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

Chris Fowler made things worse for ESPN on Wednesday night during the network’s first major event since returning to the NHL rights.

He showed a lack of hockey chops when he presented the expansion draft to stock the league’s 32nd franchise, the Seattle Kraken. When he didn’t fail at geography calling the Islanders and Devils teams in New York City, he made a terrible Freudian slip with the North Carolina NHL franchise.

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

EXTENSION DESIGN: Kraken picks, rumors follow

The Carolina teams involved in the confusion saw an opportunity on social media and, well, they hit the back of the net.

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

Fowlers, uh, struggles came hours after the Kraken’s Squads Have Leaked on the Web. The only tension in the ESPN2 broadcast was whether there would be side-matches or trade. FYI, none were announced.

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

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