Jeremy Roenick thinks it'll be a great weekend for hockey, so why not play two?
Roenick will attempt to pull off a unique cross-country doubleheader this weekend for NBC, starting Saturday night at Dodger Stadium when he joins Dave Strader and Brian Engblom on NBCSN's broadcast team for the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC).
Following the game Roenick will take an all-night, cross-country flight that the NHL is chartering for select people in order to join Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Pierre McGuire on the broadcast team for the Stadium Series game Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils (12:30 p.m. ET, NBC, TSN).
"We think Jeremy used to play well on back-to-backs as long as the coaches kept him on curfew, and we're going to do that again," NBC Executive Producer Sam Flood said, joking. "That's the kind of care we have at NBC."
NBC Sports personality Jeremy Roenick will board an overnight cross-country flight to make this weekend's Stadium Series games. (Photo: Bill Wippert/NHLI)
All kidding aside, Roenick said it was Flood's idea to have him do both games this weekend, as well as the Stadium Series game Wednesday at Yankee Stadium between the Rangers and New York Islanders (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN), because he's willing to go anywhere and do just about anything.
He was also part of the broadcast of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium and will be in Chicago on March 1 for the Stadium Series game at Soldier Field between the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins (8 p.m. ET, NBC).
"I wanted to be at the one in Vancouver [2014 Tim Hortons Heritage Classic on March 2], but we're not carrying it," Roenick said. "I love the games. I think they're awesome. I love the atmosphere. I love the fan participation. I like everything about it. I'm happy."
Roenick arrives in Los Angeles on Friday, when he is planning to tour Dodger Stadium and get a feel for what elements he can add to NBCSN's production of the game. He all but guaranteed he will at some point make his way to the makeshift beach volleyball court that is being laid out in left field.
"Oh, there's no question about that," Roenick said.
His preparation for the broadcasts has so far focused on the Ducks, Kings, Rangers and Devils, but Roenick said what he does best is interact with the fans.
He'll go on the ice to tell the viewer what it is like. He'll go into the stands to have some fun with the spectators. He'll go just about anywhere and do just about anything, which is why Flood wants him at all of the games.
"His personality fits well in doing fun things like this," Flood said. "His life is an adventure. He's Walter Mitty. He's just this bigger-than-life, cosmic character and it's fun to do different things with him. He's a different character, so let's do different things with him."
"[Flood] trusts me to find the right spots, the right people and do the right thing to kind of capture the essence of the game," Roenick said.
He loves the freedom to do that because it gives him the opportunity to stamp his gregarious personality onto the broadcast.
"A lot of these games capture the attention of the fans and it's the excitement of being there, and a lot of the telecast is what this game brings," Roenick said. "What I do very well is I gravitate toward the fan and I definitely have a good respect and appreciation for what they do and what they sacrifice to come watch these games. I try to bring that out. I appreciate that."