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Stanley Cup Final

Jamie Hersch showcasing versatility during Stanley Cup Final

NHL Network host has covered Predators during series, ready for Game 5 in Pittsburgh

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / NHL.com Staff Writer

The care packages for Jamie Hersch, then a college student at the University of Southern California, would arrive in the mail every week from her father, James Hersch.

They were something special to keep her connected to her family and her home outside the Twin Cities: tapes of Minnesota Vikings football games.

 

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"He took the time to tape each Vikings game and mail it to me and I would watch it three days later on VHS," Hersch said in a Happy Father's Day spot for Fox Sports North in 2015.

Fondness for the Vikings was not the only thing father and daughter shared. He took her to Minnesota Twins baseball games, and simply by growing up in the State of Hockey, it was almost impossible not to absorb the sport of hockey.

Her early sports-loving days are now spent as a sports-loving adult with a national television platform. Hersch is a host for NHL Network's "On The Fly," a nightly recap show, and also handles hosting and reporting duties for MLB Network.

"It was really a perfect marriage because it is both hockey and baseball," she said.

The Stanley Cup Final is a testament to her impressive versatility and work ethic. Hersch's primary assignment has been coverage of the Nashville Predators, but she has been all over, from the set of "NHL Live" to the streets around Bridgestone Arena, where she interviewed excited Predators fans before Games 3 and 4, including Scott Barry, known as "The Ultimate Predator." She'll also be in Pittsburgh for Game 5 against the Penguins on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports).

She also conducted an on-bench pregame interview with Predators rookie forward Pontus Aberg before Game 1 in Pittsburgh, and her last question in the boisterous PPG Paints Arena got Aberg's best answer.

Hersch: "Got some butterflies?"

Aberg: "Oh yeah, they'll come."

She also has stepped out of the sports realm and interviewed country legend Martina McBride, who sang the national anthem before Game 3 in Nashville.

"I was nervous," Hersch said.

It didn't show.

Back in the NHL Network studio, the often free-flowing nature of "On the Fly" plays to her strengths.   

"One of the things for me that is really important is being natural," NHL Network analyst Kevin Weekes said. "Just being natural and being authentic goes a long way. Sometimes people want people to be over-structured and want them to be too buttoned up in the wrong way that might not be natural to them.

"Our platform, and also MLB Network, allows her to be more comfortable, to be who she is authentically is."

Hersch worked in Madison, Wisconsin, before joining Fox Sports North in 2013, where she hosted pregame and postgame show for Minnesota Wild broadcasts and covered the Minnesota Twins. She joined the NHL Network and MLB Network in 2015.

She said among her career highlights was covering the Rose Bowl and the Stanley Cup Final last year between the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks.

"I've covered several Rose Bowls but the very first time, that was really sweet," Hersch said. "Growing up in Minnesota where you'd watch on New Year's Day and see the Rose Parade and just the sun shining and think, 'Oh, California.'

"That was memorable and the Stanley Cup Final is a highlight for sure, and last year was my first time covering it."

Hersch had the opportunity to have dinner during the 2017 Stanley Cup Final with ESPN SportsCenter anchor Linda Cohn, who joined ESPN in 1992, has hosted more than 5,000 editions of "SportsCenter" and recently was the opening night speaker at the yearly convention for the Association for Women in Sports Media.

"I've always been a huge fan of Linda Cohn," Hersch said. "She's amazing. … I had a pinch-me moment: I'm sitting down talking hockey with Linda Cohn."

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