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MSG Network creates a stir by not bringing Billy Jaffe back for Islanders TV broadcasts

Jul 23, 2010, 1:20 PM EDT

Leave it to the Islanders to get caught in a stir in the media. When it’s not some rogue fan stirring up a hoax about a Rick DiPietro car accident, they’re stuck in a mess having to deal with MSG Network not renewing the contract of television color commentator Billy Jaffe. Chris Botta from Islanders Point Blank shares the news and give his thoughts on Jaffe.

Despite the Islanders finishing 30th and 26th in the league the last two seasons, I never saw anything but 100% positive analysis from Jaffe. In fact, no one more optimistically and studiously told the story of the slow and steady recall better than him. If there was a dispute between MSG and Jaffe, I would think the Islanders would push to keep one of their biggest public advocates. In addition, he was a regular volunteer for the Islanders at draft parties and on segments for Islanders TV.

Speaking as a guy who has done some very amateur work in the radio booth as a color commentator, remaining positive when things are down in the dumps is, indeed, very difficult to do at times. Considering Jaffe has been the Isles color man for four years makes him worthy of an award for perseverance through dire times.

Jaffe has also done work for Versus and ESPN in the past and considering that Versus doesn’t have their own army of broadcasters on staff (everyone in the booth for Versus has a “day job” with another team) perhaps having Jaffe on board to be the main color man for the network would make for a smooth move and one that’s good for PR as well. 

Then again, I’m not a broadcasting executive, so what do I know?

UPDATE:

Chris Botta gets to the bottom of things fast and shares the info via Twitter:

Multiple sources confirm: MSG had contract done for Billy Jaffe, Islanders shot it down. Reason: not positive enough.

That makes things look a lot more ugly on the Islanders behalf. That said, we don’t know what goes on behind the scenes, but this just doesn’t look great for the Islanders for letting a guy go for not being enough of a “company man” for their liking.

  1. crusader - Aug 27, 2010 at 9:22 PM

    Islanders first good move in the Wang era. jaffe was horrible to listen to, thought he knew everything about the game, loved to listen to himself talk. If this means Versus or anybody else won’t use him now either, it’s that much better. Butchie Goring will be great in that spot.

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