Chicago, IL (May 23, 2006) - Comcast SportsNet has announced the hiring of former Chicago Blackhawk and local hockey icon Eddie Olczyk as the new color analyst for all Blackhawk telecasts on Comcast SportsNet starting next season. The announcement was made by James J. Corno, Senior Vice President/General Manager for Comcast SportsNet Chicago. In addition to his game analysis, Olczyk will also make regular appearances on Comcast SportsNet's Blackhawks Pre-Game Live and Blackhawks Post Game Live. When he is not on the air, Olczyk will also act as community ambassador for the Blackhawks making several appearances for the Community Outreach Department.
"We're thrilled to have a long-time, local fan favorite like Eddie joining our Blackhawk telecasts," said Corno. "Eddie has truly done it all in the hockey industry and his uncanny knowledge of the game will be a tremendous asset to our telecasts. We're confident viewers will welcome him to the Blackhawk broadcast booth starting next season."
"I had a number of opportunities come up for me recently, but this one definitely stood out among the others," said Olczyk. "Having the opportunity to come back and rejoin the Blackhawk family and be a part of the Comcast SportsNet team is something my family and I simply couldn't pass up. I am proud to come back to the city of Chicago and proud to be a part of a team that has given me so much. I can't wait to get started and offer viewers my knowledge of the game and hopefully teach them a few things along the way."
During the course of the season as well as in the off-season, Olczyk will be active in the community doing appearances for the Blackhawks as part of their Community Outreach initiatives. A local product, Olczyk was a very popular player during his career with the Blackhawks and his popularity is as great as ever. Olczyk's visibility is strengthened by his in-studio and color analysis work for both OLN and NBC.
"The Blackhawks are extremely pleased to welcome Eddie Olczyk back to Chicago," said Blackhawks Vice President Peter R. Wirtz. "In his heart, Eddie has always been a Blackhawk and it's great to have him back working with our partners at Comcast SportsNet and with us in our Community Outreach programs. Eddie has a very warm and engaging personality and it's great to have him back with us. He will be a real asset to both Comcast SportsNet on the telelcast, as well as in the community for the Blackhawks."
Olczyk was originally drafted by the Blackhawks in the first round (3rd overall) of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft behind Mario Lemieux and Kirk Muller. He will begin his tenure as Comcast SportsNet's Blackhawks color analyst in the fall of 2006 for all regular season road telecasts and a number of pre-season games. The announcement of a new play-by-play partner to join Olczyk on Comcast SportsNet will be announced in the coming months.
Olczyk currently handles color analyst duties for NBC and OLN's NHL coverage. Prior to his work on national broadcast and cable hockey telecasts, the Chicago native most recently was head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins from June 2003 to December 2005. He began his 16-year NHL career as an 18-year old rookie with the Blackhawks in 1984-85. In his first three seasons with the Blackhawks, Olczyk recorded 180 points in 225 games. In his playing career, Olczyk scored 342 goals and recorded 794 points in 1,031 games played with the Blackhawks, Toronto, Winnipeg, New York Rangers, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. He returned to the Blackhawks to close out his playing career.
Following his playing career, Olczyk embarked on a career in broadcasting, working on Penguins telecasts for Fox Sports Net Pittsburgh (2000-2003) and also worked games for ESPN, ESPN2 and NHL Radio.
Comcast SportsNet also features unique locally produced programming including Land Rover SportsNite at 6:30 pm, Jim Beam SportsNite at 10:00 pm and Midnight, McDonald's SportsRise (Monday-Friday, 5:00-10:00 am & Saturday-Sunday, 7:00-9:00 am) and SportsDay (Monday-Friday, 12:00-1:00 pm), daily sports newscasts designed to inform and entertain the local sports fan with the latest news affecting their teams and the world of sports, plus, Chicago Tribune Live presented by Chicago and Northwest Indiana Chevy Dealers (Monday-Friday, 5:30-6:30 pm), a weeknight talk show discussing the day's most pressing sports stories.
Comcast SportsNet currently consists of four regional sports networks servicing the Philadelphia, Washington, Baltimore, Chicago, and Northern and Central California television markets. In addition, Comcast SportsNet manages SportsNet New York, which serves the greater New York region. Together, the five networks reach over 22 million households providing local sports coverage to each respective market, including live game action for the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals, and Chicago Blackhawks; the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Wizards, Chicago Bulls, and Sacramento Kings; and MLB's Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, and New York Mets.