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04-10-2012, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by jBuds View Post
Put me in the group that says Duff is PHENOMENAL BUT DOES NOT BELONG IN THE BROADCAST BOOTH. He needs to host. He needs to be the face of the TV broadcasts, with the PxP and colorman simply being voices. He needs to be doing what Sylvester does now when RJ and Neale are doing broadcasts, but in a much more enhanced role.

My colorman should be a former player or coach with good in-game insight. Duff, while a phenomenal on-air personality and someone I vehemently want involved in our television broadcasts, doesn't fit the mold of color man or play by play analyst.

Retaining and further involving Duff is indeed a mandate. Not as PxP or colorman, though.
I don't get how you get that interpretation - if you watched any of the road games where Duff was involved this season, he wasn't just an emcee that set up softball questions for the others to comment or speak about. He very much offered great insight and commentary on certain plays in the game or on a player that he thought stood out. Likewise, he'd offer views on what the other team did well. By contrast, Sylvester was clearly willing to defer to whomever he was teamed - be it Ray, Neale, Gare or Robitaille. Any comments he makes as the host definitely come off as scripted and bland - which probably fits the role he has.

While Duff may have been slotted as the moderator or host on both the NHL Network highlight shows and the MSG telecasts, he was neither content to sit neutrally by and let others do the analysis nor disengaged from the discussion. I think he fits exactly what you want in a color commentator - someone who breaks down the plays, does their homework on both teams and balances the passionate playcalling of his booth partner with technical and analytical commentary.

The problem with too many color commentators IMO is that they're former players / coaches that prefer to expound on their own experiences and resort to storytelling. Neale has made a living off that approach for years, as did Lorentz, Robitaille and Gare. Other teams have the same dilemma. Having an astute observer of the game who's both eloquent, objective and confident without being a homer or pretentious, like Duff, is a rarity and something the Sabres would definitely be wise to snatch up before some other team does.

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