Report by Pat Hickey, The Gazette
John Bartlett is the new English language play-by-play broadcaster for the Canadiens, The Gazette and hockeyinsideout.com have learned.
The Team 990, which lured the rights to Canadiens’ games away from CJAD, will announce the appointment later Thursday.
Bartlett, who has been the play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Marlies since 2005, has spent most of his life in the Toronto area, but he grew up as a fan of the Canadiens and has deep roots in Montreal.
“My grandfather had season tickets at the Forum for more than 50 years,” Bartlett said Wednesday in a telephone conversation from his Toronto home. “The first NHL game I ever saw was sitting in those seats with my father and the last game I saw at the Forum was with my grandfather. I still have lots of relatives in the area and my grandmother listens to every game on radio.”
Bartlett’s father worked for Bell and was transferred to Kingston shortly before Bartlett was born. The family moved to Toronto a year later.
Bartlett was selected after a two-month search that attracted dozens of applicants from across North America. The former Junior A goaltender broke into radio in his hometown of Newmarket north of Toronto and spent four years as the voice of the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League.
He joined the Marlies in 2005 and was the 2007 winner of the James H. Ellery Memorial Award as the top broadcaster in the AHL. He has been involved in community activities with the Marlies and has filled in as the play-by-play man on several Toronto Maple Leafs games on radio and TV. He has been the host of several shows on Leafs TV and tried his hand at acting in the CBC drama The Secret Lives of Hockey Wives.
“I’ve done enough to say I have NHL experience, but not enough that people can say I’m a Leafs guy,” Bartlett said.
Bartlett replaces Rick Moffat, who remains at CJAD as the voice of the Alouettes. There’s no immediate word on the analyst position, but don’t be surprised if Moffat’s sidekick, former Canadien Sergio Momesso, returns for another season.