5 Pitches For Shows The NHL Network Needs to Develop

NHL Network Primary - Black

(Editor’s Note: Hey, we got the logo!  Thanks Schuyler Baehman!)

As you all by now know, we thoroughly approve of the NHL Network.  We love knowing that no matter what happens, we will turn to that channel at any time of day and see something we want to see, because it’s about hockey, and hockey is perfect to us.  Yet, still, there are sometimes when we know NHL Net could be showing me something better than Top 10 Right Wingers of the 1990′s or an NHL Live encore.  So, looking around the sports TV landscape, we give you five potential ideas the NHL Network can steal:

1. Hotstove Weekly/Daily – Though every casual fan tunes into Hockey Night in Canada to check out what ol’ Grapes is going to yammer about this week, but every hardcore puckhead salivates at the potential upbringings on CBC’s Satellite Hotstove.  Forget the fact that Milbury’s useless “pansification” rants are ruining the segment and Al Strachan’s banter with him, now gone, was the only thing that kept it tolerable.  This could absolutely work as a daily show, as evidenced by the fact that Ron MacLean and co. are always running out of time.  Could be seen as the hockey person’s smarter answer to Pardon the Interruption, with acutal potential information.  Downside could be how much it’d cost.

2. The Hockey News Live! – This is based on a daily show of varying titles (Daily News Live, San Francisco Chronicle Live, Washington Post Live) that air on Comcast Sportsnet affiliates five days a week in the states.  Basically, you sit down a bunch of writers together in the studio to debate the day’s issues.  Less rumor based talk, more chatting about what’s coming up that night.  Could serve as a great lead-in to On the Fly, or…

3. A Real Live Pre-Game Show – In my estimation, NHL On the Fly has 10-15 people rotating in and out of it’s studio during any given month.  Put them all to work.  Send them out to each game site for that night (or at least most of them) to provide a rinkside view of what’s going on.  Similar to what Football Night in America does.  You can use play-by-play/color men from each team if you want, like the NHL.com pre-game show did during the playoffs.  This is easy.

4. The Hull/Roenick Show – This could be seen by some NHL fans as pandering to the “yell at you instead of debate politely” kind of TV, but darnit, the NHL Network could use something somewhat hard-hitting every now and then.  How about two of the most entertaining hockey players of the last 20 years debating what’s going on in the game?  Oh, JR’s got Dancing with the Stars today?  Aw, ask Mike Milbury or Pierre McGuire if he can fill in.

5. Emrick’s Angle – One of the most entertaining, if old-school features of NHL.com was play-by-play man (and Puck the Media’s favorite) Mike “Doc” Emrick’s commentaries and storytelling each Friday in the form of “Emrick’s Angle”.  Well, how about a TV version.  Similar to a show on MSG in New York called “The Vault” (Where old clips of Madison Square Garden events are shown) it’d feature Emrick sifting through NHL history, with complete access to anything he needs, to tell the stories he finds interesting.

All of these could be great (or horrible) television.  Tell you what, NHL Net, if these shows happen to show up in the future, well, I’ll look the other way.

 

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About stevelepore
Steve Lepore is the Managing Editor of Puck the Media. His work has been featured in The Hockey News. Feel free to contact him at stevemlepore@gmail.com

7 Responses to 5 Pitches For Shows The NHL Network Needs to Develop

  1. Matt W. says:

    Sir, your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your brochure.

  2. Brandon says:

    Love the hotstove idea, as well as the hockey news crossover. i would like see more documentaries about the history of the game, im sure cost is an issue, but what about showing the CBC documentary, ‘Hockey: a peoples history’.

    another idea, and this would have to be in september, like nhl.com go alphabetical down the line and previews the teams, i’d like to see a block of programming, say 6pm-10pm,11ish designated to each team for their corresponding day, so Atlanta gets sept. 1, and so on. bring on local beat writers to On the fly, and fill the space with a last season recap, team-related documentaries, an hour show on team prospects, maybe live broadcasts from training camps for the latter teams. The older teams obviously would have more content available and may draw more viewers but it would still be cool to see all focus for one day on one team.

  3. Al says:

    Those are great ideas, I thought you could combine the Hotstove and Hockey News Live into one show but it’s better to have different shows w/ different identities. More historical docs to explain the history of the game to new fans. They need to do some more personality feature shows like Off the Ice and The Offseason. Fans need to see the players in a loose setting outside the tight sturcture of that player’s team. I like a lot of the stuff NHL Net. already has such as top 10s, classic series, vintage games.

    Most of these shows we’ve thought of could replace the daily reruns of On the Fly. OTF is good if you need to get a recap of last night’s game before you go to school, work but NHL.com posts their own highlights w/ the announcer calls (like OTF) so that sort of defeats replaying On the Fly from 6 AM to noon everyday. They could still run On the Fly for part of the morning and add some other show or replay a game to fill the gap.

  4. dyhrdmet says:

    I like these ideas. Follow the lead of the MLB Network and NBA TV, and to an extent, NFL Network (they don’t have their league playing daily like the others). I still think they should have some sort of ice rink thing to work into On the Fly like MLB Network has. Some of the more insightful shows have come from TSN (their Canadian sister station). I can just imagine Stan Fischler being part of “The Hockey News Live” via sattelite from either MSG Network, Prudential Center, or Nassau Colliseum.

    Maybe a weekly show on the AHL and/or Minor League and Junior hockey (I see them scrolling scores from AHL games).

    An Olympic-themed show would be good to gear up for February (previews, and a morning highlightes show, analysis).

  5. john says:

    I’d like them to expand on the fly to cover more than just the nhl. maybe some ahl, jr and college highlights in the mix. I also don’t see why the nhl just doesn’t broadcast the more recent stanley cup movies. Someone them in the years past have gotten very good, like the pens, red wings and tampa bay’s in recent years. I also think it would behoove the nhl to get a well known journalist, broadcaster, whatever like Jim Lamply, Bucci, or Rob McClane, to host nhl on the fly or some other news show, kind of like what MLB does with bob costas and the nfl network with that one former espn broadcaster.

  6. Julian says:

    I think NHL Network is decent. But I am tired of watching On the Fly Monday through Friday from 7pm to 3am and then 5am to 11am. I mean come on, what is the point of having highlights for games that haven’t finished yet. And then if the highlights aren’t enough, there’s a replay of the night’s game at night and during the afternoon. What happened to having classic shows like they used to. MLB Network, NBA TV, and NFL Network don’t just inundate most of their programming with highlights and replays of games. They play vintage sports shows to. And apparently, this isn’t a problem for NHL Network in Canada. They still play vintage shows like Classic Series and Frozen in Time. But it’s liked they dropped from the US NHL Network. And I’m just not understanding that. What’s the point of watching the channel anymore if it’s the same stuff everyday. It’s nice that they have highlights, but it doesn’t need to make up 95% of their programming.

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