Gary Thorne
(Jim McIsaac / Getty Images)

Gary Thorne May Be The New Voice Of The NHL On ESPN

According to Richard Deitsch of The Athletic, former Baltimore Orioles play-by-play broadcaster Gary Thorne was thrilled at the idea of returning to the NHL and possibly broadcasting for ESPN again. Rumors floated around last night about Thorne returning as the voice of the NHL for ESPN because fans were clamoring for it. All of this noise was generated because ESPN just officially signed a seven-year television, streaming, and media rights deal with the NHL, which will come into effect during the 2021-2022 season.

“I’d love to talk about it with ESPN and see what direction they’re going to take with it, what the schedule is going to look like, all of that,” Thorne said, “But from the primary foundational question of, ‘Is that something that interests me?’ Yes, it does.”

Thorne would be an ideal fit to call NHL games because he was already with ESPN as the lead voice for the NHL from 1992-2004. Unfortunately, ESPN declined a deal that would have kept the NHL on the channel in 2005 so Thorne had moved on to famously call Orioles games from 2007-2021. Not to mention, one of the best voices in sports, Doc Emrick recently retired from calling hockey in 2020 after his near 30-year stint in the NHL.

Thorne Is Grateful For The Rumors

In his interview with Deitsch, Thorne expressed genuine gratitude for the love fans poured out for him when the news broke that ESPN signed the deal with the NHL. Thorne does not have any social media, but after his friends told him about the fact that he was trending at one point, Thorne said:

“In this business, if you’re doing something that fans are excited about and generally appreciate the work you’re doing, that’s what it’s all about as far as I’m concerned. So last night was a real joy for me. It brought a real smile on my face.”

Currently, Thorne has a young daughter which may have an influence on any decision to return to broadcasting NHL games, and he also has yet to receive an offer from ESPN. He also teaches play-by-play journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State. But would Thorne like to call NHL games again? Apparently, the answer is yes. And would NHL fans love to see Thorne return as a voice of the NHL? Of course.