Your NHL Announcing Schedule For This Week, Including the All-Star Events

Since there are four nationally broadcast NHL events this week, I thought I’d line ’em all of for you right here.  Enjoy.

Jan. 19, 8:00 PM, VERSUS
Minnesota vs. Chicago
Play by Play:
John Forslund
Color: Eddie Olczyk
Reporter: Chris Simpson

Jan. 20,  7:30 PM, VERSUS
Washington vs. Ottawa
Play by Play:  
Joe Beninati
Color: Neil Smith
Reporter: Bob Harwood

Jan. 24, 7:00 PM, VERSUS
Honda NHL Superskills
Play by Play: Mike Emrick
Color: Eddie Olczyk
Reporters: Chris Simpson and Bob Harwood

Jan. 25, 6:00 PM, VERSUS
NHL All-Star Game
Play by Play: Mike Emrick
Color: Eddie Olczyk and Brian Engblom
Reporters: Chris Simpson and Bob Harwood


Great Moments From The NHL On FOX: Alex Kovalev Dominates in Montreal… For the Rangers

Kovalev/Kovalov, let’s call the whole thing off.  The shifty veteran forward has often had his name pronunciation mangled by announcers, and both Doc Emrick and John Davidson are guilty here (though Emrick would eventually get it right, JD still goes with “ov” to this day) of getting it wrong.

But they get it wrong quite often, because AK27 is at his finest in this, the sixth game of the Rangers-Canadiens playoff series, back when Alex was shining on Broadway.  It’s some great action for fans of glow pucks, robots, and dangling Russian forwards.

Blues Plan to Experiment with John Davidson and Al MacInnis-only Telecasts… Just Not vs. Chicago


Blues President John Davidson

Blues President John Davidson

Hockey telecasts have taken to experiments lately, not all of them successful.  There was the Predators doing a “Hockey Rules” telecast, the infamously scrapped Ducks/Kings “Rinkside Views”.  The Blues wanted to give something somewhat similar to the rinkside view, being that there would be no announcers, for their game against the Chicago Blackhawks Saturday.  

In a rant about how the Blues are using some telecasts to prop up particularly sponsors a little too much, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Dan Caesar talks about the experiment that the Blues were also looking to try instead of announcers for the game:

Consideration also was given to dumping announcers John Kelly and Bernie Federko on Saturday, instead putting microphones on executives John Davidson and Al MacInnis to hear them interact during the game. 

While we’re all for getting JD back on TV, we agree with the Blues in scrapping this idea for a game against a big rival, considering the Blues have so few “Must-watch” games in the state they’re in as it is.  Caesar ultimately comes up with the best point of advice you could give the Blues at this stage:

Instead of filling telecasts with gimmicks and extended commercials, put a competitive team on the ice to make the games more compelling to watch.

World Cup 2011: Why It’s Happening in 2011, and How We’d Like it to Look

We’ve opined on the possibility of the NHL hosting a World Cup before.  We figured at that time that the idea of a world tournament featuring the pros would bring ESPN (and possibly others) to the bargaining table when it would come time to negotiate for the new NHL cable/network package:


So look at it this way:  To sweeten a bidding war between Disney and Comcast, the NHL throws in rights to all the important games of a World Cup that would likely feature A.  Crosby and Ovechkin in their prime, B. A even better Team USA than will likely show for 2010, and C. The cavalcade of young talent, which the NHL and it’s fans have never seen before, all shown off in one big hodgepodge of talented, skilled play.  

A World Cup in 2012 or 2014 would have a chance to be the best international hockey tournament ever played.  You can bet that ESPN would want in on it, and anything else hockey-related that they can keep away from rival networks.


Well, this latest report from Scott Burnside even further proves that statement, as the World Cup is likely coming sooner than I’d have originally thought:

Read more of this post

The NHL On NBC, Week 1: The Milbury and McGuire Divorce Hearings Begin Year Two


NBC Hockey Analysts Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury

NBC Hockey Analysts Pierre McGuire and Mike Milbury

Every Monday, we recap The NHL On NBC from the day before, complete with linkage to videos produced exclusively for the web by The NHL On NBC team.

Indoor hockey returned to NBC on Sunday (see you in three more weeks!) and it’s doubtful the ratings will rise above a 1.0 for reasons other than the Penguins play a better trap than the Rangers.  It’s hard to be positive about the telecast when the play on the ice was so dull, listless and boringly defensive.  

What was hilarious to us was Mike Emrick recounting the history of the trap, dating back 40 years to Toronto.  Maybe it wasn’t as hilarious as it was a shock to the system, to hear the word “trap” and not here the name “Devils” pop up in the same following three seconds!  

Speaking of Doc and his partner, Eddie O., they were neutered from giving the excellent call both are able to give by this NBC mandate that we must talk about nothing but the game.  Both men are very talented, one is a Hall of Famer.  Shouldn’t we let them decide how the telecast goes?  I think that if they aren’t allowed to do so, why not just throw Eddie down to the studio with Milbury and let Doc call it from upstairs and leave Pierre down at the bench.

Read more of this post