A hockey play-by-play broadcaster asks, “What’s the best path to the NHL?”
If you ask 10 NHL broadcasters how they got there, you will get 10 different answers.
The critical question to ask yourself is: do I want to do radio or television?
The Radio Path
Experience in affiliated minor league hockey is almost always a prerequisite if you want to call NHL hockey on radio.
The Television Path
Freelancing on regional networks is one way to get noticed by NHL hiring managers looking for TV talent. It’s how Alex Faust made his way to the Los Angeles Kings. Faust was careful to accept only TV opportunities that represented a step forward while he worked full-time outside sports broadcasting.
An example of upward progression is: doing a Webstream for a school, followed by working for a regional network, then freelancing at the national level before becoming the voice of a team.
Remember to build relationships
The other key to getting to the NHL is meeting people. Knowing the right people is as important as talent in getting to the top. Build relationships and a reputation for hard work and treating people well.
Getting to the NHL will be less about the path you choose and more about how well you navigate the path that you’re on.