LeBron and Rodgers. Not to mention their promotion of the sport should be a step up from NBC (who may well remain a league broadcast partner). I'm willing to let bygones be bygones.

Just sign Gary Thorne first.