Happy New Year!

Thank you all for joining us through the end of 2008.  It’s been a great and memorable year.  Your #1 story of 2008 is Sean Avery.  For everything he did to annoy us, surely there can be no other.  Also, the winner of our “Annoyingest” contest is Mats Sundin.  So you’re Top 10 stories of the year are:

10. The Mis-adventures of Oren Koules and Len Barrie in Tampa Bay
9. The Rise and Fall of the Dallas Stars
8. The Relocation Wheel Continues to Spin, Next Stop: Phoenix?
7. Fear the Penguin
6. Re-Birth in Boston and Chicago
5. A Classic in Buffalo
4. Brian Burke
3. Mats Sundin
2. Detroit Cup City
1. Sean Avery

Thank you once again, and we’ll see you on Friday.  What are our expectations for the Winter Classic ratings?  We’re predicting a 3.0 Overnight, a 2.6 Final rating, and about 4.0-4.1 Million viewers.  Enjoy the Winter Classic, and a happy, hockey-filled 2009 to you all.


Puck the Media’s NHL Tournament of Announcers, Round 2, Match 7, Dick Irvin Bracket: Ken Daniels vs. Bob Miller


Ken Daniels

Ken Daniels


Bob Miller

Bob Miller










First things’ first, Sam Rosen topped Randy Hahn to move onto face Jack Edwards in the elite eight.  Next up, a battle between Detroit play-by-play man Ken Daniels and #1 seed/Kings legend Bob Miller.  Till tomorrow at 5:30, vote away!

Puck the Media’s Top Ten Hockey Stories of the Year, #2: Detroit Cup City


Champion Wings

Champion Wings

No matter who you vote for in our contest from the previous post, neither Brian Burke nor Mats Sundin could be as big a story as our Stanley Cup Champions, the Detroit Red Wings.

They were a team of superstars (Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Lidstrom) and emerging talents (Franzen, Filppula, Kronwall), redemption stories (Osgood, McCarty) and last gasps (Drake, Chelios).  They all somehow meshed together, and 100% of the credit should be given to their fantastic coach, Mike Babcock.  The Red Wings finally got over the playoff hurdles that have dogged them since 2002 to advance past Nashville, Colorado, Dallas and finally Pittsburgh to take home Lord Stanley’s Chalice for the 4th time in 12 years.  Congrats one more time to the Red Wings and their fans for being great champions and keepers of hockey’s great reward.  Video of the celebration post-jump.

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BREAKING NEWS: Emrick to Miss Winter Classic with Laryngitis

This news coming via an NBC Press Release:

CHICAGO — Dec. 31, 2008 — Hall of Fame broadcaster “Doc” Emrick will be unable to call tomorrow’s NHL Winter Classic due to laryngitis. Dave Strader, who is the play-by-play voice of the Phoenix Coyotes and has also worked for NBC Sports, will fill in for Emrick. 

“Last year’s game was a lifetime memory and I couldn’t wait to call this year’s game at Wrigely,” said Emrick. “I’m extremely disappointed but I know Dave will do a wonderful job.” 

NBC’s coverage of the Winter Classic begins at 1 p.m. ET tomorrow, New Year’s Day. Last season’s inaugural U.S. outdoor NHL event was the highest rated regular season NHL game in the United States in more than a decade.

Tough news for fans of Emrick around the NHL.  He had missed his Saturday Devils assignment for MSG Plus due to sickness, after leaving their game Friday with sickness.  It’s a shame for hockey fans everywhere, but at the same time, we know that Dave Strader is as good a hockey announcer not named Mike Emrick that you’ll find to call the game.  

Winter Classic Broadcast Team
Play by Play:
Dave Strader
Color: Eddie Olczyk
Inside the Glass: Pierre McGuire and Darren Pang
Studio Host: Bob Costas
Studio Analyst: Mike Milbury 

Jiggs McDonald is Back From Exile

Good news for all hockey fans.  Jiggs McDonald, who had some troubles getting out of Thailand last month is back at the rink today.  The Islanders have him sub for Howie Rose a few games every year (the plan is usually for Jiggs to sub for Rose while he calls Mets playoff games in October but, well, stupid Mets) and today’s the first I can remember him doing this year.  Check it out for a little while, because I wouldn’t recommend anyone watching a full Isles-Panthers game.

