With Bill Davidge’s retirement announcement a few days ago, some who follow the Columbus Blue Jackets (read: us) immediately started speculating on who Fox Sports Ohio should hire to replace “Mr. Blue Jacket.” Maybe that’s too soon, but “next man up,” as they say in sports. Should they bring in Tony Brown from Cleveland? Maybe welcome Rick Nash back with a camera? Save a spot for John Tortorella?
Those are solid choices but the answer is clear: The Hyphenator. Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre.
Here’s a quick run-down of why Grand-Pierre would make a great fit:
He played for the Blue Jackets
Grand-Pierre played in the team’s inaugural season and logged two and a half seasons with the Blue Jackets. He saw the franchise take its first baby steps into the NHL and he’s still following as it draws closer to its third straight playoff appearance. He knows the game at the highest level and he’s watched the Arena District grow from its humble beginnings 20 years ago.
“When I first came here, the area wasn’t developed,” Grand-Pierre told BlueJackets.com in 2012. “To see how nice the Arena District has become has been huge.”
He’s good on camera
Playing the game isn’t enough to get a media job, despite how many networks think otherwise. But Grand-Pierre’s comfortable in front of a camera or a microphone. He worked as a pre- and post-game radio host during the past few playoffs, offering good insights and sounding smooth:
Plus, that accent? Beautiful. For a guy that doesn’t do this professionally full-time, this is a solid place to be starting from.
He knows Columbus
After retiring from playing hockey, Grand-Pierre set up shop in New Albany, where he works as a real estate agent. He also coached hockey at New Albany High School for five seasons before stepping down recently. Columbus fans love it when their former players stick around to raise families and buy property in the area, but Grand-Pierre one-ups that by literally selling property in the area. Plus, he’s happy to lend his local celebrity to good causes and public service announcements:
He’s good on Twitter
Online is where Grand-Pierre truly shines. Not only is he good at Twitter, he’s good at being a Blue Jackets fan on Twitter. Aside from sharing memes, crapping on the Florida Panthers and posting GIFs, he always finds time to catch up on hockey (or sell raffle tickets).
Client: Mr. Grand-Pierre I’d love to look at this house tonight around 7-7:30— Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre aka “The Hyphenator” (@JLGP34) April 19, 2018
Me: I’d love to but the Jackets are playing tonight!
Client: Oh yeah they have baseball in Columbus.
Me: ... pic.twitter.com/08c5WkqQwZ
Bottom line: He’s funny, knowledgeable and personable. He clearly loves Columbus and the Blue Jackets. His name might stretch out the chyron, but whoever hires him wouldn’t even have to pay moving expenses.
I asked him, and he seemed open to the idea:
I surely wish I knew!— Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre aka “The Hyphenator” (@JLGP34) March 27, 2019
It’s up to Fox and/or the Blue Jackets now: Make the right call.
UPDATE: We’ve been asked to make an edit to the article: