October 8, 2008
@The Phoenix Coyotes
Nash, 33, is the new radio analyst for the Coyotes broadcasts on XTRA Sports 910, the team’s new flagship station. Nash is replacing Louie DeBrusk, who left the team over the summer.
Nash, of course, was a fan favorite when he played for the Coyotes from 2003-06. He said his decision to hang up his skates - he bagged a plan to try out for the Tampa Bay Lightning this summer - and rejoin the Coyotes as a broadcaster was a tricky one.
Nash and radio play-by-play announcer Bob Heethuis did three preseason games together for XTRA Sports 910. Nash said he’s already learned a lot.
“It’s definitely harder than I thought it would be,” Nash said. “When I first came in and did my first test trial, I remember calling the team afterward and saying ‘I hate it, I don’t like this.’ I thought I was going to go up there and just kill it. Well, I killed it all right and not in a good way. I was just really frustrated and I felt like my personality didn’t come out. I’m a talkative guy and I can be funny at times and that didn’t come out. So, every game that I do I think my personality is coming out a little bit more and more, and it’s getting to be more fun.”
Nash is friends with Coyotes captain Shane Doan and other players on the team. Asked if he thought those relationships would make analyzing their play challenging and/or awkward, Nash said no.
“I will be honest and I think you have to do that to be credible,” he said. “It’s going to be a little bit difficult but we’re all professionals and let’s face it, the guys know better than we do if they’re not playing well or they screwed up or they coughed up the puck. They know the minute they do it. So it’s going to be nothing new for them to hear me talking about it.”
Nash already has discovered that broadcasting hockey games on the radio isn’t an easy task.
“There’s a lot more to it than I thought,” Nash said. “I thought I would just come in and turn the microphone on and rip it out, but I’ve learned that the preparation is a big part of it because there’s a lot of dead time during a broadcast and you have to fill it with good information.”
So Nash is in a unique situation in that he’s a retiree and a rookie again all at the same time. It’s all good, he says.
“When you retire it’s a difficult situation and I think I’m going to struggle with it at times,” Nash said. “I’m just happy and very fortunate that I’m able to stay in the game at this level, and be around the guys. T his job is the next best thing to playing, and I’ll miss playing in the games.”
Then he smiled and added, “I won’t miss the practices, but I’ll miss the games.”