Chris Cuthbert
Chris Cuthbert Crop.jpg
Born (1957-09-20) September 20, 1957 (age 64)
Sports commentary career
Genre(s)play-by-play
SportsCanadian football, ice hockey

Chris Cuthbert (born September 20, 1957) is a Canadian sportscaster. He is the lead play-by-play commentator for NHL on Sportsnet and Hockey Night in Canada, since 2021. Formerly, he worked for TSN, NBC, and CBC Sports in a multitude of roles.

He was lead play-by-play voice for ice hockey at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for CTV, where he worked alongside Pierre McGuire, who also worked the tournament for NBC, and Ray Ferraro.[1][2] He and Ferraro also called 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, including the bronze medal match between Canada and the Czech Republic[3] and the gold medal match between Russia and Germany.

Biography

Early life

Cuthbert was raised in Brampton and graduated from Brampton Centennial Secondary School.[4] He later graduated from Queen's University.[5]

CBC

After almost five years at CJAD Radio in Montreal, the last two as Sports Director, Cuthbert joined CBC Sports in 1984, where he anchored regional western games for Hockey Night in Canada, usually from Edmonton. He also got spot play-by-play work when the network's primary western broadcaster, Don Wittman, was covering other events for the network, or when the schedule load necessitated it.

He got his big break during the 1988 Stanley Cup playoffs. On April 18, he was a reporter in Washington, providing brief and periodic reports of the Washington CapitalsNew Jersey Devils game to the national CBC viewing audience watching the Canadian network's game broadcast from Montreal (the Canadiens against the Boston Bruins). A power outage struck the Montreal area, which ended the telecast from that city, and CBC was forced to turn to Cuthbert in Washington to provide the full broadcast – play-by-play, analyst, and host. The broadcast was totally done off the cuff. In other words, there was no regular analysts, there were no graphics, or replay capabilities.[6][7][8][9] His effort caught the network's attention, earned him a nomination for a Gemini Award, and launched a successful broadcasting career.

Cuthbert rose to a sportscaster for CBC, where he called Olympic sports, figure skating, Canadian football, and NHL hockey. He became the secondary play-by-play voice of CFL on CBC behind Don Wittman in 1992 and eventually became the lead play-by-play voice, broadcasting the Grey Cup Championship each November from 1996 to 2004.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19] His most notable work was Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC) games primarily involving the Montreal Canadiens or NHL teams from Western Canada. In the era of the CBC's Hockey Night in Canada double-headers, Cuthbert usually called the late games. He was assigned to a conference final every year in the play-by-play role from 1993 until 2004.

Departure from CBC

Cuthbert's contract was terminated by the CBC on February 24, 2005, by CBC Sports executive director Nancy Lee while the network endured the 2004–05 NHL lockout. There was much outrage over his firing, similar to that of Ron MacLean who had almost threatened to leave the network over stalled contract negotiations, as many believed he'd be the successor to Bob Cole.[20][21][22][23] Some criticized Lee, who had created the position Manager of Program Acquisitions for CBC Sports to hire her friend Sue Prestedge a year earlier, despite the looming threat of the NHL lockout. It was also believed that Cuthbert's strong opposition, when CBC chose to drop its popular Hockey Day in Canada broadcast, did not endear himself to Lee. This decision was widely criticized, as rival network TSN staged a Hockey Day of its own.[24][25][26]

TSN and NBC

After joining TSN in the spring of 2005, Cuthbert became TSN's lead CFL football voice, replacing TSN-original John Wells.[27][28][29][30] Coincidentally, Cuthbert got his job at CBC in 1984 when Wells left the network to join the fledgling TSN. Since TSN gained the exclusive television rights to the CFL starting in 2008, Cuthbert has returned to his role as the primary voice of the CFL on TSN and called every Grey Cup during his TSN tenure.

Since joining TSN in 2005, he served as their secondary hockey play-by-play voice. In the 2005–06 and 2006–07 seasons, he also worked for NBC and usually worked alongside colour commentator Peter McNab, and "Inside-the-Glass" reporter Cammi Granato and later Darren Pang for both seasons.[31][32] As a result of Rogers Media's acquisition of the national exclusive rights to the NHL in 2014, he became part of TSN's broadcasts of Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs regional games, as well as returning for NHL assignments on NBC and NBCSN, often calling the first two rounds of the playoffs.

