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Blackhawks Fire Play By Play Broadcaster Chris Vosters

I feel bad for Vosters. I met him once. He seemed like a nice enough guy who was put in a position to fail. The new regime came in dismantled the best broadcast in the NHL and replaced it with the worst. I don't know what exactly went down with Foley, but I wish they offered him part time or whatever he wanted to stay on during a transition phase. That is what many legendary broadcasters get to do. We saw the White Sox do that with Hawk Harrelson. Dodgers did it. The Blackhawks should've done that with Foley. They also shouldn't have completely botched the negotiations with Edzo. 

The Blackhawks essentially outsourced the last broadcaster search to consultant, Ralph Strangis. That was a disaster in MANY ways. I believe he was a Faulkner hire because she knew him from her time in Texas. Faulkner released a statement today that was in The Athletic

“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.”

"Of everyone we looked at and available at the time, Chris was the clear favorite"--Faulkner

That's a BIG stretch to say he was a "clear favorite". He wasn't, in my opinion. And I've been told that the Blackhawks had made an offer to Steve Nelson and then retracted it. Now Nelson is the voice of the Dodgers...successfully replacing a legend. 

"Chris did a tremendous job calling Blackhawks games"--Faulkner

Uhhh no he didn't. That is why you're firing him with time left on his contract. I understand not wanting to throw dirt on his grave, but you could also just respectfully tell the truth. I think a statement of "I fucked up" would be refreshing to hear from Blackhawks brass one time about anything. 

Having said all of that...credit to the Blackhawks for recognizing a problem and making a needed change. I can't say that I am super familiar with the new guy, Rick Ball, but he does have a GREAT resume. 10 years for the Flames. Hockey Night In Canada. Canucks. WHL. Here's a little taste

On paper, he and Darren Pang should be very good. Flames fans on twitter seem genuinely sad that he is leaving and that is usually a good sign. Ball is 57 and Pang is 60 so odds are that they won't be the only tandem to call Blackhawks games in this Bedard era. That's a problem for another day. 

Pure speculation, but…I wonder if they're cleaning up the things that need cleaning up ahead of a big and active summer. The Blackhawks are launching their own network with the Sox and Bulls. They need to give people a reason to watch. I hope the motivation to sell fans on the new network comes with further investment and improvement in the product. And just so I am clear with what I mean by that…I mean sign Guentzel and Kane.