Everett Fitzhugh Hired for Kraken Play-by-Play; NHL's 1st Black Team Broadcaster

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorAugust 7, 2020

A flag with the new logo for the newly-named Seattle NHL team, the Seattle Kraken, flies atop the iconic Space Needle Thursday, July 23, 2020, in Seattle. The hockey expansion franchise unveiled its nickname Thursday, ending 19 months of speculation about whether the team might lean traditional or go eccentric with the name for the league's 32nd team. Seattle's colors are a deep dark blue with a lighter shade of blue as a complement. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

The Seattle Kraken have hired Everett Fitzhugh as their play-by-play broadcaster, per Ryan S. Clark of The Athletic. 

Fitzhugh will be the first Black team broadcaster in NHL history.

The Bowling Green State University graduate previously pulled double duty for the ECHL's Cincinnati Cyclones, running their public relations department in addition to his broadcasting work.

He's also done play-by-play for BGSU and run media relations for the USHL as well as the league's Youngstown Phantoms franchise.

Fitzhugh joined the Cyclones in 2015 and stayed there for five years before agreeing to head to Seattle. Some of his work can be found below:

The Kraken, who are the NHL's 32nd franchise, will begin play in the 2021-22 season.

Fitzhugh's official broadcasting role with the team is to be decided, per Smith:

"Fitzhugh's official title is team broadcaster. The franchise is still sorting through broadcast rights deals, but the Kraken wanted to hire Fitzhugh now anyway. It is possible he could become Seattle's play-by-play radio announcer or serve in another broadcasting role as the team gets closer to playing in the 2021-22 season. For now, the plan is for Fitzhugh to be one of the faces—and voices—of the Kraken."

Joe Lucia of Awful Announcing provided some insight into the Kraken's media options with their broadcasting deals up in the air:

"The Kraken, who begin play in the 2021-22 season, don't have TV or radio deals lined up yet. You'd assume that their games will air on Root Sports Northwest in the Pacific Northwest (especially when you consider that the network is majority owned by the Mariners, and also airs Seahawks magazine and shoulder programming), but a local station (as is the case with both the Sounders and the Storm) could be a possibility, as could NBC Sports Northwest, the Oregon-based cable home of the Trail Blazers. However, the inevitable broadcast conflicts with the Blazers might make that a non-starter, as could NBC's cuts to its RSNs this week."

Regardless of where Fitzhugh eventually appears, the Kraken hired someone who has a wealth of experience and one who has aspirations to be the best ever at his craft.

"I want to be the best, period. I know what I want to accomplish," Fitzhugh told Smith. "I think the fact that this is a defining moment to be the first Black team broadcaster is something that is really cool and really special. And it has not really fully hit me yet."

In addition to Fitzhugh, the Kraken made two other hires official on Friday, taking on Jonny Greco as their senior vice president of game presentation and live entertainment and Lamont Buford as the vice president of game presentation.

The Kraken are set to begin play at Climate Pledge Arena in the fall of 2021.