3 best play-by-play teams in the NHL (and why Dave Goucher is part of one)

Sports broadcasting is essential to the sports viewing experience, bringing life to the game. Who are the three best teams in NHL broadcasting today?
Vegas Golden Knights Host "Stick Salute To Vegas And Our Fans" Event
Vegas Golden Knights Host "Stick Salute To Vegas And Our Fans" Event / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
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Play-by-play announcers are a revered part of the sports-viewing experience. They bring life to the game, calling the action and telling the story in the process. Vegas Golden Knights fans have Dave Goucher, who's carried the play-by-play duties since the team's inaugural season. Pulled from the Boston Bruins and his radio duties, the beloved commentator has graced fans with calls of Jack Eichel scoring goals and incredible saves from Marc-Andre Fleury.

But the old employer came calling for Goucher's services once again. With Jack Edwards leaving the Bruins for retirement, they needed someone to take his spot. Only this time, the Golden Knights broadcaster wouldn't be doing radio for Boston. He'd be on the television, calling goals for David Pastrnak.

However, that didn't deter Goucher from leaving his current position. On Mercedes in the Morning on Mix 94.1, the sports broadcaster announced he was returning to Vegas to his regular duties.

It's hard enough for Vegas Golden Knights fans to envision losing Jonathan Marchessault, an "Original Misfit", to another team. However, the loss of Dave Goucher would've been hard on the fanbase as well. Suddenly, the identity of the team would've been shaken to its core, with fans barely recognizing the franchise.

But there's no need to fret any longer. Vegas has their iconic play-by-play announcer back for another go, calling goals from Mark Stone and William Karlsson. Hopefully, they can bring back the beloved "Misfit" free agent for an encore as well. That way, fans can become further invested next season.

With Goucher's return, let's have some fun by naming the three best play-by-play teams in the NHL today. Mind you, Edwards isn't the most popular figure in broadcasting, for he's known for being a homer. But these announcers are the anti-Jack Edwards, bringing fun and a neutral viewpoint to the game. Fans also see them as a vessel to their team, embracing them as a part of their community. Here are the three best play-by-play announcers and color commentators in the current hockey landscape.

Dave Goucher and Shane Hnidy, Vegas Golden Knights

There's something about bringing a couple of Massachusetts products over to Las Vegas to call hockey games. Whether it's calling games on the radio for the Boston Bruins or playing for the organization, you must get your new organization off on the right foot. After all, you don't want a dud to leave the fans unsatisfied.

Enter Dave Goucher and Shane Hnidy, who fit in seamlessly with the Vegas Golden Knights community. They're perfect for hockey in the desert, bringing excitement to every game. It doesn't matter if the game is close or the Golden Knights are blowing their opponents out. The duo knows how to bring the action to Las Vegas residents.

Dave Goucher and Shane Hnidy can even make a simulated video game sound fun. Listen to the commentary where the two called a game between Vegas and Nashville... for NHL 20.

It sounds like an authentic broadcast, with pre-game conversations and statistics added to the mix. When the team can make a video game sound like the real deal, fans know they're in for a treat. It felt like the real deal, with many hockey fans reliving the same experience from their childhoods. Vegas will be fortunate to have their services for the years ahead.