The between the benches anaylst or reporter in the NHL has been one of the most interesting broadcast innovations in sports in the last decade. It's brought viewers at home to the ice level and provided a unique vantage point that isn't seen in other sports. But rarely has a play by play man called a game from ice level.
That happened in Buffalo last night, and not by choice. You see, the elevator to the press box at the First Niagara Center wasn't working, so venerable Sabres play by play Rick Jeanneret was forced to call the game from between the benches. He came prepared, donning a hockey helmet for the occasion in joining analyst Rob Ray rinkside.
Jeanneret actually wore the helmet throughout the game and it came in handy when he got up close and personal in his new vantage point. Watch as a Kings player almost crashes into him in the makeshift broadcast booth.
The challenge of calling a game from a completely different viewpoint can't be overstated. Not to mention working without a desk/table, the challenge with replays, and also trying to announce a game with a hockey helmet on your head for the first time. Jeanneret is a Hall of Fame broadcaster, so maybe he'll start a trend with other adventurous play by play men who want to venture down to ice level. I might consider going with the full goalie uniform next time, though.
(H/T Eye on Hockey)