Steve Mears has been hired by ROOT SPORTS as play-by-play broadcaster for the Pittsburgh Penguins, it was announced today by ROOT SPORTS General Manager Shawn McClintock.
Mears, a native of nearby Murrysville and a graduate of Franklin Regional High School, has spent the past five seasons as co-host of "NHL Live and NHL Now" on the NHL Network. He was the radio play-by-play voice of the New York Islanders from 2006-2009 and worked for the Penguins radio network from 2009-13.
"Steve is a tremendous natural talent who has established himself league-wide as a first-class professional broadcaster," 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."
Mears has agreed to a multi-year contract with ROOT SPORTS. He will work alongside veteran analyst Bob Errey, who also has agreed to a multi-year deal and will return for his 14th season.
Long-time Penguins play-by-play broadcaster Paul Steigerwald will transition to the Penguins front office in a new role with the communications and marketing departments, the team announced. Steigerwald will work with the Penguins' in-house media operation, making regular appearances on PensTV and pre- and post-game radio shows and representing the team at various community and charitable functions.
Steigerwald originally joined the Penguins as director of marketing in 1980. He became part of the broadcast team in 1985 and worked as a color commentator alongside Hall of
Famer Mike Lange when the Penguins won their first two Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992. He was named the team's radio play-by-play broadcaster in 1999 and moved over to TV play-by-play in 2006. His contract with ROOT SPORTS expired at the end of the 2016-17 season.
"There is no one more passionate about Pittsburgh Penguins hockey than Paul Steigerwald," said Travis Williams, the team's chief operating officer. "Steigy has been a loyal and dedicated part of the organization for more than 35 years and will continue to be a valuable asset in this new position. His knowledge of our players and his understanding of the team's role in our community make him uniquely qualified to spread the Penguins' message by interacting with fans, corporate partners and media."
Mears will continue to appear on the NHL Network for the next month, including coverage of the 2017 Stanley Cup Final and the NHL Draft.