Greg Logan’s Irresponsible, Biased Potshot at Mike Mottau

Now, we make no secret as always that we are Devils fans, so we’ll try and look at this as objectively as we can and, because we agree that Mike Mottau should have been suspended for the hit above, perhaps we can.  The New Jersey defenseman was out of position for an attempted hit on Franz Nielsen and caught him up high, which caused injuries to the young Islander forward.

There has been some anger over the logic behind Colin Campbell’s two-game suspension of Mottau.  Many look at the fact that Nielsen is out 8-12 weeks for Mottau’s hit.  We’re okay with the length.  Mottau is a first-time offender with no history of dirty play.  We don’t think it was intention to hit Nielsen illegally, we think he got caught out of position and still wanted to make a hit, so he went out of his way to hit Nielsen somewhere, and got him in the head.  That’s our honest opinion of that.

But there has been some bile thrown around because of it.  None more angered than Newsday’s Islanders writer Greg Logan.  He posted this on his blog this morning:


Unfortunately, the message didn’t take. TV cameras caught Mottau laughing about the play in the penalty box. It must have been the guilty enjoyment of a man who knew he got away with one. It certainly wasn’t the sense of deep remorse Weight expressed immediately on the ice after he ran into Sutter.


Woah.  Well, we watched that game too, and we found the shot he’s talking about.  Concentrate on the last 10 seconds of this clip post-jump, and it’ll come to a shot of Mottau’s “laughing”.

Okay, Let’s Talk About This Like Adults: “How ESPN Nearly Destroyed the NHL on TV” or “Why the NHL Should Never Go Back to ESPN”


“Okay, Let’s Talk About This Like Adults” is a new, semi-regular feature (Which really should be the trigger words of the “Puck the Media Drinking Game”) in which we talk about actual factual serious issues concerning the NHL in the media.  Like what we really promised this blog would be about from the start, before it essentially became pictures of Lindsay Soto and Conan O’Brien.  We even stop using the royal “We” for a post.

A couple of posts this week have grabbed a lot of people’s attention, and mine as well – when I plucked them from their original sources.  First, there was VERSUS President Jamie Davis’ response to critics of the network, including NHLPA head Paul Kelly.  Then, there was last night’s breaking story from Al Strachan of CBC’s “Hotstove” segment of Hockey Night in Canada that ESPN and the NHL are talking reunion, with – as I said in the post – differing opinions of whom the World Wide Leader would replace: VERSUS or NBC.  CBC (and NBC) analyst Mike Milbury claimed NBC had an offer of another 1-year extension on the table, while columnist Scott Morrisonn asserted that NBC “wants nothing to do” with the NHL.  This is one of those rare cases where Milbury (an NBC employee) might actually have the better info.

This sort of led me back to a blog posting from a year and a half ago that I look at every so often.  It’s from the great Sports Media Watch blog.  It’s titled “How Disney Outfoxed the NHL” and it quotes quite a few articles from media columnists about the new negotiations between Disney, FOX and the league for TV rights back in 1998, when FOX and ESPN’s contracts were set to expire after next season.  It included this, via Sports Business Daily:

A 15% drop in playoff ratings ‘hasn’t soured Fox on the NHL,’ according to USA TODAY’s Rudy Martzke, who writes that with a two-year contract option starting in 2000, Fox ‘likely will opt for televising all Stanley Cup final games.’ In the current deal, Fox televises Games 1, 5 and 7, with ESPN carrying the rest. Fox Exec Producer Ed Goren said it’s ‘possible’ Fox could begin showing all the finals as early as next year [1999], as talks “are taking place.’ But ESPN spokesperson Mike Soltys implied that the network would like to keep the finals package until 2000, adding ‘We’re happy with this package as it stands.”

As Paulsen goes on to say “FOX wanted to do what no U.S. broadcast network has ever done — that is, broadcast the entire Stanley Cup Finals, giving it the credibility of the NBA Finals or World Series.”  

But that’s when Disney came in and sent the NHL on a path for TV rock bottom that it’s just beginning to crawl out of.

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What This Week Will Look Like (aka “A Programming Note”)

We’ll be doing a mad dash to vacation, in full-on blogging mode today-Wednesday (Including a Tournament of Announcers Post at 5:30).  Then we are taking the entire weekend off.  We’re not even gonna’ look at this thing.  Unless we get in that whole “Hey, the NHL should throw some more games on Thanksgiving” post mood.  Anyway, regular blogging today through Wednesday, then a bit of a break.  Here are the scheduled “Holiday Hours” for Puck the Media:

Thanksgiving: Off Thursday, Nov. 27 – Sunday, November 30
Christmas: Off Wednesday, Dec. 24 – Sunday, December 28 
New Year’s: Off Wednesday, Dec. 31 (Remember: Winter Classic Liveblog New Year’s Day!)

