“The Lightning strike in overtime!” exclaimed the Tampa Bay Lightning’s TV play-by-play announcer Dave Randorf. He was calling the game on Dec. 3 that saw Alex Killorn’s shot get past the Toronto Maple Leafs’ goalie with 33 seconds remaining. Lightning games are typically exciting on their own merit, but with the professional and distinguished Randorf, and the expert, spot-on analysis from former NHL player, Brian Engblom, the Bolts have one of the best TV broadcasting duos in the entire league.
Randorf Becomes TV Voice of the Lightning
Before the 2021 pandemic-shortened season began, the Lightning announced that Randorf was joining the broadcasting team of Engblom, Paul Kennedy, Dave Andreychuk, Bobby Taylor, and Adam Hall when the season kicked off on Jan. 13, 2021. Although he brought 30 years of experience, he still had big shoes to fill by replacing legendary play-by-play announcer Rick Peckham, who had served as the Bolts’ announcer since 1995.
When Randorf stepped into the booth with Engblom, their chemistry was immediately apparent. As the new guy, he was content to let the veteran color analyst lead the way while he got acclimated in his new role. It didn’t take long for Randorf to fall in love with the Lightning organization and learn everything about the players and coaches.
Having spent his early broadcasting career in his native Vancouver, Randorf moved to Canada’s TSN to call games for the Canadian Football League. He was then hired as the play-by-play commentator for Sportsnet’s national telecasts for Hockey Night in Canada. During his career he also covered Sportsnet/CTV Super Bowl coverage, golf, hockey world championships, and regional Montreal Canadiens games.
Engblom Continues To Be Among the Best Analysts
Winnipeg, Manitoba native Brian Engblom played 659 games with five NHL teams. Drafted in 1975 by the Montreal Canadiens, the 67-year-old won three Stanley Cups with the team and retired with a plus-155 in the plus/minus column. He began his broadcasting career in 1993 as a color analyst for hockey games on ESPN and ESPN2 before moving to ABC Sports to cover national NHL games. He then joined the NBC Sports Network, where he covered the 2014 Winter Olympics and served as an analyst on NHL Live. When he arrived in Tampa, he replaced Bobby “the Chief” Taylor as the Lightning’s color analyst.
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Engblom’s hockey knowledge and in-game perspective, along with Randorf’s engaging calls, keep fans’ attention no matter what the scoreboard reads. The two broadcasters have also developed a great on-air rapport.
Rick Peckham’s Legacy
Peckham was the first true TV voice of the Lightning. He called every important game in franchise history, including the devastating sweep by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. So, it was fitting that the last game he called was the “revenge” game that saw the Bolts defeat the Blue Jackets in the first round the following season on their way to winning the Stanley Cup.
There were so many memorable calls that Peckham made that have become legendary. After a decades-long career that also included covering national NHL regular season and postseason games, he was awarded the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award in 2020. The award is presented by the Hockey Hall of Fame to honor top broadcasters.
Randorf & Engblom Are Perfect Fit for Lightning
Randorf and Engblom are smart and professional. Along with the Lightning’s long-time TV crew, which also includes reporter Gabby Shirley, they make the game experience more engaging, entertaining, and educational. The Lightning organization is a class act, from the owner, general manager, and coaches, down to the players. They deserve a broadcasting crew who is equally classy. Randorf and Engblom prove they fit the team’s standards perfectly.