Brendan Batchelor is pulling a Bo Horvat, going straight from junior games to Vancouver Canucks ones.
Batchelor, 28, was named radio play-by-play voice for the Canucks on Monday by Sportsnet 650, which is taking over the calling of the contests this coming season from TSN 1040. Batchelor, a Coquitlam product, was first linked to the job a month ago, when he resigned from a similar post with the Vancouver Giants. He had called the WHL team’s games for four seasons.
Batchelor, who will share the booth at Sportsnet 650 with former Canucks goaltender Corey Hirsch, took a little time Monday to answer questions as part of his media tour.
Batchelor and Hirsch replace Jon Abbott and Dave Tomlinson, who did play-by-play and analysis for the TSN 1040 broadcasts. The Giants, meanwhile, announced Monday that Dan O’Connor would be taking over Batchelor’s job calling their games. He has spent the past six seasons calling games for the Prince George Cougars, one of the Giants’ WHL rivals.
Q: What’s the biggest challenge going from working WHL games to working NHL ones?
Q: What will be the keys to handling that pressure?
A: I think just approaching the job the same way I always have, and that’s being fair and calling the games the way I see them, regardless of whether the team is very successful on the ice or struggling. It’s about maintaining credibility. If you can do that, everything else I believe will fall into place.
A: I think one of the things I’ve learned from junior is that you never know where a young player’s ceiling is. Bo Horvat scored 20 goals last season. Can he get 30 this year? How good could Brock Boeser be? There’s young talent coming. What will they be capable of even this coming season? That’s what I’m interested in most right now.
Q: Who do you look up to when it comes to play-by-play? Who’s your guy?
A: There’s been a multitude of guys. Jim Robson, Jim Hughson, John Shorthouse, Bob Cole. I’ve never felt like I had just one guy. I feel I’ve learned a lot listening to all those guys and other guys from around the NHL and guys from around the WHL. I think I’ve learned from listening to guys from other sports. There are things that are transferable. You learn a lot from listening.
MORE OF THIS Q & A HERE AT TheProvince.com