Coyotes forward Scottie Upshall can be described as a leader in the dressing room, a fan favorite, and a player who can put the puck in the net.
Now you can add radio analyst to his hockey resume.
Upshall, who is currently recovering from a season-ending knee injury, recently has gotten the opportunity to join Coyotes play-by-play announcer Bob Heethuis in the broadcast booth for a couple of home games. He may continue in that role in the playoffs if analyst Tyson Nash is needed for TV broadcasts.
|Scottie Upshall |
Upshall said this isn’t the first time he’s tried his hand at broadcasting.
“I did a five minute bit of color (commentary) with Philadelphia when I played with the Flyers during one game when I was injured, and it was a great experience and something that I wanted to maybe pursue if hockey didn’t work out,” he said. “…It’s just a unique opportunity while I’m out.”
Upshall has discovered that broadcasting a game on radio has different challenges than broadcasting a game on TV.
“You have to let the listeners hear the game rather than them watch it on TV,” Upshall said. “You explain to them how (something) happened, so being on the radio is a little tougher. But I enjoy it. It’s fun.”
Upshall, who had notched 18 goals and 14 assists for 32 points in 49 games before suffering his knee injury on Jan. 28, says his recovery is on schedule.
“I’m about… eight weeks out of surgery and the knee is doing extremely well,” Upshall said. “I’m feeling real good, and I think we’re where we need to be in the rehabilitation process, so I’m excited we’re going in the right direction with that.”
While Upshall is enjoying his time in the broadcast booth, he says he misses helping his teammates win games.
“It’s a cool experience, something that I’ll take advantage of while I can. But obviously, getting back out there to play in the game is more important. When hockey is all said and done then maybe I’ll have to call ‘Heeter’ again for a color job.”
|Bob Heethuis |
Upshall says he’s had a lot of fun working with Heethuis.
“It’s a real honor to do that job with ‘Heeter,’ ” Upshall said. “He’s a great personality, a great radio play-by-play guy… The in’s and out’s of broadcasting and calling a game is an art, and he makes it look extremely easy.”
When Upshall watches his teammates play from the broadcast booth, he sees a team that he thinks has the ability to make a deep run into the playoffs.
“I see a serious group,” Upshall said. “I see a group of guys that have really come together and have formed a special bond that’s important at this time of year. You see championship teams that have won championships and you see how well they are as a group. When they’re together they enjoy their time, and they come to work. And that’s the Phoenix Coyotes mentality.”
He added, “It’s (the playoffs) going to be a great atmosphere. Anyone with a Coyotes jersey on in that dressing room has been looking forward to this opportunity since they’ve become a Coyote.”