Barry Jackson

Panthers TV analyst retires. And college football, NFL and NBA media notes

Former New York Islanders legend Denis Potvin, who retired as a Florida Panthers announcer on Monday, is seen in this photo waving to the crowd during the ‘Walk of Champions’ prior to the Islanders game against the Florida Panthers at the Nassau Coliseum March 2, 2008 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders were celebrating the 17 men that were part of all four Stanley Cup winning teams from 1980-1983. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Former New York Islanders legend Denis Potvin, who retired as a Florida Panthers announcer on Monday, is seen in this photo waving to the crowd during the ‘Walk of Champions’ prior to the Islanders game against the Florida Panthers at the Nassau Coliseum March 2, 2008 in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders were celebrating the 17 men that were part of all four Stanley Cup winning teams from 1980-1983. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

A six-pack of media notes on a Monday:

▪ Denis Potvin, the Panthers’ long-time television analyst, retired from broadcasting on Monday, ending a second career that lasted even longer than his Hall of Fame NHL career.

Potvin, 65, spent 30 years in broadcasting, including 21 as the Panthers television analyst - the team’s first 16 seasons, ending in a surprising dismissal, and the past five, when new ownership decided he needed to return to the broadcasts.

“I have been blessed to work in industries where team work was essential for success,” Potvin said. “When I think of the play-by-play announcers, producers, directors and tape operators I have worked with, not to mention the camera support, it’s no wonder why I loved every minute of being a broadcaster.

“I’ll miss the interaction and the fun, but I feel that it’s time for me to step away. Since the day that Bill Torrey and Mr. Huizenga brought me on board in 1993, I’ve been blessed to watch hockey grow in South Florida. From the Panthers of present and past, from Pavel Bure to Roberto Luongo, to the exciting young core of Panthers now led by Aleksander Barkov, it’s been my distinct pleasure to have gotten to work with and get to know each of them.

“While it will be an adjustment to step away from my broadcasting career, I look forward to spending more time with my family and grandchildren. I want to thank the Florida Panthers players, coaches, staff and fans for the memories and privilege of being a part of this franchise’s history.

Potvin worked with Jeff Rimer, Jiggs McDonald, the late Dave Strader and current TV play-by-play voice Steve Goldstein during his time with the Panthers.

Panthers CEO Matt Caldwell thanked Potvin “for his tremendous contributions to our franchise both as a broadcaster and as an ambassador of hockey in South Florida.”

Potvin’s Hall of Fame career spanned 15 seasons and included four Stanley Cup championships with the New York Islanders. He was three times named the NHL’s top defenseman.

The Panthers and Fox Sports Florida are expected to consider internal and external candidates, including Randy Moller (the Panthers’ vice president of broadcasting and alumni who has served various roles as a team broadcaster for 21 years) and Bill Lindsay (the Panthers’ radio analyst who spent six seasons as the team’s TV analyst before Potvin’s rehiring).

(Tuesday morning update: Moller is getting the TV analyst job, according to a league source. The Panthers subsequently announced this.)

Recently retired goaltender Roberto Luongo is not being considered for the TV game analyst role at this time. A studio role potentially could make sense for Luongo if he’s interested.

▪ ESPN assigned Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit to UM’s Aug. 24 opener against UF from Orlando.

And UM fans with Comcast, AT&T Uverse and Xfinity remain in jeopardy of missing UM’s Sept. 7 game at North Carolina and Sept. 14 game against Bethune Cookman unless those carriers strike deals with ACC Network. DirecTV, Dish and Hulu are among providers that will carry the network. Keep in mind that SEC Network did not strike carriage agreement with some operators until the last minute when it debuted.

▪ College football announcing news: ESPN hired Red Sox and former Marlins announcer Dave O’Brien to pair with NFL studio analyst Tim Hasselbeck as its lead ACC Network announcing team… Tim’s brother Matt, another former NFL QB, will do ESPN Thursday games with Adam Amin…

Jon Beason will join Mark Richt in ACC Network’s studio. And another Cane - Jonathan Vilma - returns for another year in ABC’s college football studio, joining Kevin Negandi and new hire Mark Sanchez, the former quarterback…. Former No. 2 overall draft pick Ryan Leaf will do games for ESPN2 and ESPNU….

Urban Meyer, to The Chicago Tribune on his new job as a Fox college studio analyst: “Being personal, taking shots at players or coaches, that will not happen. However, I can be critical of a moment, decision-making and those type of things. My job is to analyze. If to be a great sportscaster, you have to hammer people, then I’m in the wrong [business].”

▪ As The New York’s Andrew Marchand has reported and we’ve also heard, Paul Pierce is at serious risk of not returning to ABC’s and ESPN’s NBA Countdown. One person we’ve heard ABC/ESPN officials like: Richard Jefferson, who does work for ESPN’s Get Up morning show and other programming. Chauncey Billups could move to game broadcasts.

Another move that could be made eventually, if not this year, is Maria Taylor replacing Michelle Beadle as studio host. Beadle has time left on her contract, so she still could return. The New York Post reported internal disenchantment with Beadle’s reluctance to promote other ESPN programming, and a source did not dispute that.

▪ According to the San Jose Mercury News, the Oakland Raiders - who will be featured on HBO’s Hard Knocks beginning next week - are reluctant to allow cameras inside position meetings or when players are cut. It will be curious to see how that’s resolved, because those are two hallmarks of the show.

“We’re on the record as saying the Oakland Raiders did not invite the Hard Knocks cameras in,” Raiders general manager and former NFL Network draftnik Mike Mayock told the newspaper. “You all know that. That’s where we are. Hard Knocks is an intrusion.”

One other NFL note: NFL Network this fall will air two shows that it is producing for the league’s 100th season: “The NFL’s All-Time Team” and “NFL 100 Greatest.” Rich Eisen, Cris Collinsworth and Bill Belichick will host “The NFL’s All-Time Team” -- a six-episode series that names the league’s 100 greatest players and 10 coaches, as decided by an independent panel.

▪ Quick stuff: Stephen A. Smith appeared on air Monday with his left arm in a sling because of a torn rotator cuff… 790 The Ticket did not name a morning show replacement for former UM player Brett Romberg, who abruptly left the show Friday for reasons that have not been explained….Because of a carriage disagreement, Dish Network homes in South Florida remain without Fox Sports Florida and Fox Sports Sun.

Please click here for my two Monday Dolphins pieces and for my UM piece with notes on every position.

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