Lisa Hillary, above, is moving from CSN Washington to CSN Philly.
The Flyers beat at CSN Philly is getting a miniature shake up.
According to the DC-based On Frozen Blog, the Capitals beat reporter at CSN Washington, Lisa Hillary, will be moving from the Nation's Capital to Philadelphia, where she will serve as the on-air talent covering the Flyers.
This change doesn't impact the coverage at CSNPhilly.com. Tim Panaccio and Sarah Baicker will continue to cover the Flyers just as they have for the last year. This only impacts the television side of things, where we believe that current beat reporter John Boruk will be moved away from covering hockey.
(Update: FlyerGuy18 noticed that Boruk's Twitter account, @CSNFlyer, is gone. Deleted from the history of the world -- or something, thanks Google Cache. Pretty strong evidence that Hillary is replacing him, I'd say.)
He's covered the Flyers since arriving at the network in 2006. We don't believe he's leaving CSN completely, so don't get all crazy and spin that the wrong way.
As for Hillary, she's been with CSN DC for a little over three years now. The Ottawa native formerly worked at TSN in Canada, where she was a weekend anchor on SportsCentre and a reporter covering the Calgary Flames. She's well-respected and by all accounts, she does great work in covering hockey.
On Frozen Blog had nothing but good words about Hillary.
Hillary is well known among the biggest names in hockey broadcast media, and over the years as they would engage her in the Verizon Center press box I sensed that they were under the impression that she was on a special mission here in Washington, knowing as they all did our city’s perpetual struggle in gaining acceptance for hockey here. By late last season it was abundantly clear there’d be no such notable mission for Hillary.
Meanwhile, Comcast Sportsnet in Philadelphia accords the Flyers a status on par with the Eagles and the Sixers and the Phillies, as sports media outlets in authentic sports towns tend to do. An under-utilized but industry-acknowledged talent in D.C. was, to some extent, going to waste, and Comcast execs in Philly pursued Hillary hard. Hillary was presented with precisely the challenge there she was here four years ago, only this time there would be no Lucy pulling the football on Charlie Brown. Flyers’ fans won’t tolerate shunned status for their beloved bullies. Beginning next month Hillary will be an authentic beat reporter in an authentic sports town.
Our loss. Big time.
"I’m looking forward to this next chapter in my life — I’ll be doing more of what I love to do," she told me via text from the studio last night.
It seems that Hillary was brought to DC four years ago to be the spark that CSN's Capitals coverage needed. Of course, it was a few years earlier that the Caps became popular again, what with the rise of Alex Ovechkin and everything. CSN's Caps coverage needed a boost and Hillary was the one expected to provide it.
That didn't quite happen, however. Instead of being a true beat reporter, covering every game and every practice, Hillary was put on SportsRise duty and given other responsibilities that took away her chance to cover the Caps at every turn.
With the move, and judging by her own words there as quoted by OFB, it certainly sounds like Hillary will be doing more hockey reporting than Boruk had a chance to do here. At the very least, it sounds like she'll have a chance to do more hockey reporting than she had a chance to do in DC. Whether that means she'll be in a Dei Lynam-like role (for those unaware, Lynam covers nothing but Sixers basketball) or if she'll be in a role similar to Boruk's is yet to be seen.
Boruk was a mainstay on Flyers Pre And Post Game Live, as well as rink side at the Wachovia Center before games, but aside from that, most people probably thought his main responsibilities were anchoring SportsNite, not covering the Flyers.
It'll be interesting to see how much Hillary gets to spread her wings in covering the Flyers. It should be interesting to see how this plays out. Judging by what Caps fans have to say about her, though, it looks like we've landed a very good reporter.