Nick Kypreos is ready for his new challenge: returning to Sportsnet to talk about the Maple Leafs and hockey.
“I think I’m at my best when there’s a challenge,” Kypreos said Wednesday after Sportsnet announced that the former “Hockey Central at Noon” co-host will be part of a multiplatform show.
Kypreos will join Justin Bourne, starting Monday, to talk about the Leafs for two hours a day. This time, the platform is all audio: live radio and podcasts. Kypreos was the last with Sportsnet in 2019. He and former NHL coach Doug MacLean were back and forth on “Hockey Central at Noon,” a radio show simulcast on television.
“This is different from the first time,” said 55-year-old Kypreos. “If I go back to 2019, we had a very good parting, they knew how I felt about Sportsnet, how it will always be my home. Sometimes I would stop by my studios when I was driving and I would say to my kids, ‘Hey, look at the building where Daddy grew up.’
“They asked me how I felt about coming back, in a new format, from the audio side. I found it intriguing. It has a live component, but it’s about availability on demand. You get what you want when you want it. The days of radio, when they were interrupted by the weather or a traffic update, are long gone. It’s about providing credible and informed entertainment. That’s what Justin and I want to offer. “
Sportsnet aims to offer spontaneous programming, with familiar and new voices speaking about Toronto’s professional sports teams. The idea is to provide content specific to someone’s favorite team anytime they want it, Kypreos said.
“Listeners take you on their tape, they take you for a walk with their dog … they have a choice of when and where they want to hear me,” Kypreos said.
The return of Kypreos comes during a period of change in sports radio. TSN closed stations in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Hamilton in February. Sportsnet also added Blake Murphy, Ailish Forfar, William Lou and Alex Wong to their stable on Wednesday, while reportedly parting ways with Scott MacArthur. Lou and Wong will host a Raptors show.
Kypreos, who won a Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers in 1994 and played with the Leafs for the next two seasons, realizes the shift in focus and expectations of hockey audio in Toronto. He says the content will be Leafs-centric, but will also deal with NHL news and issues.
“We have two hours and, in this city, we know how it works,” Kypreos said. “At the end of the day, it’s Leafs all the time. Last time (on “Hockey Central at Noon”), listeners were calling and saying we talked too much about the Leafs, so there was a question as to whether we were a Leafs show or an NHL show. This time there will be as many sheets as we need to tell our story. That doesn’t mean we don’t talk about Jack Eichel or other league-related things. It’s basically a blank canvas for two hours, and once we’re done talking about Leafs, we’ll cover all of the hockey. “
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