Yesterday, Hall of Famer and longtime Panthers Color Analyst, Denis Potvin, announced his retirement from broadcasting after 21 seasons with Florida.
The Panthers site has a great read chock-full of quotes from various folks and stats Potvin over the years.
You remember he was a great player in hockey's history for those 80's Islanders teams, but you forget his achievements until you see them laid out for you:
Per Florida Panthers website:
"Originally selected by the New York Islanders with the first overall pick of the 1973 NHL Entry Draft, Potvin became the cornerstone of the New York Islanders four Stanley Cup Championship teams from 1979-80 to 1982-83 and served as captain for eight seasons (1979-80 to 1986-87). The three-time winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the NHL's top defenseman (1975-76, 1977-78, 1978-79), Potvin retired from the NHL following the 1987-88 season.
Potvin appeared in 1,060 career NHL regular season games, all with NY Islanders (1973-74 to 1987-88), producing 1,052 points (310-740-1,052) and a career plus-456 rating. Among defensemen in NHL history, the native of Ottawa, Ontario, stands at fifth in goals, seventh in points and 10th in assists, while owning the franchise record for all three categories among Islanders defensemen all-time."
I really liked Potvin in the booth. I enjoyed his stories, emotion and occasionally getting players names wrong - that was all part of the charm to me. Pro sports is so stats-heavy now that many leagues fill the booth with analytics nerds (for lack of a better term), that jam the broadcast with mind-numbing talk about numbers and stats that no one could possibly care about - see MLB.
Potvin always brought the fun "character" aspect to the game for me. Solid info from his years in/around the league and the fact that he was a fan, often times opting to remove the unbiased cap to praise or criticize the Cats, was always cool in my book. A lot of teams want the neutral caller, but I always think the Homer adds a fun flair and entertainment to non-Nationally televised games.
Thank you, Denis, and enjoy your retirement!
Randy Moller Gets the Nod
While writing this blog, I saw the news that Randy Moller received the nod from the Panthers and Fox Sports Florida to be the Television Color Analyst for the 2019-20 season.
I was actually thinking that Potvin's vacant spot might be filled by Lu - who, as a fan favorite, I think has the comedic chops and likeability that could translate really well to that kind of role.
But, I really like Moller. He's not only a natural in front of the camera, but he has the experience and, as an ambassador for the franchise for two decades, his connection with the players, coaches and organ-I-zation as a whole in unparalleled.
Check out this nice write up that details Moller's career, both on and off the ice.
Really looking forward to some of those vintage goal calls!
Lastly...something you might not know about him is that he had a solid head of lettuce and unmatched chest hair during his playing days...