NBC's new NHL analyst is never shy with an opinion
Posted: Thursday January 4, 2007 11:51AM; Updated: Thursday January 4, 2007 12:46PM
The never-shy eight-time All-Star, Brett Hull.
Last week SI writer Richard Deitsch interviewed Brett Hull for the magazine's Q&A. The eight-time All-Star debuts as an analyst for NBC on Jan. 13. Here are additional excerpts from their conversation:
SI: Did you audition or did NBC just read 20 years of your postgame comments?
Hull: I didn't audition, so that's what must have happened.
SI: Googling your name and "outspoken" only produces 15,550 hits. That seems a little low, right?
Hull: Maybe it shows you that some of my outspokenness makes a little sense.
SI: Is honestly a lost trait among athletes?
Hull: I don't know if it's lost but athletes are trained to be humble, trained to say everything is for the team. Occasionally, you get one or two individuals who are cut from a different cloth and bring a breath of fresh air. I love a guy like Deion Sanders. So it's not honesty is lost but it's something that usually isn't in the makeup of athletes. But it's interesting: The media hates the cookie-cutter answer but they love to get on the guy who breaks the mold and gives them the answer they are not expecting.
SI: People have said that they expect you to be the Charles Barkley of hockey. Have you ever talked with Barkley?
Hull: I've spoken with Charles a million times. We play golf in the same tournaments, but we have never talked about broadcasting. I grew up being Bobby Hull's son, and I quickly realized I could only be Brett Hull. That's the only way I can be on television. I'm just going to try to do my own thing and still learn from people like Charles.
SI: If you had to pick today, who wins the Stanley Cup?
Hull: Any team in the top three of their conference is legit. Obviously, Anaheim and Buffalo are very good teams. Both have strong goaltending and Anaheim's defense with Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer is unbelievable. The offensive skill on Buffalo is awesome and so is their depth.
SI: What ultimately do you want to bring to viewers?
Hull: I want to them to get a very honest and forthright observation of the game and I want them to feel what gets me excited about a play or a rule or a decision the commissioner makes. I can promise you it will definitely be what I think and not what everybody else thinks.