The Happy Recap: What Would You Have Hockey Central Do?

 Usually, we would’ve simply stated “What Would You Do with Hockey Central?”, but “The Dark Knight” is playing on continuous re-run in our offices.  Guess those VERSUS promos worked, eh?

Anywho, this is our challenge to you, the reader.  To come up with a decent nightly studio show for VERSUS, both for post-game coverage, as well as the potential for a daily production for the network.  E-Mail us at or leave one in the comments section if you have any good ideas.  We’ll post them in a future Happy Recap.

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Puck the Media’s NHL Tournament of Announcers, Round 1, Match 16, Dick Irvin Bracket: Ken Daniels vs. Rick Peckham

All right!  Final matchup of Round one!  Finally!  Joe Bowen defeated Kevin Quinn in their first rounder.  Now we have a toughie for the final one in this bracket.  Detroit’s Ken Daniels vs. Tampa Bay’s Rick Peckham.  24 Hours.  Enjoy!

Reviewing Hockey Central on VERSUS, Part 2: How We’d Do it Better

This is Part 2 of our morning column, “Reviewing Hockey Central on VERSUS”, in which we delve into what we’d like to see happen to the show for future broadcasts.  To check out Part 1, a review of the show in general, click here.

This is pretty straightforward.  We’re going to go at this in three sections: Format, Personnel and Segments.  What’s currently there to work with, and what we would do to change it (which might be a tad unrealistic), and hopefully a simple guide to making “Hockey Central” on VERSUS a must-watch half-hour of TV for hockey fans.  The kind of thing Canadian fans will watch illegally over the internet, or the NHL Network would be proud to re-run after “On the Fly”.  Here goes nothing.

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Winter Classic 2: Chicago Bugaloo Marketing Targets Making Fans Warm, Presumably Fuzzy


Sports Business Journal

Sports Business Journal

The NHL is certainly trying it’s hand at this whole “marketing” thing this year.  Recently, Street & Smith’s publications have been reporting on some of the tricks the league has up it’s sleeve for the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, without misspelling player names.

First, there’s the “Lost Logo Challenge”, according to SBJ:

The “Lost Logo Challenge” asks TV viewers and the 40,000 expected at the game to find the lone NHL player without a Reebok logo on his jersey. TV viewers can enter the challenge online, while attendees will be given Reebok and Winter Classic branded binoculars and be able to text in their entries. All entrants naming the correct player will be entered into a random drawing, with two winners receiving trips to the Stanley Cup Finals for four. Non-winning entrants get discounts on Reebok merchandise.

That’s a pretty sweet deal, and a fun way to watch the game.  But there’s some small downer news on the advertising side for WC2: CB:

NHL officials are mum on additional marketing activation for the game. League execs are still hoping to sell a title sponsorship package. Pepsi’s Amp Energy was title sponsor of last year’s game. Sources said Chicago-based Sears was close to titling Winter Classic II, but recently decided against it.

That must mean we won’t get the Sears/Chris Osgood “Yo Mama So Fat Contest” promo this year.

But NBC and the NHL are doing their best to keep interest in hockey beyond the Winter Classic with a weekly (well, semi-weekly based on NBC’s broadcast schedule) contest that I think should be a sign of things to come in the NHL-NBC partnership: NBC Universal product integration:

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Note to NBC Transcriber: S-I-D-N-E-Y

We hope you read our post on the NBC Winter Classic conference call yesterday.  Based on the statistics we got, you didn’t.  Here’s your chance to take a look at the conference call highlights one more time, just to see what we’re getting at by all this.

Did you figure it out?  Didja?  

Well, if you didn’t, the mistake will be bolded and quoted for you after the jump.

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Reviewing Hockey Central on VERSUS, Part 1: Even HD Can’t Un-Blah it

We finally got VERSUS HD up and running at our house this week, so we were excited to watch our first HD hockey broadcast since last year’s Stanley Cup Finals.  See, Verizon has been blocked from getting MSG and MSG Plus in HD by Cablevision, and that great visionary of televised arts in the tradition of Marconi, Jim Dolan.  Also, HDNet stopped televising hockey (which we’ve been meaning to investigate into) and NBC doesn’t starting airing ’til WCII: CB (Winter Classic 2: Chicago Bugaloo, as if you needed to have it spelled out).  So we were locked out of VERSUS as well as Devils, Rangers and Islanders broadcasts in HD.

Until this week.  With the split-up of VERSUS/Golf Channel HD, the good folks at Verizon have decided that VERSUS is worthy of being on the same HD package as ESPN and The Big Ten Network here in New Jersey, where as you know, no Big Ten teams play.  So, we had the fancy VERSUS channel in the sparking glory of HD.  We figured it was time to re-review “Hockey Central”, the network’s post-game show.  The last time we had VERSUS HD, the show was not yet actually produced in HD.  So while you could watch a two-and-a-half hour hockey game in hi-def, the 30-minute post-game that followed would be in standard def.

Having all those problems out of the way, we have some nice things to say.  Overall, however, the show is still really, really plodding.  By plodding, we mean really freaking boring!  Gosh, I think the show literally put me to sleep tonight.  There’s pieces of a show there, but they’ve made a mess of it, and a boring mess at that, not an Amy Winehouse mess.

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