Jeff Rimer is the play-by-play announcer for Columbus Blue Jackets hockey on FOX Sports Ohio and has enjoyed a broadcasting career that spans over four decades. He has spent the past 28 years calling play-by-play action on television for the Blue Jackets, Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals and called his 2,000th NHL game on Mar. 11, 2017 at Buffalo.
The Toronto, Ontario native began his career CFAC-Radio in Calgary and then spent over four years working for the Canadian Broadcast Company, including serving as the network's gymnastics commentator during the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montreal. He also served as the sports director at CFCF-Radio in Montreal for eight years during which time he hosted Montreal Canadiens pre- and post-game shows.
Rimer moved to the Baltimore-area in 1984 as game host for the Capitals on Home Team Sports (HTS) and WDCA-TV and took over play-by-play duties in 1990. He also served as the sports director at WBAL-Radio in Baltimore, hosting pre- and post-game shows for Orioles baseball, co-hosted syndicated college basketball shows with Billy Packer and Maryland Head Coach Gary Williams and was a sideline reporter for Maryland Terrapins football. He was awarded a regional Emmy Award for his play-by-play work and won a United Press International National Broadcasting Award for his work at WBAL.
In 1993-94, Rimer was the play-by-play voice of the Capitals and the expansion Florida Panthers before taking over full-time in Florida the following season. He would spend 11 seasons with the Panthers before joining the Blue Jackets and FOX Sports Ohio prior to the 2005-06 campaign. On March 11, 2017, he called his 2,000th NHL game when the Blue Jackets took on the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center.
Rimer and his wife, Ferrel, and are the parents of son, Josh, and daughter, Kylie. The couple has three grandchildren.
Jody Shelley - Color Analyst and Team Ambassador
Former Columbus Blue Jackets forward Jody Shelley rejoined the organization in August 2013 when he was named a broadcast associate and team ambassador. He began serving as the club's television color analyst on FOX Sports Ohio in 2014-15. In addition to his broadcast duties, the Columbus fan favorite is also actively engaged in various business and community initiatives for the organization.
In addition to his duties on FOX Sports Ohio, Shelley is featured on Jackets TV on BlueJackets.com and co-hosts "The Inside Edge" with club radio play-by-play announcer Bob McElligott, a weekly radio show on the Blue Jackets Radio Network and flagship station Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan.
Shelley, who retired in 2013 after a career that spanned 16 years and over 600 NHL games, was signed by the Blue Jackets as a free agent on Jan. 31, 2001 and made his NHL debut with the club against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 17, 2001. He went on to appear in 380 games with the club, registering 11 goals and 18 assists for 29 points with 1,025 penalty minutes. He led the Blue Jackets in penalty minutes four times (2001-06) and owns the club record for penalty minutes in a season with 249 PIM in 2002-03. Through the 2015-16 campaign, Shelley sits second on the club's all-time list in penalty minutes and ranks seventh on the club's all-time games played list. He was also an active participant in the club's community initiatives through the Columbus Blue Jackets Foundation and received the team's Community Service Award for the 2006-07 season.
After leaving Columbus in January 2008, Shelley spent parts of three seasons with the San Jose Sharks. He then joined the New York Rangers during the 2009-10 season before spending his final three campaigns with the Philadelphia Flyers. He wrapped up his NHL career with 18-36-54 and 1,538 penalty minutes in 627 games. He also appeared in nine Stanley Cup Playoff games with San Jose and Philadelphia.
Prior to turning professional, he spent three seasons with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He tallied 48-50-98 and 933 penalty minutes in 181 games from 1994-97 and had his number 25 retired by the club. He began the 1997-98 season at Dalhousie University before making his pro debut with the American Hockey League's Saint John Flames that same year.
Shelley was born on February 7, 1976 in Thompson, Manitoba and raised in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. He and his wife, Mandy, are the parents of a son, Owen, and daughter, Evelyn. The family resides in Powell.
Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre - Television Color Analyst
The Columbus Blue Jackets and FOX Sports Ohio announced that former Blue Jackets defenseman Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre has joined the club's broadcast team as a studio analyst. He will join Brian Giesenschlag on Blue Jackets Live pre- and post-game shows and intermissions during games televised on the network, replacing Bill Davidge who retired following the 2018-19 season.
Grand-Pierre, who has been a contributor on Blue Jackets radio broadcast during the past three Stanley Cup Playoffs, was a member of the Blue Jackets' inaugural team in 2000-01. He appeared in 202 games with the club, registering four goals and 10 assists for 14 points with 239 penalty minutes between 2000-04. He tallied 7-13-20 and 311 penalty minutes in 269 career NHL games with Columbus, Buffalo, Atlanta and Washington and went on to play professionally in Sweden, Finland and Germany before retiring in 2013.
A native of Montreal, Quebec, Grand-Pierre was a seventh-round pick of the St. Louis Blues in the 1995 NHL Draft. He played for Beauport and Val-d'Or in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League before making his professional debut with the American Hockey League's Rochester Americans in 1997-98 and appearing in his first NHL game with the Sabres the following season. He was acquired by Columbus in a trade with Buffalo on June 23, 2000. He and his wife, Jennifer, are the parents of a daughter, Darby, and son, Dennyn. The family resides in New Albany.
Bill Davidge - Television Color Analyst
Bill Davidge is in his 18th season as a Blue Jackets broadcaster and fourth as the pre- and post-game analyst on FOX Sports Ohio and will be retiring at the end of the 2018-19 season. After serving as color analyst on the Blue Jackets Radio Network from 2000-09, Davidge spent the next five seasons providing commentary in the television booth. He brings over 40 years of hockey experience as a player, scout and coach to game broadcasts on FOX Sports Ohio.
Prior to joining the broadcast team, Davidge spent the 1999-00 season as a scout for the club. From 1995-99, he served as part-time scout/player development coach for the Florida Panthers and also was a part-time scout for the Detroit Red Wings from 1990-94.
Davidge played four years of college hockey at The Ohio State University, serving as team captain as a junior and senior and earning scholar-athlete recognition each season before graduating with honors in 1977. After spending the 1977-78 season as a graduate assistant coach at Miami (Ohio) University and earning his Master's in Education, he was hired as an assistant coach and served in that capacity for eight years. In 1985, he was promoted to head coach/professor and spent four seasons behind the bench and teaching. Upon retiring from college coaching, he continued to teach at Miami University as a professor in the Department of Physical Education, Health and Sport Studies.
A native of Dunnville, Ontario, he is the father of two sons, Rob, and Willy J., and a daughter, Miranda. He and his wife, Jayna, reside in Columbus.
Jeff Svoboda - BlueJackets.com Team Reporter
Jeff Svoboda joined the Blue Jackets organization as the team's digital media reporter in December 2018. In his role he writes about the team's on-ice performance on a daily basis as well as the off-the-ice impact of the Blue Jackets organization.
Svoboda joined the organization after three years at The (Toledo) Blade, including two years as a digital editor and one year as the newspaper's sports editor. As sports editor he oversaw a department that received multiple writing awards in the annual Ohio Associated Press Media Editors contest.
Prior to joining The Blade, Svoboda worked as a staff writer for Columbus Sports Publications for more than nine years, spending the final two years as editor of the company's flagship publications, Buckeye Sports Bulletin and Reds Report, as well as BuckeyeSports.com. During his tenure there, he oversaw the creation of the company's internship program and expanded its multimedia offerings.
A native of Lorain, Ohio, Svoboda graduated from Ohio State in 2006. At OSU, he served as both the sports director of the student radio station as well as sports editor and layout editor of the The Lantern, the school newspaper. Svoboda received the Wolfe Medal, given to the outstanding senior in the School of Communication, in 2006.