Jeff O’Neill appears on TSN Bell Media. Photo: WordPress.
Canadian broadcaster and former NHL winger Jeff O’Neill returns to 1050 TSN’s “OverDrive” a week after taking leave for unspecified reasons.
O’Neill has not appeared on sports radio show 1050 since last week and was absent Monday, days after the Toronto Maple Leafs eliminated the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games.
The 47-year-old tweeted ahead of the start of “OverDrive” on Wednesday, “Really appreciate everyone reaching out. See you at 4pm.”
O’Neill did not discuss the reasons behind his extended absence, explaining only briefly that he was delighted to be back with co-hosts Bryan Hayes and Jamie “Noodles” McLennan.
“It’s great to be back. Like I tweeted before, I just wanted to let people know I really appreciate the message — family, friends, everyone. I really appreciate it,” O’Neill said on the air.
He teased that his brother had been receiving a lot of emails about his absence from the event.
RELATED: TSN radio host, former NHL forward Jeff O’Neill is on leave
On Monday, Hayes briefly addressed O’Neill’s absence, confirming that the 47-year-old, who goes by the nickname “O-Dog,” had been furloughed.
“We wanted to let you know that O-Dog is currently on leave, and that’s as far as we’re going,” Hayes said in Monday’s broadcast. “The show will continue.”
Hayes, host of TSN’s “OverDrive” with former NHL goalkeeper and co-host of McLennan, is joined by former NHL defenseman Frank Corrado.
Corrado, who guest hosted “OverDrive” and appeared on TSN broadcasts, is expected to appear more frequently on station 1050 in the future. It’s not clear if that’s still the case.
CityNews reached out to parent company TSN Bell Media for comment but received no response.
O’Neill and “O-Dog” were trending topics on Twitter for days after news of his leave.
The former NHL winger joined TSN as a part-time radio announcer in February 2013. He has been a regular on TSN Bell Media since retiring from the NHL following the 2006–07 season.
Richmond Hill, Ont. the original played 11 NHL seasons, mainly with the Carolina Hurricanes, finishing with 198 goals, 218 assists and 416 points. O’Neill ended his Toronto playing career with 20 goals and 42 points in 74 games in his final season.
“Coffee enthusiast. Hipster-friendly social media fanatic. Certified zombie expert. Problem solver.”