Blackhawks hire veteran broadcaster Rick Ball, replacing Chris Voster

The Chicago Blackhawks made a surprise move on Thursday afternoon, bringing in veteran broadcaster Rick Ball to replace Chris Voster.
Colorado Avalanche v Chicago Blackhawks
Colorado Avalanche v Chicago Blackhawks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

The Chicago Blackhawks announced on June 6 that Rick Ball had been named the team's next television play-by-play announcer.

The team announced Ball and current color analyst Darren Pang would work alongside one another in the booth for the 2024-25 season on the team's forthcoming Chicago Sports Network, the new home of the Hawks.

Blackhawks bring experience into the play-by-play booth by adding Rick Ball.

Ball, 57, comes to the Chicago Blackhawks after spending the past ten seasons as the voice of the Calgary Flames on Sportsnet. He also worked as the play-by-play announcer for Hockey Night in Canada's national broadcasts.

By adding Ball, the Blackhawks are adding more experience to the booth. The team seemed excited about the new broadcaster.

“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 in a release. “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."

New Blackhawks broadcaster Rick Ball calling the Flames 2022 Game 7 win over Dallas:

The addition of Ball will mark the end of Chris Vosters tenure as play-by-play announcer for the Blackhawks. Vosters stepped into Chicago with big shoes to fill replacing Pat Foley.

Not everyone is Pat Foley, and with the hiring of Vosters the Hawks hoped to find another gem at a young age, someone who could spend the next decades in the booth in Chicago. That ended up not panning out but, hopefully Vosters will be able to broadcast again elsewhere.

While little is still known about the upcoming Chicago Sports Network, the Blackhawks now have their television booth set with Ball and Pang. Now attention turns to the studio, and if the team is looking to make any changes from the current group at NBC Sports Chicago hopefully Patrick Sharp can find his way back to the organization in some role there.