Hidden deep in the depths of the Edmonton Journal was an interesting tidbit in regards to Sportsnet’s Oilers TV broadcasts. According to Jim Matheson, Louie DeBrusk and Drew Remenda will be switching spots for certain games.
Louie DeBrusk will apparently be handling colour commentary duties with play-by-play man Kevin Quinn on Edmonton Oilers Sportsnet TV broadcasts this winter with Drew Remenda doing between-periods commentary for their Rogers Place home games. When DeBrusk works a weekend HNIC game, Remenda will be providing colour alongside Quinn.
Remenda slid into the Oilers’ colour commentary role back in 2014. Previously, he had spent many years doing commentary for the San Jose Sharks. He also previously worked as an assistant coach for the Sharks during their early expansion days.
Remenda replaced DeBrusk who was promoted into a role as the main colour analyst for the late night Hockey Night in Canada games on Saturday nights. Based on Matheson’s report, DeBrusk would continue doing those Saturday HNIC games and Remenda would replace him in those instances.
Oilers fans, for the most part, can’t stand Remenda. Earlier this off-season, Remenda appeared on a Sharks podcast and spoke about how much he was disliked by the Oilers faithful:
“I don’t know if you know this but you can go and Google and search it up, and my kids love to do it because they think it’s the funniest thing in the world, Edmonton fans hate me. Like hate me. Sharks fans, not so much. Sharks fans are so good to me all the time.” – Source.
I really don’t think Remenda is as bad as his reputation around the Oilers community suggests. He’s got an extensive colour and radio background, had a coach’s perspective, and is comfortable being critical of players. What Oilers fans seem to find offputting about Remenda is how often he talks about the Sharks, but why wouldn’t he when he has such an extensive background with the organization and Edmonton’s current coach spent multiple years in San Jose?
I’ve seen many criticize Remenda for seeming like he’s cheering for the other team, but I’d personally much rather have an impartial stance than a homer analyzing my team. I also think it’s more interesting if the commentator gives thoughts on the opponent, but that’s just me.
Regardless, if Matheson’s report is accurate, Sportsnet clearly listened to the angst of Oilers fans. DeBrusk, a former Oiler, has always been popular among fans here while Remenda can likely thrive doing analysis in between periods.