Golden Knights broadcaster Gismondi pulling double duty coaching in Colorado
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This season, you’ll see Nick Gismondi on Vegas Golden Knights broadcasts.
You’ll also see him on the ice helping coach the Colorado Thunderbirds’ 15U AAA team.
As the suburban Detroit native puts it, “hockey has always been a huge part of my life, arguably the biggest part.”
Gismondi filled in a bit last season during Vegas’ inaugural NHL season and parlayed that experience into a bigger role this season.
“Last season really gave me a great opportunity to get familiar with the team and the staff and also the team over at AT&T Sports Network (who broadcasts the games),” explained Gismondi, who now lives in Colorado. “I was still under contract with NBC Sports, so everyone sort of went in a different direction, but this season the opportunity to be the TV pre-game, post-game, and intermission host came up again and I was lucky enough to be considered. When they asked me to come back on for this season, I honestly could not say yes fast enough.
“The team of people on the Vegas Golden Knights side from the players, to GM George McPhee, and president Kerry Bubolz, and their communication team of Eric Tosi, Sage Sammons and Alyssa Girardi are as first-class as it gets. And to have the opportunity to work on-air with Brad May (pictured below), Dave Goucher, Shane Hnidy, Gary Lawless and Aly Lozoff is a dream come true.”
And to do all of this in Las Vegas is just icing on the cake for Gismondi.
“I mean, what a town,” said Gismondi. “The thing that will honestly be the most fun is the fan base. They are as loyal and as ravenous as any in any sport. And T-Mobile Arena is literally deafening every game all game long. The fans know their hockey and love that team. It’s an environment like no other. It’s the entertainment capital of the world so it’s got this constant electricity to it that has no rival. I love it.”
Back during the late 1990s, Gismondi worked for a local cable outlet covering junior hockey in the Detroit area.
Like some of those players, he’s also moved up to the NHL.
“Growing up in Plymouth, Mich., and being a hockey player myself and being surrounded by so much great hockey certainly was a catalyst,” Gismondi said. “It’s crazy to think this career started for me 23 years ago announcing Compuware Ambassadors games in the NAHL on 88.1 FM and then the Plymouth Whalers (now the OHL’s Flint Firebirds) before joining up with NBC where I spent the last 12 years. So many people gave me chances and believed in me and I owe them everything. (Former Compuware and Plymouth coach) Mike Vellucci (now coaching in the Carolina Hurricanes system) is far and away the guy I owe the most to. He believed in me from the start and to this day, he’s one of my closest and dearest friends. I can vividly remember all those moments on the bus and through Canada and at the Compuware Arena.
“Those moments shaped me into the broadcaster I am and more importantly, the person I am. I still talk to everyone from back in the day, many of which are my closest and best friends now. I owe that beginning everything.”
Now delving into the Thunderbirds’ coaching ranks, it’s simply another aspect to his career that Gismondi is excited to continue.
“I’ve always tried to be involved, but work has really limited my involvement,” explained Gismondi. “This year, though, the timing just seemed right and the pieces fell into place and when I was asked to come on as an assistant coach with the 15U team, it was impossible not to say yes, especially with the Thunderbirds. It’s an incredible organization whose track record is off the charts on player development and placement all the way through juniors, NCAA Division I and the NHL.”
— Matt Mackinder
(Nov. 8, 2018)