Ray Ferraro, John Buccigross, Hilary Knight among names

Mark Messier isn’t the only major name to headline ESPN’s revamped NHL coverage, as the network picks up the league’s primary broadcast rights this year for the next seven seasons.

The network announced its roster of play-by-play announcers, analysts, reporters and . Games will be broadcast across ESPN, ABC, ESPN+ and Hulu Live.

Twenty-five regular-season games will air on either ESPN or ABC, while an additional 75 games will stream on ESPN+ and Hulu. Every out-of-market game previously available through NHL.TV will be on ESPN+, which will replace NHL.TV.

Fans hoping for twinges of nostalgia are left disappointed: former lead play-by-play announcer Gary Thorne is not part of ESPN’s lineup.

Here’s who is:


Sean McDonough will be ESPN’s top play-by-play announcer. Steve Levy will also have a heavy play-by-play presence, along with Bob Wischusen.

Steve Levy will have a big presence on ESPN's NHL broadcasts.

Steve Levy will have a big presence on ESPN’s NHL broadcasts.

That trio also have football responsibilities when the sports overlap (Levy on Monday Night Football, McDonough and Wischusen on college games). That opens the door for SportsCenter anchor and hockey aficionado John Buccigross to make some play-by-play calls. Leah Hextall, although primarily a reporter, will also be the primary broadcaster for games.

Big name analysts

Messier isn’t the only ESPN addition with Hall of Fame credentials. Chris Chelios, a Hall of Famer, Kevin Weekes, Rick DiPietro and Barry Melrose will also serve as game and studio analysts.

Sports Network (Canada) legend Ray Ferraro and Brian Boucher have also officially made the move to ESPN.

ESPN also announced a trio of female analysts: A.J. Mleczko, Cassie Campbell-Pascall and Hilary Knight.

ESPN Deportes

Kenneth Garay will handle play-by-play duties, while Eltán Benezra, Carlos Rosell and and Antonio Valle are the analysts.


The first marquee event on ESPN platforms (both ESPN2) will be the Seattle Kraken expansion draft (July 21 at 8 p.m. ET) and the first round of the NHL draft on July 23 at 8 p.m. ET.

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ESPN reveals NHL broadcasters, buoyed by big-name talent