We hope those of you looking for some good hockey blogging this Sunday will enjoy reading Puck the Media.  Thanks for reading as always.

Hotstove: ESPN Wants in, NBC Offer on the Table

This is just a breaking story, after watching Hockey Night Hotstove on CBC.  Al Strachan made the note that both the NHL and ESPN want back in bed with each other.

Okay, we’ve heard that a million times.  But there seemed to be some speculation as to whether it’d come at the expense of VERSUS or NBC.  Mike Milbury claims there’s a 1-year offer on the table for the NHL to decide on, while Scott Morrisonn seemed to think NBC wanted nothing to do with the league, but Strachan – and obviously Milbury – refuted that claim.

Once I can get a YouTube video to embed here, I’ll post it.  Just interesting food for thought from the Hotstove gang.

Thank You, Once More

Another great week is in the books.  We’re headed for 2,000 hits for the week closing on Sunday.  Breaking a record two weeks in a row.  This blog is getting better every day, in my humble opinion.  I can only hope you agree with me.  Coming up this weekend, another installment of The Jack Edwards Experience, and perhaps an interview with a familiar NHL voice.  Otherwise, expect a light weekend overall.  Next week, Lindsay Soto returns to VERSUS.  Do you really need another reason to read?  Thank you, once again, for visiting Puck the Media.

Puck the Media’s NHL Tournament of Announcers, Round 1, Match 7, Danny Gallivan Bracket: John Ahlers vs. Rick Jeanneret







As usual, we recap yesterday’s match first of all.  Dave Strader strolled to a victory over Peter Loubardias, and will take on Paul Steigerwald in Round 2.  Next up, we have an interesting one, as Ducks/VERSUS play-by-play man John Ahlers takes on Buffalo Sabres legend Rick Jeanneret.  Should be an interesting one.  Voting ends at 5:30 Saturday, and we’ll be back with one more Gallivan Bracket match on Monday.

Now That We Have Things Worked Out, The New and Improved Puck the Media Liveblog Schedule

Some of you might note that our first “scheduled” liveblog is for tomorrow at 3, with the Rangers-Senators game.  Well, this slate was made a while back, before we knew of the WiFi situation at our residence.  Knowing it now, we will now be able to liveblog almost every VERSUS game.  Here’s the new/improved official liveblog schedule, beginning with December 2’s Flyers-Lightning game.

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Incubus Bassist Ben Kenney Joins Kevin Smith on List of Cool Devils Fans

We feel like it’s pretty clear, if you read anything we’ve written, that you know we’re a Devils fan.  Have been since 1995-96, when we were about five and the folks had to pay separately for SportsChannel.  Anyway, we’re also big music fans, especially of California alternative-rock quintet Incubus.

Pictured above is bassist Ben Kenney, a New Jersey native who joined the group in 2003.  He spoke recently with WHRU Radio up at Hofstra before a show in New York City, and talked about his sports affiliations, including the rough life growing up a Devils fan:

“Always been a Devils fan, and I got heat for that.  Even though I grew up in New Jersey, and all the kids at my school were Rangers and Islanders fans.  It’s like “Devils, man”, you know.”

Great to know that the future bassist of a platinum-selling rock group experienced the troubles of being a Devils fan, despite living in the team’s home state.  To help a fellow Jersey guy and Devils fan out, check out Kenney’s blog and check out his latest solo record, Distance and Comfort, on sale now.

New VERSUS President Finally (!) Pushes Back at Naysayers, Including Paul Kelly

We imagine that, if there’s a song on Guns N’ Roses new record Chinese Democracy that new VERSUS President Jamie Baker truly identifies with between his network and the NHL, it’s the fired up “can’t stop us now” attitude of “Scraped”.  Check out these lyrics:

Some may convince you
No one can break through
I’m here to tell you
You’re worth more than they tell you
Don’t you try to stop us now
I just refuse
Don’t you try to stop us now
‘Cause I just won’t let you

It’s got to be hard for anyone at VERSUS to hold themselves up high, what with everyone and their mother speaking out about how you’re killing a beloved, 80-year-old league.  The criticism of VERSUS has long been aimed at the network itself, and not the greedy owners who took Comcast’s money over ESPN’s distribution.  Well, Davis finally spoke out against those who’ve been belittling his network at an industry event recently.

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We Have a Correction, and an Upset in Our Tournament of Announcers

Well, in a shocking turn of events (and a link to this tourney by The Pensblog) it shows that Paul Steigerwald has pulled off a late first round upset of Jim Hughson!  This is simply shocking news, and will simply throw into chaos the rest of this tourney.

Simply shocking.