John Garrett was the colour commentator for the Vancouver Canucks' regional broadcasts for two decades. When he announced he would no longer be part of the team's regional broadcasts, he left some sizeable shoes to fill.
Those shoes are so large, in fact, that Sportsnet required two people to fill them.
Sportsnet announced the Canucks' new broadcast team for the 2023-24 season on Tuesday morning. John Shorthouse will continue as the Canucks' play-by-play voice, while Dan Murphy will continue on as host. The two new faces are still somewhat familiar: Ray Ferraro and Dave Tomlinson.
It has been rumoured for months that Ferraro would be the Canucks' new analyst/colour commentator but Sportsnet's announcement makes it clear that he's not the broadcast's primary analyst. Instead, he will join the broadcast for "select regional Canucks games."
That's primarily because Ferraro will still be the lead colour commentator on national broadcasts in the U.S. on ESPN and ABC. Any games that he calls for the Canucks will have to work around his national broadcast schedule.
In a previous report, John Shannon suggested that Ferraro will call, "25 home games to begin with and then potentially ten more on the road."
It's worth noting that Ferraro's wife, Cammi Granato, one of the Canucks' assistant general managers. That presents a potential conflict of interest for Ferraro, though not an entirely unusual one in the NHL, where both the media and NHL front offices are full of former players, leading to relatives occasionally landing on both sides of the aisle.
The full-time analyst for Canucks broadcasts will be Dave Tomlinson, whose voice will be familiar to Canucks fans from radio broadcasts on TSN 1040 from 2010 to 2017. He frequently worked with Shorthouse on those broadcasts, giving the new television commentary team an immediate familiarity and chemistry.
In recent years, Tomlinson was the colour commentator for the Seattle Kraken's radio broadcasts, but left that job in July for what he called a "new broadcasting opportunity with the NHL in Canada." Clearly, that was the gig with the Canucks, which represents an upgrade to television from his previous work on the radio.