Since the announcement that TSN is losing the national rights to the NHL in Canada, they have stuck with most of their NHL talent, signing them to long-term deals rather than letting them leave for the competition. For the first time since that fall announcement, the network will see a defection.
According to an internal memo obtained by Awful Announcing and sent out by the network’s Senior VP of production, Mark Milliere, Dave Randorf — TSN’s CFL host and play-by-play man for Montreal Canadiens telecasts as well as the World Hockey Championships — is leaving the network for a job with Rogers. It isn’t 100% confirmed, but the memo suggests he’ll be working for the Rogers consortium of networks on their coverage of the National Hockey League.
Randorf joined the network in 1985 as an editorial assistant while still attending school, working in the network’s newsroom until 1989. He returned in 1995, and has been the network’s CFL host since 1999. He’s also done play-by-play on the NHL as well as numerous international hockey tournaments.
The memo suggests that CFL broadcasts on TSN will feature “in addition to several production enhancements, we are also planning to introduce both new faces and some of our marquee talent.” That includes a new studio host, as lead play-by-play man Chris Cuthbert is expected to be staying. Of course, this all depends on the CFL reaching a labor agreement, which has yet to happen. Network NHL host James Duthie, despite rumors to the contrary, will not be TSN’s full-time host for the sport, though he may take part in some role, especially closer to the Grey Cup.
According to another source, Rogers will use Randorf as part of a “top three” for play-by-play at the company that will see Jim Hughson maintain his status as lead NHL play-by-play man, coming over from CBC (though, realistically, he’ll also be staying at CBC since that network will televise the Stanley Cup Final). Randorf and former TSN NHL play-by-play man Paul Romanuk will round that threesome out. The legendary Bob Cole is also expected to have a role with the network, though it appears he won’t be one of their top voices.