Anyone who is familiar with the Boston sports market knows that there is no shortage of content being produced relevant to all four of the major sports teams in the city. While football, baseball and basketball (depending on who you ask) may take priority, everyone seems to have an opinion on the local hockey team as well.
What I enjoy about The Sports Hub Hockey Show, which airs every Saturday morning throughout the season on radio station 98.5 in the Boston area, is that it is run by professionals in the business that don’t play off the fears and emotions of the Bean Town faithful (like some other shows might do on the same station – I won’t name names but Bostonians know what I’m talking about). Who runs the show you might ask? Well let’s jump into it.
The Sports Hub Hockey Show – A Cast of Pros
The Sports Hub Hockey Show is hosted by Ryan Johnston who often referred to solely as “RJ”. Nearly every week (contingent on team travel schedule) the show features Bruins radio broadcasters Bob Beers and Judd Sirott and TV analyst Billy Jaffe. Joe Haggerty, a hockey writer for NBC Sports Boston, also makes regular appearances on the show.
Beers had a ten-year career as a pro hockey player from 1989-2000, playing for four different NHL franchises including the Boston Bruins. The former NHL defenseman has become a mainstay on Bruins radio broadcasts, and him and former broadcast partner Dave Goucher (who now does TV broadcasts for the Vegas Golden Knights) were the only two radio voices I knew growing up listening to games in the car going to and from hockey games of my own.
Sirott joined 98.5’s Bruins radio broadcasts to replace Goucher as play-by-play broadcaster at the start of the 2017-18 season. While Sirott had big shoes to fill, his passion for the game shines through on every goal the B’s score, and his roaring calls often times rival that of Bruins’ TV play-by-play man Jack Edwards.
On the TV side of things, Jaffe is an NHL analyst for local Bruins broadcasts on NESN, with appearances on NHL Network as well. While Jaffe’s expertise is Boston hockey, he closely follows teams around the NHL, and will often provide insight into an upcoming Bruins opponent for the show. In my humble opinion, he is one of the greatest hockey minds in the Boston area. His level-headed takes will often bridge the gap between new and old school approaches to the game.
The cast is rounded off by Haggerty, the only hockey writer to make regular appearances on the show. “Haggs” is either loved or hated by Bruins fans depending on where you stand on his opinions. Despite how people feel about his opinions, and he certainly has the most polarizing takes of anyone on the show, the guy knows his stuff when it comes to Bruins hockey. And for what its worth, it makes the show that much better when the guys don’t 100% agree with one-another.
A Must-Listen for Bruins Diehards
Making The Sports Hub Hockey Show available to listen to on Apple Podcasts was one of the best things producers could have done for the show. Not everyone is necessarily up from 9-11am on Saturday mornings, and those who are might not be near a radio. The podcast version of the show also cuts out long commercial breaks which rounds the listening time down to about an hour and a half or so.
Outside of in-game broadcasts, The Sports Hub Hockey Show is the only place I will go to listen to Bruins’ hockey talk. It is reliable, quality content where listeners who want to avoid the theatrics of other sports shows can go to get their hockey conversation. I can’t recommend this one enough for Boston Bruins fans.
Honorable mention to regular caller Maria from Watertown for feeling like a member of the cast with her energetic takes.
You can find episodes of The Sports Hub Hockey Show by clicking here. You can follow the cast on twitter Ryan Johnston (@Johnston985), Judd Sirott (@Judd_Sirott), Billy Jaffe (@BJaffe) and Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs). Note: Bob Beers does not have a twitter account.
Like this post? You can read all of our podcast reviews here.