NHL Overtime Now Doing a Complete Show For the Night Owls, and Other Solid VERSUS Changes

I never did get as much info as I hoped for from my trip to Washington, though now I’ve stretched it into a second day, so I guess that’s a victory. However, there is something else that struck me hockey-wise that happened, just by luck and circumstance.

During the trip, I stayed at my uncle’s house in Baltimore, and after a night out, I got home around 1AM. I hung around for a little bit to update the website, then turned on the 2AM run of VERSUS’ NHL Overtime, mostly because I like to keep tabs on the country’s only American-produced nightly NHL highlight show. Though it did settle in with me as I sat down to watch it that it was a rerun, and therefore, would not include highlights of the Vancouver-San Jose game, which was “epic” from what I’d heard, but started late and ended well after the 11PM run of Overtime’s midnight ending. So I sat and expected to be disappointed.

However, the exact opposite happened. As affable host Liam McHugh went into what I thought would be a short Vancouver-San Jose update, it turned out to be the highlights of the entire game. Was I dreaming? Had my uncle’s cable somehow managed to get NHL Network in the few hours I was gone? I watched again on Monday night, and that too had updates of late games, and the same tonight. VERSUS has now made it so that the 2AM ET rerun of NHL Overtime is the complete wrap-up of the night in hockey. I tweeted McHugh about it, and was told they’d been doing it for awhile.

Now, there is a drawback in that the analysts are not there to break it down, but until VERSUS takes the plunge on an additional live show, or moves the show to, say, 1AM ET permanently (and it essentially will once the post-season begins) this is the best we can get, and frankly, it isn’t too bad. Just good that the show doesn’t seem like a wasted watch during it’s late night (or early morning, as an additional repeat shows at 8AM ET) airing.

In addition, I love the way they’ve tinkered with Hockey Central’s pre-game editions, which used to be a largely studio-based operation. Now, from my count, more than half the show features some element from the arena, whether it be analyst/reporters doing interviews, or a play-by-play man breaking down some statistics, or just having the studio guys talk during the On-Ice Live segment, much of the show is becoming an actual pre-game to the contest you’re about to see and less an attempt to force debate and issues. Again, this is a great idea.

Another new VERSUS wrinkle was shown off last night: for the first time since, I believe, the opening night of OLN’s coverage of the National Hockey League (when Jack Edwards was in Tampa Bay, as well as Bob Harwood in another city) they had a reporter located at a game VERSUS was not airing – in this case, Rangers/Islanders. John Boruk provided inside info from the Garden. This is a terrific idea, especially in such a jumbled Eastern Conference where every game can mean something. Hopefully, this is a chance for Bob Harwood to run out the string, as he mentioned when he’d been let go. Maybe instead of forcing chatter during six intermission reports of playoff games, we can get reporters doing live hits from games on off nights. It’d be cool for VERSUS to have a reporter at all eight Stanley Cup Playoff match-ups.

For now though, the edited in NHL Overtime and this experiment is enough to show that VERSUS is progressing since the merger with NBC, and continually in ways that are for the better, at least for hockey fans.

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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

11 Responses to NHL Overtime Now Doing a Complete Show For the Night Owls, and Other Solid VERSUS Changes

  1. Stephen says:

    Are they going to keep doing the Inside the Glass during the playoffs on VERSUS? I would like to see that as well. Forget the sideline reporting. Inside the Glass is way better than the sideline reporting.

  2. Stephen says:

    Oh, I also like the way the pre-game show began. When I watching the Rangers-Red Wings game, the day after the Super Bowl, at first I thought they go to Hockey Central like usually. But instead, they did the Pierre McGuire with a Red Wing while Edzo did the Rangers Interview, then went up to Mike Emrick doing the statistics before taking it towards Hockey Central with Liam, Keith, and Mike Milbury as well.

    We should all thank Sam Flood, the Executive Producer of NBC Sports and now VERSUS as well. He made the changes the way he wants it and he did a great job than those former exec. producers who were fired from VERSUS.

    Great Job and keep it up Sam Flood.

  3. nosferatu says:

    I’m interested to see–when VS has their first doubleheader, I believe, since the NBC takeover–if they change the way they cut to the 2nd game. In the past I’ve nearly lost my mind with the way they’ve ended the first game around 10:10, and instead of just going straight to the start of the 2nd game, they’ve dilly-dallied in the arena, then in the studio, then showed some commercials, and then–after at least 10 minutes of missed action from the 2nd game–turned it over to that broadcast.

    That’s certainly not the big-league way of doing things, and hopefully with Flood in charge he’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    • Stephen says:

      Don’t worry about it. Sam Flood is a smart man. He knows when there’s a problem, he fixes the problem in just right quick. Looking forward as well to what does Sam Flood has in store with VERSUS during the playoffs.

  4. Tom Misnik says:

    It appears that Hockey Central is now following Comcast SportsNet’s pregame live model, with alot of arena based cut ins. More Comcast influence. I only hope that doesn’t mean ads on the glass behind the goals next.

    • Stephen says:

      They won’t do that. Remember, its Sam Flood who’s in charge of VERSUS now. Like I said, he’s doing the way he wants it.

  5. Arthur says:

    ok it is pretty obvious that Stephen works for Sam Flood.

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