8 Reasons Why We’re Purchasing the NHL Network After Free Preview Week

We went home this weekend to discover we had a free prview weekend of the NHL Network.  At the end of the weekend, we demanded a purchase be made.  Here are the reasons that led us from point A to point B:

1. Live Games

Okay, so the NHL Network’s live game coverage has some work to do (Can Judd Sirott and Bill Clement somehow be less focused on the game than NBC’s team?) but the simulcasting is a flat-out essential to why the channel is great.  American hockey fans slobber over just the idea of “Hockey Night in Canada”, and any chance I get to see it is 6 hours of my life I won’t be outdoors.

2. On the Fly

Yes, it looks like its being aired from inside a closet.  Yes, the analysis can teeter on boring and way too inside.  But, gosh darnit, it’s a hockey highlight show airing nightly on American television.  Oh Lord, how we’ve been waiting for it.  Plus, it’s got a great concept toward showing highlights too.  NO talking heads over the clips!  Just the great announcers, doing their thang, conveying the passion of puck to the masses!  Awesome stuff.

3. Don Cherry’s Grapevine

Yes, everything Grapes says lately is wrong.  The mainstream media has told you that enough.  The fact is, this 1980’s series, featuring Grapes at a fake bar on a Toronto TV studio (complete with stereotypical Irish barkeep) is classic camp, in addition to being actually informative about the history of the game.  It’s Don before he became out of touch.

4. AHL and College Games

They’re another hockey essential.  Am I the only one a little curious to watch the future of our sport live?  A suggestion to NHL Network: Add some junior games too.  I can’t get enough of it.

5. Pioneers

A more serious version of “Grapevine”, you could say.  It’s a pretty simple premise: Get legends of the game, talk about why they’re awesome.  We’ve read Phil Esposito’s book seven times, and his episode had us glued.

6. Elias in Belize/Chara in Africa

Equal bits touching and educational, the two NHL stars visit the less fortunate and not only give you some entertaining images, but show off some less-developed parts of the world.

7. Classic Games

Finally, somewhere to watch Game 3 of the ’96 World Cup Finals!

8. Well, Just Overall

I finally get the channel.  It’s a celebration of the sport.  It may be a teensy bit small on programming (Do we really need a re-air of NHL Live?) but it makes up for it in enthusiasm.  It will be a part of my viewing habits for some time.


About Steve Lepore
Contact me at stevemlepore@gmail.com

4 Responses to 8 Reasons Why We’re Purchasing the NHL Network After Free Preview Week

  1. I love the NHL network. Especially since my cable company (RCN) started carrying it in HD.

    On NHL on the Fly, they will join live games in progress for a couple minutes when games are going on, which is very nice.

    I feel bad for them on Versus-exclusive nights.

  2. john says:

    They should expand on the fly to cover euro, college, and jr hockey as well. Also discuss some issues that our hot topics of the day that deal with the sport. Sorta like what mlbtv does and what sport center used to be like, well is like but more like when it was good.

  3. Leafsfan1967 says:

    NHL Network is indeed awesome. As an NHL Center Ice Subscriber with DirecTV it is included and it is wonderful. I wish they would show a few more vintage games but that is a minor complaint.

  4. dyhrdmet says:

    you had to wait for the preview before buying the package? i’ve had it since it came to US TV almost a year and a half ago. they do/did have some college hockey. i think that season is over. I think there was JR hockey at some point too.

    i caught the HD version during the preview briefly (I don’t get the HD version on my TV). HD programming looked good, except that NHL on the Fly and its highlights aren’t in HD. I have seen HD game highlightes on comcast onDemand.

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