We Promise today is the last day we’re going to half-ass and take off until the Finals are over.  We have our own important business to finish today, but then that’s over and we can play with you the rest of the year.

But we’ll leave you with a poll question: Did VERSUS go too far by using a local team’s announcers for Games 5 & 6 of Vancouver/Chicago?

Leave responses in the comments.

20 Responses to Okay…

  1. Jeff W says:

    The decision was cheap – plain and simple. It costs approx $1 million to put a game on the air, if not more. Plus, they own Comcast Sportsnet Chicago. Also, CSN Chicago has Eddie Olczychk on the broadcast – who of course is their lead analyst. For the Carolina-Boston game Sunday, they used John Forslund and Andy Brickly, both of whom work for VS year round. But the added benefit here, is that it was the Carolina TV PBP voice and the Boston TV analyst – one announcer from each team. All this is better than flying in some announcer from elsewhere just for the game who is not entirely familiar with the teams day to day activities.

    For Game 5, its a Saturday night, which means low ratings, and the game is all the way in Western Canada, where production costs are increased. For Game 6, as it is they didn’t air the first period, and had the Pitt – Wash game continued, that crew would have been broadcasting to nobody.

    But now thats it. A VS exclusive game has to be a VS production (even though the Canadian productions are 400 times better). I mean I had to watch that game, see Pierre Maguire between the benches, and not hear him.

  2. stevelepore says:

    By the way everyone, Rick Peckham’s back tonight! Yay!

  3. Chris says:

    I know how you guys feel. TSN used local American feeds for the majority of Round 1. Any broadcaster who is that cheap (TSN, Versus) doesn’t deserve the right to broadcast games. In Canada’s case, those games should be moved to the superior CBC broadcast.

  4. Leafsfan1967 says:

    Yes it was a bad decision but can you imagine the grief they would be getting if they had used the CBC feed? This would have been seen as using Vancouver’s home broadcast which of course HNIC isn’t but it would have been seen that way.

    I’m just tired of sub par Verus telecasts almost every night.

  5. kevin says:

    I loved hearing Pat Foley again..I don’t mind the local feeds as long as they are professional (not Jack Edwards or that Buffalo goofball). It’s interesting…They were broadcasting to an American audience so I don’t think there are too many Canuck fans in the US that are upset about it

  6. Scotty says:

    I mentioned something about this last night on the open thread but as someone else pointed out after me at least the games were on. I think they went a bit far using the local announcers. They did this in Round 1 with the Sharks and Ducks as well. I think its them being cheap and lets remember they are still a very low profile network that is growing. However I think the NHL has got to get a second cable partner in the US or get a network that has 2 channels. We missed one Game 7 already, it could happen again on Thursday. I mean if ESPN had the rights all of these games would be on, with ESPN production and if there were a situation like having a game at 6 and 6:30 or joined in progress they have 3 networks between ESPN espn2 and Classic they can use and we’d see the whole game.

  7. Rocky says:

    Not a bad decision. At least we didn’t see a piss-poor Versus game once again. The only things that holds up for Versus during the post-season: the work of Mike Emrick for PBP, and Billy Jaffe for analysis. They work separately. Thank God New York hockey fans can see them throughout the season. Otherwise, the whole Versus experience is like Denis Potvin – it sucks.

  8. JFein says:

    If Vs. is going to not be sending their own teams to the game, they should at least use the Canadien national broadcast instead. And seeing as their production is so much better, I do not think that there would be that many people complaining as Versus did that a lot during the 1st round, although not as much this year as in years past, if I recall correctly. As far as the actual broadcast put on by CSN Chicago for Games 5 and 6, it was not that bad of a broadcast, all things considered. It was by no means over-the-top like Jack Edwards can be. To more directly answer Steve’s question though, yes. they did go too far. While Game 5 is certainly a little more understandable because it was in Vancouver, would have been that much to ask Rick Peckham to do the game last night from Chicago and travel to Carolina tonight. This would by no means the longest distance a production crew went in a 24-hour basis. (I’m assuming that Dave Strader is staying out west and subsequently Peckham is in Carolina tonight, but if it’s the other way around, then replace everything him with Strader as it’s been a few days since he did a game so he could have gone anywhere).

  9. Leafsfan1967 says:

    >>If Vs. is going to not be sending their own teams to the game, they should at least use the Canadien national broadcast instead.

    Here Here!

    The other thing the NHL should do is if Versus can’t cover all the games, which they can’t, then put the other games on the NHL Network and use the CBC or TSN feeds. That way hockey fans State side get to see how a hockey game should be broadcast….

