NHL’s Hurricanes, NFL’s Panthers tweak ESPN’s Chris Fowler for expansion draft mixup

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Chris Fowler made things worse for ESPN on Wednesday night in the network’s first major event since becoming an NHL rights holder again.

He showed a lack of hockey chops as he hosted the expansion draft to stock the league’s 32nd franchise, the Seattle Kraken. If he wasn’t failing geography by calling the Islanders and Devils New York City teams, he was making a terrible Freudian slip with North Carolina’s NHL franchise.

John Buccigross and Linda Cohn would never. At least Fowler didn’t call the Canes the Whalers (although he did slip in a Mighty Ducks reference to Anaheim’s team).

EXPANSION DRAFT: Tracking Kraken picks, rumors

The Carolina teams involved in the mixup saw a social media opportunity, and, well, they hit the back of the net.

Of course, the NHL’s Panthers had to wade in, too (they play in South Florida, ESPN).

Fowler’s, um, struggles came hours after the Kraken’s selections were leaked on the internet. The only suspense in the ESPN2 broadcast was whether there would be any side deals or trade. FYI, there were none announced.

But there still was some uncertainty as viewers waited to see whether Fowler — whose specialties are college football and tennis — would get through a segment cleanly.

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