Rumour Has Ralph Returning


I’m told that final plans are still being made but that the maple leaf radio team will likely include Jim Ralph once again.

As you may recall Ralph tweeted his demise prior to returning last season and many people believed that the entire product of leafs radio would be looked at once the tv deal was in place- which it is.

More details as I get them, I haven’t heard anything about others yet….


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WestDale Rocks
WestDale Rocks
July 4, 2014 9:10 am

Hopefully Jon Abbott doesn’t return. Awful. Wondering what Bowen’s duties will look like this coming season because it looks like his TV duties might be seriously curtailed, which is ironic, given that he’s been a Rogers/MLSE guy recently. Sounds like he;ll do way more radio this season. TSN will have their own people doing the Leafs regional games. You would assume Hughson/Simpson will do the Saturday Leaf games, no matter where they’ll air. Does Bowen do the Sunday Night Hometown Hockey games on CITY? Or the handful of midweek national games that don’t fall to TSN? And what happens with Leafs TV–hearing rumours of its demise?

July 4, 2014 12:14 pm

I certainly hope not. He’s the absolute worst. Biggest homer I’ve ever heard on a sports broadcast.

Mike S
Mike S
July 4, 2014 3:24 pm

Ralph is definitely a homer (especially when paired with Joe Bowen) but he is a decent analyst and his sense of humour makes the broadcast somewhat entertaining……………they should be focusing more on finding someone who is better than Jon Abbott than maybe getting rid of Jim Ralph

I wonder if TSN will be using their own people (Cuthbert, Miller, Ferraro, etc) for their Leafs regional games next year……….if they do that would mean Bowen will do more games on radio than he has the last few years

Steve Clark
July 5, 2014 11:16 am

I’d say by nature home team broadcaster, normally partially employed/funded by the team will err on the side of the home team. Also, when you cover a team day in and day out, you do develop a repore of familiarity with them so the natural instinct is to defer to the home team.

Jim Ralph is kind of a refreshing breath of fresh air when it comes to Maple Leaf coverage. He does not take himself too seriously and in a 24/7 coverage world that sort of approach works for me. Happy to see his return.

Between TSN and Rogers national rights, it is true there will be less Joe Bowen save for the Leaf regional games, and Leafs TV, if they are back in the fold. The need for a secondary broadcaster will be less than in usual years.

July 6, 2014 12:09 pm

I believe both Westdale Rocks and myself have officially harped on this site about poor Jon Abbott, who genuinely seems to be in over his head talent wise. As someone mentioned earlier, a team that boasts of having the storied tradition like the Leafs do, should be searching for the best of the best when it comes to it’s broadcasters (think of the Dodgers).

To me, Joe Bowen is past his best-before-date but, when motivated, he can provide an exciting call. As much as he tends to be seriously cringe-worthy, he has held his post for over 30 years and that should count for something. If he does more radio, that is fine. The question for me is, when he is not on radio – who is taking his place?

Steve Clark
July 9, 2014 10:16 am

Drumanchor: Well, far as I can see, Joe Bowen is not going anywhere and that is a good thing. We can debate styles but Joe’s voice has become synonomous with Leafs hockey for the better part of 30 years and his voice is still going very strong.

As for the other part, unfortunately you are not going to attract that top name talent to be a part time radio guy, unless there were other duties involved. Would a guy like me jump at it? Absolutely,and with both feet in. I’m guessing I’m not that definitive voice you are looking for.

The two likely candidates, however, remain internal- either Jon Abbot or Todd Crocker who covered the Marlies. Anyone else would require a fairly major shake up. Also, the role of LEAFS TV has yet to be determined when it comes to regional coverage. They were good for 10-15 games per year with TSN and Sportsnet in on regional coverage, how many games will be left over? That may also determine on-air coverage.

Pants Go Brown
Pants Go Brown
July 23, 2014 10:22 pm

Ralph is a total, total homer. Constantly complains how the refs are jobbing the Leafs. I was hoping he’d be gone last year. Rock bottom.

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