What Exactly is the Future of the Winter Classic?

Thoughtful, interesting piece in today’s New York Times from their ace media reporter Richard Sandomir.  Aside from pointing out how much larger the NHL is living with this year’s Classic compared to last year, Sandomir also ponders the question of how the NHL can keep doing this:

That frequency would probably wear out the novelty, but you wonder if the league can make the game special enough every year to maintain fan interest. It could become the annual event that the league hopes for, or it could be humdrum. Will new elements have to be added to keep it fresh, or will anticipation sell it each year? Will only cold-weather teams be admitted, or will Dallas or Tampa Bay want to play at Fenway Park?

He makes a great point.  So we’d like to lay out for you our 6-year plan to make the Winter Classic consistently fresh and interesting.  Join us, won’t you?

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Puck the Media’s Top Ten Hockey Stories of the Year, Poll Edition, #’s 4 and 3: Mats Sundin and Brian Burke

Mats Sundin

Brian Burke








These two characters were perhaps more annoying than any pair of hockey figures this year.  However, I can simply not decide who was more annoying, and therefore, more newsworthy.  So this one will be a poll where you, the readers, get to decide.  Whoever tallies the more annoying votes by 7PM will be #3, and the loser will be #4.  Either way, we can truly say that these two have wasted our time this calendar year.

NHL Network to Make You Very Happy Today

No need to explain this, just find a way to watch NHL Network today/tomorrow, and check out all these great programs.

11:30 AM
NHL Network Presents: Bridgestone Winter Classic Practice 2009 Coverage
4:00 PM The Making of a Classic – 2008 Winter Classic 
5:00 PM 2008 Winter Classic: Penguins at Sabres 
7:30 PM 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship: Canada vs. USA 

11:00 AM
NHL Network Presents: Bridgestone Winter Classic 2009 Pre-Game Show
5:00 PM NHL Network Presents: Bridgestone Winter Classic 2009 Post-Game Show 

“Barenaked” Hockey Fans Record “Hockey Theme”



Barenaked Ladies

Barenaked Ladies

Any chance he can get, Gary Bettman will talk about the 2004 All-Star Game in Minnesota on The NHL Hour.  Have you noticed this?  It seems to be a real source of pride for The Commish, a time where he took hockey to one of it’s seminal breeding grounds for fans and talent and gave them an enjoyable experience.  Plus, he got to see the always-entertaining Barenaked Ladies perform Stompin’ Tom’s “The Hockey Song” live, as did anyone watching on ABC.  In fact, BNL was all over All-Star weekend that year.

Anyway, the Ladies are dipping their toes into the hockey pond once again tonight, as they perform their rendition of “The Hockey Theme” (or “How TSN Spent it’s Summer Vacation”) before the Edmonton-Calgary showdown on TSN at 10PM ET.

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Meaningless Top Ten List: Most “Hockey” Songs of the Year

Punk-Rockers The Gaslight Anthem Top the List

Punk-Rockers The Gaslight Anthem Top the List

We’ve decided against doing “The Happy Recap” for a while in the 7pm-late night slot, and am trying this out on a nightly basis, because we’d love to have more reader discussion go on throughout the night, while NHL action is happening, almost a liveblog of the entire night in hockey of sorts.

So, not to get all Buccigross on you guys, but here’s my list of the most “hockey” songs of the year.  Songs which, to me, personify the spirit of the game.

I’ll post links with them so you can check them out on YouTube or something.

10. The Offspring Trust in You
9. Kings of Leon Manhattan” 
8. Coldplay Lost!
7. Jack’s Mannequin Crashin‘” 
6. The Duke Spirit This Ship Was Built to Last
5. Rise Against Re-Education (Through Labor)
4. Franz Ferdinand Ulysses” 
3. Scott Weiland Missing Cleveland” 
2. Paramore

1. The Gaslight Anthem Meet Me By the River’s Edge

Enjoy your hockey evening.