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Blackhawks add new play-by-play announcer Rick Ball   

The Chicago Blackhawks announced in June that Rick Ball has been named the club’s next television play-by-play announcer.  

The Blackhawks report that Ball will join color analyst Darren Pang in the Blackhawks’ broadcast booth for the 2024-25 season, the team’s first on the forthcoming Chicago Sports Network, the new television home of the Blackhawks.  

Ball, 57, joins the Blackhawks after spending the previous 10 seasons as the television play-by-play voice of the Calgary Flames on Sportsnet. During that time, Ball also served as play-by-play announcer for Hockey Night in Canada’s national broadcasts, a role he began in 2011 before being named the program’s lead Western play-by-play announcer in 2013, notes his bio. 

“We are delighted to have Rick join the Blackhawks broadcast booth alongside Darren Pang as we begin this exciting new chapter in Blackhawks television with our new broadcast venture, Chicago Sports Network,” said President of Business Operations Jaime Faulkner.  

“An established voice in the hockey world, Rick brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our broadcasts. Coupled with Darren’s exceptional energy and expertise, we believe we are providing Blackhawks fans with the best in-home watching experience in the NHL.” 

“We would also like to thank Chris Vosters for his time as play-by-play announcer, and we look forward to continuing discussions surrounding opportunities with our new network. Chris is a phenomenal broadcaster with a big career ahead of him, and we are excited for him to continue to showcase his immense talent through his content with Stadium as well as his broadcasting work with other national, multi-sport entities,” added Faulkner.  

A native of Kelowna, British Columbia, Ball started his broadcast career in 1995 as the radio play-by-play announcer for the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League, a role he held until 2000.  

He broke into the NHL in 2000-01, originally serving as a fill-in for Jim Hughson, calling games for the Vancouver Canucks on VTV before being named the radio play-by-play voice of the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League in 2004. 

Ball would return to hockey ahead of the 2008-09 season as the radio play-by-play announcer for the Canucks on TEAM 1040 through the 2013-14 season.  

During his career, Ball has called numerous Stanley Cup Playoff series with Sportsnet and TNT. He also worked as the play-by-play announcer for NHL Network and Sportsnet during both the World Cup of Hockey in 2016 and the 2018 NHL China Games between the Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins. 

“I am thrilled to join the Chicago Blackhawks broadcast booth at such a monumental time in the organization’s history. My family and I are extremely grateful to the Wirtz family for giving me the opportunity to join such a storied franchise. It will truly be an honor to call games for an Original Six team and to work with someone as incredibly talented and respected as Darren Pang,” said Ball.  

Pang will return for his second season with the Blackhawks as television color analyst. He also serves as a lead analyst and ice-level reporter on TNT. He previously worked as the color commentator for the St. Louis Blues on Bally Sports Midwest from 2009-23 and the Phoenix Coyotes (2005-09), while also serving in various roles with NBC Sports, TSN, ESPN and ABC.   

Sports Editor at Chicago Crusader Newspaper | + posts

Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.

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