An unwavering passion for sports has defined Sam Cosentino’s journey in front of the camera.
“I got my start in broadcasting doing interviews on a 15 minute radio show called “Junior Jays”, while I worked in the visiting clubhouse for the Toronto Blue Jays,” said the current Sportsnet colour analyst.
Cosentino fondly remembers spending time with the likes of Don Mattingly, Duane Ward, Harold Reynolds and many more major leaguers during his radio days, but his big break in the game of hockey would eventually come in the early 2000’s.
Cosentino’s journey into the CHL started in the late 1990’s while working with Rogers TV in local markets like Mississauga, Brampton and Toronto.
“I got my break in 2003-04 when Dan Dunleavy (current Buffalo Sabres broadcaster) was asked to do a national game in Brampton. We had worked together before so Sportsnet took him up on a suggestion to use me as the colour guy,” said Cosentino.
Cosentino’s ability to analyze the play while telling unique local hockey stories propelled him into a full-time position with Sportsnet in 2005-2006.
“The best part of my job is the hundreds of people I get to meet from owners, to commissioners, GM’s, coaches, trainers, doctors fellow broadcaster, scouts, and former and current players,” Cosentino said.
“I feel that I could walk into any of our sixty Canadian Hockey League rinks and be welcomed by someone in that community, the hockey world is so small, yet friendly,” he added.
“It’s really neat to be able to know some of the finer points of the local areas to find a good place to eat or unwind,” added Cosentino.
Cosentino returns to Moncton for the first time at the Avenir Centre for Sportsnet’s coverage of Game 2 of the CIBC Canada Russia Series.
Cosentino shares an unique personal connection with the Hub City that goes back more than a decade.
“My fondest CHL memory has to be my first Memorial Cup in Moncton. It was a great rematch of the President Cup Finals, and the four coaches featured in that Cup was about as legendary a group of junior coaches as you could have in one place,” explained Cosentino.
Unfortunately Cosentino’s memories of the CHL are not all positive.
“The passing of Mickey Renaud and Jordan Boyd are the two worst things I’ve seen. I will never forget Belleville playing in Winsor the first game back after Mickey’s passing, it was one of the most emotional things I’ve ever seen,” remembered the colour analyst.
One of Cosentino’s more recent memories featuring the emotional aspect of the CHL happened during the 2015 Memorial Cup in Quebec.
“Seeing Kurt Etchegary not getting out of his gear or leaving the ice after his final junior game was really sad in terms of a pure sports moment,” Cosentino said.
Cosentino’s professionalism, honesty and ability to relate to everyone in the game is truly an unique skill that sets him apart from others in the broadcast world. The Mississauga, Ontario product will never forgot his roots in broadcasting and all of those people that helped him along the way.
“The best advice I would give someone trying to make it in the broadcast world would be, not to worry about taking a direct path to your end goal, but never lose sight of it. I’d also say volunteering is really important, it shows you care, and it gives you a place where you can learn, and learn from your mistakes,” stressed Cosentino.
“I’ve always wanted to call baseball games, and I had a chance to do it on a few occasions most recently in 2010, but I couldn’t be any happier than in the job I have now covering the CHL and being a main piece on our NHL Draft and Prospect coverage” said Cosentino.
“Moncton will always have a special place in my heart it’s the place of my first ever Memorial Cup,” confessed Cosentino.
“I’m so excited to get back to the city and see the new barn and all of its features. Equally as important I’m excited to see the impact it has had in the downtown area.”
“As usual I expect nothing less then the best from the City of Moncton and the hospitality of the Wildcats organization.”