Rob Kerr named as new voice of Calgary Flames
When Calgary Flames fans tune in to the first regular season game against St. Louis, broadcasted on Sportsnet Oct. 10, they’ll notice a new voice calling the game.
Rob Kerr, a former SAIT student, will be taking over for Peter Loubardias as the play-by-play announcer for Rogers Sportsnet.
Kerr attended SAIT in the then-named CTSR program (it’s now RTBN) in 1995. But it was his connection to longtime SAIT hockey coach Ken Babey that kick-started his career and gave him credibility within the hockey world.
Kerr and Babey met at a first-year orientation when Babey was working at the athletics booth.
“Ken Babey and I got talking and he said if I ever wanted to get more involved with hockey, they needed some help.”
Kerr made the most of this opportunity and joined the Trojans, helping them out in many different ways.
As it turned out, the assistant coach at the time couldn’t always make it, so Kerr often found himself on the ice with Babey helping him with practice.
“He was basically our team manager, and that included everything you could think of,” said Babey. “From washing water bottles, pushing pucks on the ice, pre-scouting, and running press releases about the team.”
“It started a relationship with Ken, and it allowed me to see the game from a different perspective,” said Kerr.
Kerr credits Babey as one of his biggest influences in his professional career and as a big reason for getting to where he is today.
“Without working with (him) I would not be here, no question about it – the opportunities that he gave me, and the things that he taught me about the game,” said Kerr.
“I’ve learned this game from such a critical eye view that I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.
“It has certainly shaped the way I’ve covered hockey.”
Kerr has worked many different jobs in and around the game of hockey, but ever since he was young he wanted to be a play-by-play announcer.
“When I first met him his dream was always to be in the NHL calling play by play, and I’m so happy for him that he achieved that,” Babey said.
Kerr spent last season calling Flames games for the Fan 960 on the radio, but says he will have to adjust his style to adapt to the television audience.
“TV is more precise than radio,” he said. “One of the things that drew me to radio is that you have a big canvas to paint with. The challenge for me moving forward is to fit into the precise world of television, and to work with a larger team.”
“I think of it as the maturing of my career. It’s a great challenge and it’s very exciting.”