The Columbus Blue Jackets announced today that veteran National Hockey League broadcaster Steve Mears has joined the club as its new television play-by-play announcer.  He replaces the long-time television voice of the Blue Jackets, Jeff Rimer, who retired at the end of the 2023-24 season after 20 years with the club.  Mears will join color analyst Jody Shelley for the team’s televised games on Bally Sports Ohio.

“Steve Mears brings a wealth of experience having broadcast games to regional, national and international audiences for nearly two decades and we are excited to have him join Jody Shelley to deliver Blue Jackets hockey to our fans,” said Blue Jackets Vice President of Business Intelligence and Broadcasting Marc Gregory.  “Much like his predecessor Jeff Rimer, Steve has a deep level of knowledge and enthusiastic dedication to our game which is evident every time he broadcasts a game.”

Mears has spent the past 18 years broadcasting games and serving as a host on NHL Network, as well as handling play-by-play duties for the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Islanders.  He has been the play-by-play voice for numerous high-profile NHL and international hockey competitions, including the Stanley Cup Final, All-Star Games, outdoor games and the IIHF World Junior Championships.  This past season, he called play-by-play action on TNT during the Stanley Cup Playoffs and hosted NHL DataCast powered by AWS, an alternative broadcast that used NHL EDGE data to provide fans with a new way to watch the Western Conference Final series between the Dallas Stars and Edmonton Oilers on truTV and Max.

“It’s truly an honor for me, and I’m extremely grateful to have the opportunity to call games for The 5th Line as the television play-by-play announcer for the Columbus Blue Jackets,” said Mears.  “I’ve seen first-hand for many years, as far back as when I attended games as a student at Bowling Green, how loyal and passionate Blue Jackets fans are and how special game nights at Nationwide Arena can be.  With a great core of young, talented players, I can’t wait for the season to start and to work with Jody Shelley and our production team at Bally Sports Ohio.”

The 44-year-old is a native of Western Pennsylvania and a graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he broadcast games for the Falcons hockey team.  He comes to Columbus after spending the past seven seasons with the Penguins, calling the action on both television and radio since 2017.  Prior to that he spent five seasons with NHL Network, serving as host of NHL Live, NHL NOW and as the play-by-play voice for NHL International.  He also broadcast games for the New York Rangers and was a host on the MSG Radio Network during his time in New York City.

“Steve Mears is an accomplished broadcaster whose passion and excitement for the National Hockey League and its players is on full display when he is in the broadcast booth,” said Randy Stephens, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Bally Sports Ohio.  “We are excited to welcome him and believe he will be a great addition to our Emmy Award-winning coverage of Blue Jackets hockey on Bally Sports Ohio.”

Mears began his career as the voice of the Central Hockey League’s Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs, where he spent four seasons and was named the CHL Broadcaster of the Year in 2005.  He then joined the Islanders as the club’s radio play-by-play announcer from 2006-09 before returning to Pittsburgh as a host on the Penguins Radio Network and contributor on PensTV from 2009-12.  In addition, he served as the host of MLB Tonight on MLB Network from 2015-17 and called play-by-play action for U.S. Open tennis matches from 2020-22.

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