Potvin joins Sens broadcast team

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:32 PM ET

Denis Potvin is home again.

The former Islanders great couldn't hide his excitement Tuesday after Rogers Sportsnet made it official that he'll join Dean Brown as the colour analyst on 52 Senators' TV broadcasts this season.

Potvin, 56, who spent 16 years working the Florida Panthers' broadcasts before being let go last year for financial reasons, is thrilled to return to his hometown after buying a house in Wakefield in May.

"Perfect is the word you can use," said Potvin. "This is just a great situation for me and for my family. I know Bryan Murray. I'm just thrilled that this has come along.

"I'm really looking forward to getting back into the booth. You don't have many opportunities in life and I'm really glad they clicked."

Potvin, born in Hull, is one of the best players to put on an Ottawa 67's uniform. He played five seasons with the club -- from 1968-73 -- before being drafted No. 1 overall by the Islanders in 1973.

An NHL Hall-of-Fame defenceman, with 1,052 points in 1,060 career games, he played 15 years with the Islanders, winning four Stanley Cups. His transition into the broadcast booth has been smooth.

"It's going to be great doing hockey in Canada," said Potvin, who is spending a couple of days in Toronto at the Hockey Hall of Fame and he also plans on taking in a Blue Jays game.

While he has lived in the U.S. for most of the last 40 years, Potvin, with family still in the area, and his wife Mallory decided to buy a home here in May. They spent most summers at their retreat in nearby Mont Tremblant.

The Islanders are also looking for a colour analyst to replace Billy Jaffe, but it's expected that former great Butch Goring will get the job.

Potvin had been talking to Sportsnet for about a month after Galley made the difficult decision to leave the post.

The network looked at a number of candidates -- including former Senators blueliner Jason York -- but Potvin brings a wealth of experience. He should work well alongside Brown, who is a friend.

"He's an experienced broadcaster, coupled with the fact he's an NHL Hall of Famer and, thirdly, he has strong ties to the Ottawa region," said Sportsnet producer Rob Corte.

"It's a great find for us. In talking with Denis, he's very charismatic, he's got great stories and he's very enjoyable to listen to. He's very personal. Dean is of the same ilk and we expect them to gel quickly."

Potvin will start work Friday by taking in the first Senators rookie workout before they board the bus for London to take part in a four-team tournament.

"I've always kept a close eye on the Senators," said Potvin. "It's going to be an exciting year. Bryan Murray has put together a pretty good team. I'm looking forward to a fun year."


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