He made National Hockey League history on December 1, 2006 as the first play-by-play announcer in NHL history to intentionally broadcast a game from ice level, rather than a broadcast booth. Along with Glenn Healy, he called the Buffalo Sabres/New York Rangers game at HSBC Arena in Buffalo, New York. According to The Globe and Mail, "it was a good show and it's unlikely to be the last."[33]

2010 Winter Olympics

He was the lead play-by-play announcer for men's ice hockey at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver for CTV with Pierre McGuire, who also worked the tournament for NBC, and Ray Ferraro.[1][2] He and McGuire announcing the gold medal game between Canada and the United States.[1][2][34] Just before Canada's Sidney Crosby scored the gold medal-winning goal seven minutes and forty seconds into overtime, Cuthbert said:

Pavelski shot, that's saved by Luongo. Niedermayer regroups, Crosby over the line, Sidney Crosby can't bust in, up with it again he's on the ice with Iginla. Iginla- Crosby scores! Sidney Crosby! The golden goal! And Canada has once-in-a-lifetime Olympic gold!

He then later added:[34]

"These golden games have their crowning moment."

2018 Winter Olympics

Cuthbert and Ferraro returned to be the lead broadcast team for men's ice hockey at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.[3] The pair most notably called the bronze medal match between Canada and the Czech Republic and the gold medal match between Russia and Germany.

Sportsnet

In June 2020, Cuthbert moved from TSN to Sportsnet. He said that he made the change because he will be almost 70 years old by the time that Rogers/Sportsnet's national contract with the NHL expires in 2026, and there was no guarantee that he will have any more opportunity to call Hockey Night in Canada games again.[35][36] Cuthbert called the 2020 Western Conference playoffs with Louie DeBrusk,[37][38][39][40][41][42] and he called the 2021 Montreal Canadiens playoff run,[43][44][45] including the 2021 Stanley Cup Finals alongside Craig Simpson.[46]

After Jim Hughson retired from broadcasting, Cuthbert took his place as the lead announcer for the NHL on Sportsnet and Hockey Night in Canada alongside Simpson, starting with the 2021–22 NHL season.

