ESPN is beginning to assemble its on-air talent ahead of becoming the NHL's primary broadcaster in the United States next season.
Ray Ferraro and Brian Boucher signed with the network as lead analysts, reports Andrew Marchand of the New York Post.
Ferraro is TSN's top color analyst in Canada. ESPN owns a minority stake in TSN, so it's unclear how this would affect Ferraro's role with his current employer. The 56-year-old spent 18 seasons in the NHL as a player, racking up 898 points in 1,259 games.
Boucher is currently a color analyst for NBC, which will no longer broadcast NHL games beginning next season. The 44-year-old played 13 years in the NHL as a goaltender, winning 120 games.
ESPN has yet to finalize its play-by-play commentators, but Steve Levy and Sean McDonough are viewed as leading internal candidates, reports Marchand.
The legendary Gary Thorne, who was ESPN's lead NHL announcer from 1992-2004, said in March that he would "love to talk to" the network about a reunion.
The Walt Disney Company, which owns ESPN and ABC, is paying the NHL over $400 million per season for the duration of a seven-year agreement that begins in 2021-22. Four Stanley Cup Finals will be broadcast on ABC during that span.
Turner Sports picked up the "B package" of the NHL's TV deal in the United States, paying $225 million over seven years, and gets the other three Stanley Cup Finals.
Kenny Albert and Eddie Olczyk, who will call this season's Stanley Cup Final for NBC, are reportedly joining Turner next season.
Turner is reportedly eyeing Wayne Gretzky for a broadcasting role after his talks with ESPN fell apart.