NHL Should Take a Hint from CBC’s “Original Six Saturday” (Plus HNIC’s Saturday Night Announcing Assignments)

The CBC sent us a PR E-mail today.  They do this often, hoping to get media folk such as myself to plug whatever’s going on with this week’s “Hockey Night” broadcast.  This week, however, I think the network truly shows why it’s dedication to the tradition of the sport is second to none, and are still a smart – if more conservative – innovator within hockey broadcasting.  Boy, do they have a Saturday planned for you.  Some highlights from the PR, as well as my thoughts, post-jump.

The puck drops at 3 p.m. ET with an afternoon match-up between the New York Rangers and the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place. At 6 p.m. ET, all eyes will be on Bell Centre in Montreal as CBCSports.ca kicks off live streaming of Roy’s jersey retirement ceremony; CBC Television’s coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET during Scotiabank Hockey TonightCBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA then heads east to Air Canada Centre in Toronto, as the Leafs honour Wendel Clark – one of the most hard-working and popular Toronto captains in team history. During Saturday’s broadcast, feature interviews with Patrick Roy and Wendel Clark will also be presented.


Following the conclusion of the on-ice ceremonies, Original Six Saturday continues with a showdown between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Toronto Maple Leafs, while residents in Quebec will enjoy the high-flying Habs playing host to the rough and tumble Boston Bruins. In the nightcap of the Original Six Saturday triple-bill at 10 p.m. ET, Calgary hosts the Central Division-leading Detroit Red Wings.

To quote Joe Beninati: “Wow!”  Why can’t the NHL get American networks to do something like this?  Can’t we get VERSUS and NBC to dedicate one day to the Original Six teams, to educate kids about the great legends of the initial years of the sport?  Doesn’t it seem wrong that more kids know Ty Cobb than say, Eddie Shore?  Even kids who’ve seen “Slap Shot” way before their age?  How about a Sunday that looks like this:

12:30 PM Detroit vs. Boston (NBC)
5:00 PM Toronto vs. NY Rangers (VERSUS) 
8:00 PM Montreal vs. Chicago (VERSUS) 

I think hockey fans would appreciate more theme days and night, and even just more nationally televised doubleheaders, in the future.  For now, here’s CBC’s schedule and announcing assignments for this Saturday:

3:00 PM New York Rangers vs. Ottawa – Dean Brown (Play-by-Play), Gary Galley (Color)
6:30 PM Scotiabank Hockey Tonight
7:00 PM Chicago vs. Toronto – Jim Hughson (Play-by-Play), Craig Simpson (Color)
          or Boston vs. Montreal – Bob Cole (Play-by-Play), Greg Millen (Color)
10:00 PM Detroit vs. Calgary – Mark Lee (Play-by-Play), Marc Crawford (Color)  


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