When NESN hired Jack Edwards in September 2005 to be the Bruins play-by-play voice for its road broadcasts, the former ESPN SportsCenter anchor said it was his dream job.
“My hope is still to be doing this in 2025,’’ he said.
Thirteen years and a new contract later, Edwards’s whimsical wish is now in the range of reality.
NESN has not made a formal announcement yet, but according to industry sources, Edwards recently agreed to a new contract to remain as the Bruins play-by-play voice for the foreseeable future. One source said the new deal was for four years, which would take him through the 2021-22 season.
There will be no changes on NESN’s Bruins broadcast team in the coming season. Edwards, who became the sole play-by-play voice in the 2007-08 season (Dale Arnold had called the home games), will be joined again by veteran color analyst Andy Brickley and rinkside reporter Alex Kraemer, who made a good impression last season, her first in the job.
There was some industry chatter at the end of the past season that Edwards might not be back. His style – decidedly pro-Bruins, and occasionally prone to soliloquy – isn’t for everyone. But he calls a crisp game, and his enthusiasm about the sport and the franchise is authentic.
Being the television voice of the Bruins is a dream job for many broadcasters. For Edwards, it’s his dream that continues to be fulfilled.
A format switch
When NBC Sports Boston premiered its three-hour weeknight program Boston Sports Tonight in April 2017, it was easy to wonder how long it could sustain such lengthy nightly commitment without the topics becoming redundant or its hosts weary.
It did last more than a year at that three-hour length. But Monday, NBCSN switched to a two-hour format with no fanfare. A NBCSN spokesperson said the network assessed the format before making the change. NBCSN has not abandoned the 11 p.m.-midnight window, but is considering its programming options for that hour.
It will be interesting to see if the show’s format or shape changes with the reduction in airtime. The four original hosts — Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Kayce Smith and Tom Giles — developed decent chemistry. But Smith departed for Barstool Sports in May, and the show has occasionally had a more contentious vibe recently.
Coincidentally, Monday was also the night of the debut of Smith’s replacement, Danielle Trotta, who most recently was part of Fox Sports 1’s auto racing coverage.
ESPN’s draft lineup
In one sense, ESPN will take a familiar approach to its primary coverage of Thursday’s NBA Draft (7 p.m.). Rece Davis will host, while analyst Jay Bilas will tell us whether a player “stretches the floor’’ or has a “great wingspan’’ on multiple occasions.
Chancey Billups will also be on hand as an analyst, while Adrian Wojnarowski, Mike Schmidt, Bobby Marks and Maria Taylor will also contribute insight and interviews. (ESPN said its analysts will not tweet the names of picks – scoop-master Wojnarowski’s draft-night specialty — before they are announced on the broadcast.)
But as it has done for major events such as the college football national championship game in recent years, it’s also added alternative ways to watch the draft if the familiar has become too familiar to certain viewers.
The Rachel Nichols-hosted “The Jump: NBA Draft Special’’ will air on ESPN2 simultaneously. That is worth checking out. “The Jump’’ emerged this season as casual, humorous, and informative way to follow the NBA.
ESPN will also cover the draft live on ESPN Radio. And there will be a Twitter broadcast as well. Dave Jacoby, Ryen Russillo and Ryan Hollins will discuss the first-round selections in real time. That can be found at live.twitter.com/espn.
Sports Hub addition
The Sports Hub announced Wednesday that Christian Arcand will join the station’s weeknight program, “The Adam Jones Show,’’ in a full-time capacity as co-host. Arcand replaces Nick Cattles, who returned to a previous sports radio job in Virginia Beach, Va. in May. Arcand begins the role Monday.