As far as coping with change, I’m about as good at it as Melvin Udall, the screwed-up character Jack Nicholson played in the 1997 movie As Good As It Gets. I’m not saying that it’s good or bad, just that it falls under the time-tested words of wisdom, "know thyself."

That said, I’ve got to admit that, on a lot of levels, I’m glad to hear Kevin Quinn just inked a new five-year contract with Rogers Sportsnet and will be back manning the microphone for the 50 or so broadcasts his outfit will do with the Edmonton Oilers in 2011-12.

I know, some of you are saying, "Kevin Quinn sucks. He squeals like a girl, particularly when he does that "Ovvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeertiiiiiiiiiiime winner" bit. Some of you are uncomfortable with the way KQ purses his lips as he nods at all of the gold coming from the maw of partner Louie DeBrusk during their stand-ups.

Others wonder about Quinn’s hair. Is it a transplant? Is it a weave? And is there a lawsuit pending against the ham-handed and possibly three-sheets-to-the-wind quack who made KQ look like a garage sale Barbie? Well, the wayward crop sticking out of his scalp is all his.

I’ll leave debate about Quinn’s chops or lack of same as a microphone jockey and discussion about his porcupine-like do to you because none it matters in my world.

KQ is back, and I like it.


In a world where it sometimes seems like everything and everyone is disposable, particularly in a shallow business like TV where experienced people get kicked to the curb all the time for younger, cheaper (and occasionally better) replacements, I like seeing a 53-year-old relic like Quinn get a five more years.

No, Quinn’s not as handy with a make-up pad or the white strips as many of his fuzzy-cheeked and better-coiffed brethren in the TV booth today, but he’s been on the call with the Oilers since 2001 and I’ve grown rather fond of listening to him.

Maybe I’m a fossil (I am), but too often, the people I’m listening to call games from around the NHL remind me of one of those keeners you get serving grub at your favourite steakhouse. "Hi, I’m Sven (or Jeremy or Dustin) and I’ll be your server tonight."

They’ve been at the job maybe 15 minutes. My take is big teeth and enthusiasm are no substitute for an old hand who can get you the best New York strip from the kitchen because he’s tight with the chef and he puts in a word the meal is for a friend. I know this to be true in Detroit and New York and Boston and . . .

Rather than have some newbie stroll over and tell me his name, I’m a lot more confident I’ll get my $50 or $100 worth at a joint when the person slinging the meat remembers my name.


Not long ago, I was looking at a picture taken on 43rd Street in Times Square during the 2003-04 season, which isn’t really that long ago (is it?). In it, were Morley Scott, Rod Phillips, Joanne Ireland, Gene Principe, Quinn and his hair and yours truly.

Today, just three of those people remain a part of the Oilers travelling road show, while three younger, better-looking types are in the picture. That’s much like the team itself, actually. Only three players remain from that team today — Shawn Horcoff, Ales Hemsky and Ryan Smyth, back for a second tour of duty.

In Calgary, Peter Loubardias got the sack in favour of Rob Kerr, who put in his time. Many fans think that’s an upgrade, as they do here with Bob Stauffer taking over from Scott on 630 CHED. Phillips, of course, retired after 113 years. It’s Jack Michaels now. Sometimes, it makes sense. Still, change unsettles me.

I like it that Quinn’s back for a lot of reasons. Having travelled with him for seven years after he came on in 2001, I can tell you he’s a good man and a straight-shooter in a business rife with back-biting and phonies. He paid his dues. And, frankly, I like how KQ calls hockey games.

Most of all, I’ve grown accustomed to his hair. Good or bad, it’s his and it’s been around a long time. There’s something to be said for that.


Let’s do a spin-off of the radio item we ran last week — in other words, give me some insight on who you like and don’t like regarding Oilers broadcasts and news on TV.

— Which play-by-play men do you like most and least among the national guys — TSN, Sportsnet and CBC? How about their colour analysts? Who is really good and why? Who is really bad and why?

— Of the TV reporters who cover the team, nationally and locally, who is the best and why?

Listen to Robin Brownlee Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on the Jason Gregor Show on TEAM 1260.

  • Philbertus

    best hands down, pbp I like Gord Miller and Cuthbert just professionals who don’t force there opinions, both call a good game.

    worst, mark lee

    best color, simpson and ferarro are great and I respect mcguire because he has alot of energy and is held in check by miller.

    hands down can’t stand is Principe, this guy is intolerable, I can’t believe he’s still employed!

  • O.C.

    I pretty much can live with, if not like, all the announcers and colour guys other than Peter L who I detested, but he is gone now. Come to think of it, Millions and Campbell are horrible too…

    The only person on the Oil broadcasts who grates a bit is Spector when he is on with Stauffer between periods. Is he playing a role, or is really that smug?

  • Philbertus

    I can’t stand Mark Lee… Case and point to quote him from a game I watched last year, “This guy is literally on fire right now”… I don’t think this guy understands the term “literally”. Also Weekes is terrible and I couldn’t hand Marc Crawford. Another favorite quote from Crawford from a couple years back (or maybe it was last year), “You can’t let guys walk in unmolested like that”. Really Marc?? Unmolested… Come on!

    I agree with most of you, Ray Ferraro Is the man!

  • Rob...

    I haven’t read any complaints about a play by play personallity or colour commentator because they were too much of an Oilers homer. Do any of you believe that there is such a thing? If so, does it irritate you?

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Chirs Cuthbert is by far my favourite play-by-play guy. I’ll watch women’s badminton if he is doing the pbp.

    I like Sportsnet’s coverage as they spend more of the intermission discussing the game on hand. TSN goes off to what has happened in Eastern Canada and it pisses me off.

    I don’t mind the combo of Hughson and Simpson on CBC, but I can’t stand their goaltending fetish that fills the intermission. That and Pj Stock rubs me the wrong way.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Oh ya, my man Ray Ferraro. He really seems to do his homework before going into a game. That is one of the things that makes me hate McGuire. If RF is doing a game that involves a team he has seen very little of, he seems to have dug into things. McGuire on the other hand just states stuff as news that is actually old news.

  • Rob...

    What a lot of folks on here seem to be forgetting is that commentators don’t grow on trees altho’ having said that I’d like to hang a few of them from one. Broadcasting hockey is like almost everything associated with the NHL… it’s an “old boys network”. It often seems like it’s got nothing to do with talent but rather who owes who a favor. It seems like that it’s a mandate of the CBC to hire the worst talent. Case in point… they fire Chris Cuthbert… he was just too good. Ron McLean can retire anytime he wants and run as a Liberal candidate in Red Deer. Jim Hughson was palatable until the Canucks became an upper echelon team. No worries tho’ as I feel the CBC will eventually get out of the hockey business as the ratings are too good and CBC doesn’t like shows that do well.
    Kevin Quinn has become an excellent PBP guy and he can stay as long as he wants. I like Louie too. Principe…meh! I liked Ferraro. I would like to see him coaching so he could stand at the bench after yet another miscue resulted in a goal and say to the offender “WTF”… or words to that effect.
    Gord Miller is tops in my books too. I’ll never forget his call when Jordan Eberle tied it up against the Russians! Classic.