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Michelle McMahon fitting in on 'NHL Now'

Excited by daily challenge of co-hosting NHL Network's newest show

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor

Michelle McMahon compared becoming host of "NHL Now," the newest show on NHL Network, to being a rookie on a sports team.

McMahon, who joined NHL Network at the start of the season, works with network veterans E.J. Hradek and Steve Mears on the show, which debuted Oct. 12. It is broadcast live weekdays from 4-6 p.m. ET.

"For me, the best experience that's let me jump into the situation and find my place and find my role has been playing sports my whole life," said McMahon, who played volleyball at the University of Michigan. "You learn how to be a good team player. You don't want to overstep your boundaries, but from my audition they've been so easy to work with. After three days on the show I felt the most comfortable I've felt in a long time doing any broadcasting. They've made it easy to transition."

McMahon, 26, spent last season as host of Fox Sports Carolina's pregame and postgame shows on Carolina Hurricanes telecasts, and as a rinkside reporter during games. She also did work for the Hurricanes website. 

"NHL Now," which features reports from arenas around the League as well as guest studio analysts, has a lot of moving parts. But McMahon said she's excited by the daily challenge.

Video: Fantasy Expert Pete Jensen joins Michelle on NHL Now

"There's a lot of movement on the show," she said. "We can be going from what's happening on Twitter to social media, to sending it to different rinks to bringing in our 'NHL Tonight' crew to get a different perspective. There's a lot of different moving parts. There's a lot of different movement. … It keeps it going, it's entertaining. Lot of different information. We switch gears fairly quickly, which is good from the perspective of staying interested and staying involved in what we're trying to cover.

"I think the direction they were going with this 'NHL Now' show fits perfectly with my personality. Not a lot of scripting; lot of unscripted and more focused on the fun side of hockey. We all have a lot of fun doing the show. We still cover news events, but we make it a focus to have some fun along the way. What I was doing in Carolina was very much a lot of the ad-libbed, no teleprompter, just going with the flow, having fun with the pregame shows. That translates very well to what I'm currently doing with these guys. It's been a fairly smooth transition."

Hradek, who had hosted "NHL Live" with Mears, said the new format and new co-host for "NHL Now" have been welcome changes. 

"Michelle is doing really well," he said. "She's bringing a little bit of a different dynamic to the show. … Michelle has been really terrific so far, and I think she's only going to get better with time and experience."

McMahon, who also has experience working for the Big Ten Network, said she's looking forward to how the show continues to evolve. 

"The reason we all do this job is because it's a lot of fun," she said. "For the viewers, we want to entertain them and also be informative but create an environment where it's a fun show where we can all interact with each other and learn as much as we can about what's happening in the League and also have a lot of fun. … Anything that's entertaining around hockey we want to be part of and we want everyone else to be part of our fun journey too."

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