Former NBC Sports host Liam McHugh will join Turner Sports as the WarnerMedia outlet prepares for its first season of NHL telecasts under a new rights deal, joining hockey great Wayne Gretzky, and a new team of analysts and sportscasters devoted to coverage of the sport.
McHugh joins Turner Sports from NBC Sports, where he led hockey coverage as well as the pre-game NFL program, “Football Night in America.” He is one of several new sportscasters to join, including Anson Carter, a former NBC Sports studio analyst; Rick Tocchet, the veteran NHL player and coach; and Paul Bissonnette, the former hockey player who still contributes to radio coverage of the Arizona Coyotes. Turner had previously announced a deal with Gretzky to be part of a new studio show, as well as Kenny Albert and Eddie Olczyk, who will provide game commentary.
Brendan Burke will provide play-by-play throughout the season alongside analyst Darren Pang. Keith Jones will provide ice-level analysis for NHL games on TNT, while Jennifer Botterill, Jackie Redmond and Tarik El-Bashir will contribute to telecasts.
Turner’s inaugural season is slated to launch Oct. 13 on TNT with a doubleheader featuring the New York Rangers at the Washington Capitals at 7:30 p.m. ET, followed by the Chicago Blackhawks at the Colorado Avalanche at 10 p.m. WarnerMedia and the NHL in April unveiled a seven-year pact valued at least at $200 million that expands the company’s sports-rights portfolio for the first time in years. Disney’s ESPN has secured a larger NHL package. The league is cutting ties with NBCUniversal, which has had sole dominion over its U.S. broadcast rights for 16 years.