Butch Goring said he enjoyed his two seasons as a studio analyst. But for a guy who played in 16 NHL seasons - winning four Stanley Cups as an Islander - and coached teams in the NHL, minor leagues and overseas, it wasn't quite enough.
"I wanted to feel like a bigger part of it," he said Wednesday, lamenting that when the Islanders went on long road trips, he felt detached.
"I just felt like I couldn't be as good as I wanted to be, and I'm a perfectionist . . . Now I don't have any excuses. I've got all the time in the world."
That is because MSG is set to name him the Islanders' game analyst on MSG Plus, replacing Billy Jaffe, who did not have his contract renewed.
The decision not to retain Jaffe - which was made by the team, not the network - surprised Goring. But it also presented what he called a "great opportunity for me and another challenge for me. And I'm always up for a challenge."
There is no doubting Goring's knowledge, but his experience as a game analyst is limited to one game each on radio and television as a fill-in.
Goring, 60, said working with veteran play-by-play man Howie Rose should help, as should being around the team night in and night out.
"I'll be so much more involved, talking to the players on a regular basis, traveling with the players, talking to coaches," he said.
Goring said he would have laughed 15 or 20 years ago if someone had said he would be working as a full-time color analyst, but here he is.
"The only way to get experience is to do it," he said.
He said he aspires to be the kind of respected, popular analyst former Rangers goaltender John Davidson evolved into.
"This was a natural step to take," Goring said. "This really fills a lot of needs for me."
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