Your Announcers and Open Thread For Ducks/Sabres

Every time the NHL has a nationally televised game, we give you a chance to snark away at the jokesters calling it with this open post/thread.  Feel free to post opinions on the game, humorous anecdotes, and anything just plain stupid the announcers might happen to say.  Enjoy.

Anaheim vs. Buffalo, 7PM
Play by Play:
John Ahlers
Color: Billy Jaffe
Reporter: Bob Harwood 


Speaking of VERSUS: Guess Who Feels Indy Racing Deserves More Airtime Per Week than Hockey?

We don’t think there was anyone in hockey that saw the VERSUS acquisition of most of the newly-unified Indy Racing League season as a negative thing.  We always feel that, as long as it doesn’t take out any of hockey’s airtime, it’s gotta be a positive thing for the network to acquire more sports properties and get it into the vernacular of the average Joe the TV watcher.

Well, VERSUS has planned it’s initial IRL coverage, and according to John Ourand of SportsBusinessJournal (reg. required, and tip of the hat to John for letting us use excerpts from it) it’s quite… err… extravagant:

Versus has finalized IRL programming plans that will see the Comcast-owned network devote at least seven hours a week to the racing league.
For its first season covering IRL races, Versus is committed to carrying 130 hours, starting next month with four hourlong specials and ramping up in May with extended coverage around the Indianapolis 500.

During the IRL season, Versus will carry a one-hour preview show the day before each race and an hour of prerace coverage on race day. It has a three-hour window ready for each of the 12 races to which it holds the rights. The day after an IRL race, Versus plans a three-hour programming block that will include Firestone Indy Lights events and encores of Versus’ IndyCar Series races.

130 hours a year?  7-8 hours a week?  Hell, during the regular season, the NHL gets an average of six hours tops.  In addition to that, IndyCar will air four one-hour specials on the IRL (one dedicated to Danica Patrick) to get people ready for the season.  Where were these when the NHL was debuting on what was then OLN?  Why is VERSUS devoting more time to a sport it pay $6.7 million a year on average than to one it pays $70 million a year to, and which it gets most of it’s “mainstream” notoriety from?

While we’re usually on the VERSUS side, we have to question them at times like these.  Still hoping for the third game a week, guys…

You Know Who’d Be a Good Replacement for John Tortorella on TSN? Tom Renney


Former Rangers coach Tom Renney

Former Rangers coach Tom Renney

As you all know, Tom Renney was fired as coach of the Rangers today.  He will be replaced tomorrow by John Tortorella.  This leaves a vacant spot on the TSN panel, where Tortorella has been consistently entertainingly angry, as we pointed out last week.  So who should replace him?  We think it should be Tom Renney, strangely enough.

While we fracking loathe the Rangers with an infinite passion that will never burn out, not ever, we like Tom Renney.  We were fine with him bringing the team back to respectability so we could beat on them in the 2006 playoffs.  While we weren’t so happy when he led them to beat us last year, we still admired him as a decent coach and seemingly decent human being.  He’s also very good and frank in interviews, which would make him a good game analyst.

While we think he’d make a better game analyst than studio analyst, that doesn’t mean he’d be completely out of his element on TSN’s studio.  He’d be better than Mike Keenan at least.  Elsewhere, were sure CBC would take him to work a first round playoff series (a la Andy Murray in 2006), or VERSUS, which has a shortage of personnel should the current playoff picture hold still (more on that later in the week).

Your Mid-Day YouTube Compulsory: Does Gary Bettman Wanna Have This Conversation with His Daughter?

Here’s the Coach’s Corner many have been talking about for Don Cherry’s choice of language on Hockey Day in Canada.

Pierre McGuire Was A Little Too Involved in the Pens-Caps Game Sunday


NBC/TSN Analyst Pierre McGuire

NBC/TSN Analyst Pierre McGuire

With one brief statement, Pierre McGuire suddenly got mixed up in the whole Crosby/Ovechkin controversy this Sunday.  From Mike Prisuta of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

NBC analyst Pierre McGuire, stationed between the benches at the Verizon Center, characterized the “lip service” he perceived the Capitals to be “force feeding” Penguins captain Sidney Crosby as “excessive” and “over the top.”

All of a sudden McGuire became part of post-game clippings and blogger reactions from the game, including The Bleacher Report and Abel to Yzerman.  Is it inappropriate for him to be part of the story, and for these writers (The MSMers, not the bloggers) to be including him in the game recaps?  We’re curious to hear your opinion on this.

The 5 Best Games NBC Has Passed On. Yes, Most Involve the Devils

5. Rangers vs. Devils, April 6, 2008

This is the first of many examples of NBC choosing against games that make no sense to pick against.  This is a fairly well-recognized rivalry nationally, and the game mattered as far as playoff positioning.  Instead, the network took a listless Chicago-Detroit game that didn’t affect any playoff stuff at all.

4. Red Wings vs. Sabres, March 2, 2008

We get it, Flyers-Rangers games are nice, but this was a dream Stanley Cup possibility for the league and network at one point.  This would’ve drawn very well in both local markets, and provided at least as good as the 1.1 rating New York/Philly did.  The game was a pretty entertaining 4-2 Red Wings winner, too.

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