There are often some fun and quirky things done in hockey broadcasting. The NHL on TNT has done several of those through its first two years, from having Charles Barkley show up and take shots against Wayne Gretzky to having Henrik Lundqvist and Paul Bissonnette serenade former colleague Rick Tocchet with Green Day. And they’re now hinting at another one ahead of the April 18 start of their coverage of this year’s playoffs, releasing a teaser promo Wednesday asking “Who is Gordo St. John?”, and implying that “Gordo” will be part of that playoff coverage:
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— NHLonTNT (@NHL_On_TNT) April 5, 2023
That’s quite the promo, featuring a wide range of current NHL stars. The full list of those featured is Auston Matthews, Morgan Rielly, Sidney Crosby, Trevor Zegras, Nathan MacKinnon, Cale Makar, Marc-Andre Fleury, Sebastian Aho, Jack Eichel, Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl (seen at top), Jonathan Huberdeau, Jacob Trouba, Brady Tkachuk, Matthew Tkachuk, Jake Oettinger, and Phillip Danault. And they all talk about what “Gordo” has contributed to hockey experiences, with Danault’s line of “He’s done more for hockey than just about anyone” standing out. But what really stands out on the broadcast side is Gretzky’s line at the end of “I actually went to the guys and said ‘We need to bring in Gordo. There’s no one better.'” It’s not yet clear what will happen with “Gordo St. John,” but it does seem we’ll find out on TNT on April 18.
There aren’t a lot of clues about what exactly WBD Sports is planning here. But “Gordo St. John” is an excellent stereotypical hockey name, with perhaps 30 percent of Canadian men (all figures approximate) having “Gord” somewhere in their name (including this writer), with many of those coming as a salute to the legendary Gordie Howe. And several prominent Canadian cities include some version of St. John (including St. John’s, NL, Saint John, NB, and Fort St. John, BC) in their name. And this adds to a long history of hockey broadcasting strangeness, from choirs and cowbells to inspirational speeches to the studio to the aforementioned Barkley shots against Gretzky and Lundqvist/Bissonnette covers of Green Day. , and it even adds to some recent hockey weirdness around somewhat-unidentified fictional players (hello, Shoresy). So we’ll see what TNT has come up with here.
[NHL on TNT on Twitter]