Legacy

In 1998, Cuthbert won a Gemini Award for Best Sports Broadcaster, and in 2004, was recognized by Sports Media Canada as Sportscaster of the Year. In 2006, Cuthbert received another Gemini, this time with his TSN CFL colour commentator, Glen Suitor, for Best Sports Play-by-Play or Analyst.[47] In 2014, Cuthbert was inducted into the media wing of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.[48] A resident of Brampton, he was inducted into the Brampton Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.[49]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Cuthbert gets the nod for gold-medal game". Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  2. ^ a b c "CTV/Rogers unveil broadcast team roster for 2010 Games [Archive] - SkyscraperPage Forum". skyscraperpage.com. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  3. ^ a b "CBC unveils star-studded roster of commentators, analysts and reporters for English-language coverage of PyeongChang 2018". cbc.radio-canada.ca. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  4. ^ "Cuthbert joins football hall". BramptonGuardian.com. Brampton Guardian. November 7, 2014.
  5. ^ "Chris Cuthbert - Class of 2014". Canadian Football Hall of Fame. 2014.
  6. ^ "6 Million Without Power During Night : Quebec Gets Lights Back, Then New Outage Hits". Los Angeles Times. 1988-04-19. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  7. ^ "A power failure -- the second in 12 hours..." UPI. Retrieved 2021-08-01.
  8. ^ Koreen, Eric. "Will the one-person broadcast booth ever become commonplace in North American sports?". The Athletic. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  9. ^ "Play-by-play announcer Chris Cuthbert seems to have been everywhere the last 40 years, including your living room or basement". Toronto Star. 2020-09-11. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  10. ^ CFL on CBC Intro (1996) on YouTube
  11. ^ 1996 CFL Grey Cup Edmonton Eskimos vs Toronto Argonauts on YouTube
  12. ^ CFL 1997 Grey Cup Saskatchewan Roughriders vs Toronto Argonauts on YouTube
  13. ^ CFL 1998 Grey Cup Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs Calgary Stampeders on YouTube
  14. ^ November 28, 1999 - CFL - Grey Cup - Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Calgary Stampeders on YouTube
  15. ^ 2000 Grey Cup B.C. vs Montreal on YouTube
  16. ^ Nov. 25, 2001 - CFL - Grey Cup - Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Calgary Stampeders on YouTube
  17. ^ 2002 Grey Cup Orig Edmonton vs Montreal on YouTube
  18. ^ CFL 2003 Grey Cup Edmonton Eskimos vs Montreal Alouettes on YouTube
  19. ^ CFL 2004.11.21 92nd Grey Cup, Toronto Argonauts vs BC Lions on YouTube
  20. ^ "CBC's Cuthbert released by network". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. February 22, 2005. Archived from the original on 2021-08-16. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  21. ^ "Top sports announcer axed due to budget cuts". CTV News. February 23, 2005. Archived from the original on March 16, 2005.
  22. ^ "CBC's firing of Cuthbert meets with anger and sadness". Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  23. ^ "Cuthbert's firing turns into battle". Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  24. ^ "Furor over CBC Cuthbert firing". Our Public Airwaves. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27.
  25. ^ "Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity- CAAWS". Archived from the original on 2012-07-20. Retrieved 2006-11-14.
  26. ^ "Nancy Lee leaving CBC Sports". CBC News. October 17, 2006.
  27. ^ admin (April 27, 2005). "Chris Cuthbert Joins TSN, CTV". Channel Canada. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  28. ^ "Cuthbert joins CTV/TSN". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. April 27, 2005. Archived from the original on 2021-08-16. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  29. ^ "Cuthbert going to TSN, sources say". The Globe and Mail. 2005-04-27. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  30. ^ "Firing by CBC raises Cuthbert's profile". Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  31. ^ "NHL in search of a royal presence". Daily News. 2007-01-12. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  32. ^ "DARREN PANG TO BROADCAST FOR NHL ON NBC". NHL.com. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  33. ^ Houston, William (December 1, 2006). "Cuthbert makes NHL broadcast history". The Globe and Mail. Toronto.
  34. ^ a b Team Canada - Golden Goal and Crosby's On-Ice Interview, retrieved 2021-08-16
  35. ^ Spencer, Donna (June 5, 2020). "CFL play-by-play man Chris Cuthbert leaves TSN for Sportsnet". Canadian Press. CBC. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  36. ^ "Award-winning broadcaster Chris Cuthbert joins Sportsnet's NHL team - Sportsnet.ca". www.sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  37. ^ Jones, Terry (July 21, 2020). "Chris Cuthbert ready to bring Edmonton's Hub City to hockey fans". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved July 30, 2020.
  38. ^ "Hockey's back, and here's how you can expect broadcasts to change - Sportsnet.ca". www.sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  39. ^ "Sportsnet announces Stanley Cup Qualifiers broadcasting schedule - Sportsnet.ca". www.sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  40. ^ "Sportsnet announces Stanley Cup Playoffs' first round broadcast schedule - Sportsnet.ca". www.sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  41. ^ "Sportsnet announces schedule for 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  42. ^ "Sportsnet announces Stanley Cup Final broadcast schedule". Sportsnet.ca. Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  43. ^ "Sportsnet Announces 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round Broadcast Schedule". Sportsnet Media Centre (Press release). Rogers Media. May 13, 2021. Retrieved May 16, 2021.
  44. ^ "Sportsnet Announces 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs Second Round Broadcast Schedule". Sportsnet Media Centre (Press release). Rogers Media. May 13, 2021. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  45. ^ "Sportsnet announces Stanley Cup Playoffs third-round broadcast schedule". Sportsnet.ca. Rogers Media. June 11, 2021. Retrieved 2021-06-15.
  46. ^ "Sportsnet announces Stanley Cup Final broadcast schedule". Sportsnet.ca. Rogers Media. June 25, 2021. Retrieved June 28, 2021.
  47. ^ "Chris Cuthbert". tsn.ca. BellMedia. Retrieved July 1, 2019.
  48. ^ "2014 Hall of Fame Inductees" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on February 22, 2015.
  49. ^ "2003 Hall of Fame Inductees" (PDF). City of Brampton. Retrieved January 17, 2021.