NHL Network host Steve Mears was named play-by-play broadcaster for the Pittsburgh Penguins starting next season, ROOT Sports announced Tuesday.
Mears, who has spent the past five seasons as co-host of "NHL Live" and "NHL Now," was the radio play-by-play broadcaster for the New York Islanders from 2006-09 and worked with the Penguins radio network from 2009-13.
"Steve has been an integral part of NHL Network's on-air team for the past five years as a host of our studio and special-event coverage, and we look forward to his contributions to NHL Network's on-site coverage of the Stanley Cup Final and the NHL Draft in the coming weeks," NHL Network's Rob McGlarry said. "We are excited for Steve to receive this recognition and opportunity with his hometown team, and we wish him all the best in his new role."
Mears is a native of Murrysville, Pennsylvania, about 20 miles east of Pittsburgh.
"Steve is a tremendous natural talent who has established himself League-wide as a first-class professional broadcaster," ROOT Sports general manager Shawn McClintock said. "The fact that he grew up in the Pittsburgh area rooting for the Penguins is an added bonus. Steve has done an outstanding job with the NHL Network over the past five years, including play-by-play work on the Stanley Cup Final for NHL International, as well as the World Junior Championships, and we think he is a perfect fit for this new role with ROOT Sports and the Penguins."
Joining Mears on the telecasts will be analyst Bob Errey, who will return for a 14th season in 2017-18.
Mears will continue his work with NHL Network for the next month, including coverage of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final and the 2017 NHL Draft.
He will take over for Paul Steigerwald, who had been with the Penguins broadcast team since 1985 and was the TV play-by-play voice since 2006. He will join the Penguins front office in a new role with the communications and marketing departments.