Jim Hughson wouldn't go so far as to call it living out a boyhood dream.
But he's clearly excited about adding Hockey Night in Canada to his impressive broadcast resume.
CBC Sports announced yesterday that Hughson, 48, will be the new play-by-play broadcaster for the second game of its Saturday doubleheaders.
Hughson, who won a Gemini Award in 2004 for sports play-by-play, will work alongside Greg Millen.
"I've watched Hockey Night in Canada forever and I understand what the institution is and what the history is," Hughson said in a conference call yesterday. "It's a wonderful opportunity to work on the biggest hockey television show in the world."
Bob Cole and Harry Neale will handle the play-by-play and colour commentary for the opening game of the doubleheaders. Hughson replaces Chris Cuthbert, who was fired by CBC in February and was later hired by TSN. Hughson will continue to do play-by-play for 45 Vancouver Canucks games on Rogers Sportsnet Pacific.
Hughson needed permission from Sportsnet to accept CBC's offer -- something he obtained rather easily.
"We knew that the nights (CBC) wanted him to work wouldn't conflict with the nights we needed him," said Sportsnet president Doug Beeforth.
The CBC also announced its annual Hockey Day in Canada will be held Jan. 7 with three all-Canadian matchups, including Ottawa at Montreal (2 p.m.), Toronto at Edmonton, and Vancouver home to Calgary.
HNIC will open its season with three broadcasts on Oct. 8 -- Buffalo at Ottawa, Montreal at Toronto (both 7 p.m.), and Vancouver at Edmonton (10 p.m.).
The Senators' Oct. 5 season opener in Toronto is expected to air on TSN.