When most people associate Todd Warriner to the game of hockey, he’s thought of as an OHL legend, or a decade long NHL regular. When locals hear the name Chris McLeod, they think of the radio personality.
That’s why this unexpected duo has turned many heads this season in the broadcasting booth, as a highly successful team doing play-by-play and colour commentary for the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires. The pair are the voices for Windsor’s television broadcasts on TV Cogeco.
“Covering the Spitfires has been a lot of fun,” said Warriner about his experience this season. “Getting caught up with some old friends in the city I got my start has been really rewarding,” added Warriner, who played three seasons with the Windsor Spitfires from 1990 until 1993.
After fighting off the nerves during his first few games in the broadcasting booth, Warriner is now thoroughly enjoying the experience, and finds it comforting to have McLeod sitting next to him, “Chris and I have a good rapport, and just understand each other better. Chris and I have become good friends, he’s always prepared, and has lots of data and stats at our disposal each night.”
In fact, it was McLoed who recommended Warriner for the colour commentary position after he was recruited for the position and lured away from calling London Knights games. McLeod, a veteran broadcaster, says Warriner brings a wealth of knowledge himself to the games, that the average fan or media personality might not have,
“He sees the game so much differently than the average fan,” said McLeod about Warriner. “Even the hardened hockey fan doesn’t see some of the idiosyncrasies he sees. I may be able to explain what is happening, but Todd is very good at telling you why it happened.”
Regardless of the challenges and hard work both had to put into preparing for the season, and for each game the duo calls, it’s been an experience they wouldn’t trade.
“We’re both having a lot more fun with it now,” said Warriner about the experience.
The duo will call their final regular season game this season when the Windsor Spitfires host the Plymouth Whalers Sunday March 17. The Spitfires have struggled much of the season and will miss the Ontario Hockey League