Oilers ranked among the best broadcast teams in the NHL

The Athletic have revealed their annual NHL broadcast rankings as voter for by fans and once again, the Edmonton Oilers find themselves in the top 10.
Montreal Canadiens v Edmonton Oilers
Montreal Canadiens v Edmonton Oilers / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages

The Edmonton Oilers being among the best in the NHL has been a recurring theme this season. Obviously the main example of this is being one of the last two teams still remaining, who have a chance to win the Stanley Cup.

However, there's been plenty of other categories along the way, when it comes to being near the top of the rankings in the NHL. On an individual level, this includes Connor McDavid tying for the league lead with 100 assists, Zach Hyman finishing third with 54 regular season goals and Evan Bouchard ranking fourth among all defencemen, with 82 points.

Team-wise the Oilers have excellent on special teams, particularly during the playoffs where they rank first in both power play and penalty kill efficiency ahead of their series with the Florida Panthers. And let's give a nod to the fans as well, as they ranked fourth during the regular season with an average of 19,581 in attendance for home games. (Albeit including the Canadian Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium, with 55,411 fans in attendance for the 5-2 win over the Calgary Flames.)

With all this positivity surrounding the team, maybe it should come as no surprise to discover that even their television broadcast team is also considered among the best in the NHL. At least according to The Athletic.

Oilers' quality extends to the broadcast booth

The Athletic puts together an annual NHL broadcast rankings. They ask fans to rate their favorite team's broadcasts on a scale from 1 to 5, with the option to also rate as many other local broadcasts as they want to.

This year, The Athletic had around 7,000 responses from fans, which they then used to rank all 32 NHL team broadcasts. And Oilers fans will be delighted to find out that their team's broadcast ranked seventh overall.

This included a local ranking of 12th and a national ranking of seventh. For some more context, last year the Oilers' television broadcast ranked eighth overall.

As per The Athletic, it's mostly down to Jack Michaels as the Oilers' play-by-play. The Athletic said: "Edmonton’s crew ranked 26th before Michaels arrived in 2021. Since then, it’s only been up — the Oilers broadcast immediately catapulted from the bottom of the league to the middle of the pack and has now finished top 10 in back-to-back years, with this year’s No. 7 ranking representing its best-ever finish in The Athletic’s polling history."

The Athletic also made reference to Michael's chemistry with his partner in the booth, colour commentator Louie Debrusk, who Oilers fans are familiar with. The 1989 third round draft pick spent six seasons in Edmonton during his playing career, including making it all the way to the Western Conference Final in his first campaign with the team in 1991-92.

So what about the other Canadian NHL teams?

As a final note, The Athletic also made reference to Gene Principe, who has excelled as the host of the Oilers' television broadcasts. Of interest though, how do the Oilers compare to the other six Canadian NHL teams?

It turns out that only the Vancouver Canucks rank higher, at fourth overall, which encompasses a local ranking of eighth and an impressive national ranking of third. After the Oilers, the next best broadcast team is the Montreal Canadiens, at 13th overall.

Then it's the Flames at 16th, the Ottawa Senators at 20th and the Winnipeg Jets at 21st. This -- rather amusingly depending on your perspective -- leaves the Toronto Maple Leafs last among the seven NHL Canadian teams, at 29th.

In fairness to the Leafs, it should be noted their national ranking was an extremely respectable 12th. However, they were dragged down significantly by their local ranking of 31st.

No doubt of additional interest, the Detroit Red Wings finished first among all 32 NHL teams, receiving this ranking both nationally and locally. We also think it's noteworthy to mention the Seattle Kraken finishing second, because they've ranked in The Athletic's top two all three seasons since they came into the league in 2021-22.

Oilers have little experience to rely on for Stanley Cup Final. Oilers have little experience to rely on for Stanley Cup Final. dark. Next

Overall, we appreciate that what's most important is the product on the ice, with Oilers fans hoping their beloved team can finally win their first Stanley Cup since 1990. However, it certainly can't hurt if the production and presentation off the ice makes the game just that little bit more enjoyable for the people of Edmonton.

Recent Posts