The NHL’s newest team just hired the league’s first full-time Black play-by-play announcer.
Everett Fitzhugh, 31, will serve as the Seattle Kraken’s lead team broadcaster, NHL.com reported. Fitzhugh spent the past five hockey seasons with the Buffalo Sabres’ ECHL affiliate, the Cincinnati Cyclones.
“Everett has established himself as a unique and leading voice for hockey,” said Tod Leiweke, CEO of the Seattle Kraken in a press release sent out by the team. “He’s going to bring tremendous energy and talent to our broadcast and content team, and we can’t wait for our fans to get to know him.”
“As someone who’s worked in hockey for more than a decade, to be named a part of the broadcast and content team for a brand-new NHL franchise – particularly one with an organization as strong as the Kraken – is a dream come true,” Fitzhugh added. “Getting to the NHL has always been my goal. I look forward to representing the Kraken organization throughout the greater Seattle community.”
NHL.com noted that the league has seen a rise in Black broadcasters in recent years, naming Kevin Weekes and Anson Carter, analysts on NHL Network and NBC Sports, and David Amber, a studio host for Rogers Sportsnet. NHL.com also named Mike Tirico and John Saunders, the ESPN sports anchor who died in 2016 at 61.
Seattle – the NHL’s 32nd franchise – is set to begin play in the 2021-22 season.