Penguins Name Hart Play-by-play Broadcaster

June 12, 2018 GMT

Growing up, Nick Hart would do his own-play-by-play when he and his friends would hang out and play video games.

Fast forward to 2018, and he’ll be doing it for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

Hart was officially named the team’s successor to Mike O’Brien on Monday in a news release. He’ll also continue his duties as media relations director, such as putting together the “Breakaway” magazine for game nights and writing for the Penguins web site.

“It’s exciting, to say the least,” Hart said Monday in a phone interview. “I would love to just fast-forward through the summer and get the season started right away.”

Hart joined the Penguins in 2015 has spent the last season doing color commentary during broadcasts. However, he did play-by-play in college with the Ohio University men’s hockey team and occasionally swapped roles with O’Brien for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton games.

He doesn’t expect a huge learning curve in the new role, but also said it’s “not exactly like riding a bike,” either.

“It is very different, and I had gotten used to the color position,” he said. “During the rare game (O’Brien and I) would pull the switcheroo, it gave me a chance to flex that muscle again.

“Me and Obie did have a chance to sit down, and he gave me some pointers and imparted some wisdom.”

Hart wanted to thank not only O’Brien, but also Penguins CEO Jeff Barrett and vice president of operations Brian Coe for giving him this new opportunity.

“They believe in giving everyone the tools necessary to get to the NHL, even mascots and broadcasters,” he said. “It speaks a lot to the organization and the goal to just groom people for the next level.”

Hart said the Penguins don’t have any concrete plans to find a new color commentator, but the team is looking into it and could choose someone over the offseason or even once games start.

The Penguins also named Jason Spess manager of team services on Monday. He has served as assistant general manager of the Toyota SportsPlex for two years and also was an assistant coach with Wheeling last season.

Contact the writer: tpiccotti@citizensvoice.com; 570-821-2089; @CVPiccotti on Twitter