There are a lot of changes coming to the Toronto Raptors this year, and not just with the roster of players taking the court. Those changes carry on all the way to the broadcast booth too!
The Raptors announced earlier today that former Raptor Alvin Williams, who’s been providing the occasional pregame and halftime commentary for the past couple of seasons, will join Matt Devlin in the booth for games broadcast on Sportsnet.
Jack Armstrong will continue to provide colour analysis alongside Devlin for the team’s games on TSN.
If you’re following along at home, that would indicate that OG colour analyst Leo Rautins, who’s been in the booth since the day the Raptor first hatched outta that ridiculous egg, is no longer on the team. Sportsnet has seemingly confirmed the news:
A beloved member of our #RapsOnSN team, we would like to sincerely thank @LeoRautins for 20+ years of tremendous passion, commitment & dedication to @Sportsnet viewers across Canada.— Sportsnet PR (@SportsnetPR) September 23, 2021
We count ourselves lucky to have had you on our team. Thank you Leo!
Sportsnet also confirmed via Twitter that Amy Audibert will handle sideline duties, and that Sherman Hamilton, Danielle Michaud and Brad Fey will continue as in-studio hosts.
No further details have come from TSN re: the rest of their Raptors crew for 2021-22.
Both TSN and Sportsnet will air 41 games each this season; no word yet on the split between the various sub-stations that each network has. (Who can keep track, anyway?)
On the radio side, Sportsnet 590 The FAN and TSN 1050 Toronto will also be splitting up the games, with Eric Smith and Paul Jones on 590 the FAN, and Jones and Sherman Hamilton on TSN 1050.
It’s going to be very weird not to hear Rautins’ voice on the telecasts this season, I can tell you that much. But the truth is, it was time — well past time, in fact — for a change. This is not a knock on Leo, but rather an acknowledgement that the fanbase has changed significantly over the past two decades, while the broadcast booth hasn’t. There’s new blood watching, there should be some new blood calling the games too. Change is good!
Speaking of change — no announcements have come regarding whether or not we’ll see another game (or, hopefully, multiple games) with the Meghan McPeak/Kia Nurse/Amy Audibert-led crew that we got for one awesome night last season. Make it happen, Raptors!
The 2021-22 Raptors regular season tips off on October 20 on TSN, as the Raptors take on the new-look Washington Wizards. Alvin Williams makes his Sportsnet color analyst debut two nights later when the Raptors travel to Boston to take on the Celtics on October 22.
You can find the full broadcast schedule below.