  10. Leafsfan1967 says:

    The other thing to be said is, wasn’t Versus showing bias to the Hawks by using the Hawks feed more than once during this series? Shouldn’t they have at least used a CBC feed for one game.

    If as someone suggested in another thread that the reason they use the dreadful Joe Benihaha so much is ’cause he comes cheap then they probably got a sweet deal from CSN Chicago since it too is owned by Comcr@p.

  11. DPEEZY says:

    This site is awesome, but a lot of these responses to the author’s posts are so groundless. I love hockey and I want it to grow desperately, but lets face it – it’s not exactly NFL as far as my fellow Americans are concerned… Saying blanket statements like “I think the NHL has go to get a second cable partner in the US….” is so common on this site, As if the NHL can just *snap* their fingers and every network will come crawling with suitcases filled with money to this goldmine we call Ice Hockey Broadcasts. Don’t you think the NHL would do that, if they could? That’s why when people complain about something so petty, like VS using local broadcasts (a hypocritical argument when you take in the fact the 99% of people complain when VS is “exclusive” because they CAN’T see the local broadcast), I have to laugh- because you realize people will complain no matter what. I’m just glad hockey is still on TV and in HD. Beggers can’t be choosers, especially in this economy, and I think the NHL will be on the “begging” side for a while.

    • Scotty says:

      Good Point that I think all of us, yours truely included, forget sometimes its not that easy to find another place to put games on. I myself bring up ESPN all the time but if they really wanted it they would outbid Versus. But I think if its not VS fault then the NHL needs to change its schedule around for Versus. MLB, NFL and NBA all work around their stations to get games on. I think some of the blame must be put on the schedule as well. Why can’t the NHL play games earlier in the day like baseball does. That would help Versus by the fact they could then use Versus production for all games. Just another thought which is random but worth noting, every MLB game is exclusive in the playoffs to TBS or FOX. Rounds 2, 3 and 4 in the NBA are exclusive to TNT, ESPN and ABC. And of course all NFL games are. Only the conference and Cup Finals are exclusive. I wonder if this would help Versus at all to make Round 2 exclusive and make the NHL plan around them. Just a random thought.

  12. Good luck on your finals?

  13. Leafsfan1967 says:

    DPEEZY you make some good points.

    However the NHL does have another cable partner in the States and it is the NHL Network. The league needs to work hard to get deeper penetration for the NHL Network, then they won’t be left being let down by Versus.

  14. Ken says:

    If you’re a national network, you have to get a crew to do the second game or not do it at all. Granted, Comcast used its own regional sports network for the Vancouver-Chicago game last night, but the broadcast was geared for Chicago.

    I hate to use the ESPN analogy, but would the Worldwide Leader use a local crew? No. It’s embarrassing to Versus and the NHL. But the NHL has been settling for a second rate network since it signed with OLN/Vs in 2005.

    • DPEEZY says:

      All due respect, Ken, but using the phrase “settling” implies that the NHL had or has a better option and did not choose it. Again, people seem to have this irrational thought that there are just tons of broadcast opportunities out their for a fledgling sports league (especially in the current economic climate). As a huge NHL fan, I have to be a realist…hopefully the sport will grow to be respected in the mainstream sports media again, but this is a business, driven by dollars and cents – and only days after reports of several franchises being in serious financial trouble, and an owner “regretting” owning his team – how can we use phrases like “settling” when describing the NHL’s options? They have no other options, and yet the games are still on – they are all in HD and they are nationally available. The playoffs have been AWESOME so far, so why are we bitching again?

      And just to follow up on the original point of this thread, in my personal opinion about VS using a local broadcast…I can’t help but think about it like this:
      I think if I was in charge of Comcast, and I had a sister network covering the game and very limited resources as it is with a network like Versus – I would probably do the logical thing and simulcast the sister network’s coverage, and save that money in the budget and put it towards the conference finals or stanley cup finals coverage – rather then having 2 Comcast-owned networks broadcasting the exact same game. So I have no problem with Versus’s decision. They make a ton of legit mistakes, but this is definitely not one of them.

  15. BC says:

    I love it when VS uses another broadcast. Of course, most of the local broadcasts are not much different/better though. As someone pointed out above, the CBC or TSN broadcasts should be MANDATORY to be used as an alternative. Of course, that would make everyone else look bad, but I like to be able to watch a game without having to yell at my TV screen and tell it to “shut the hell up!”.

  16. Sean says:

    Oh my GOD….is there anything you people do but complain about Versus?!?! Instead of saying “THANK YOU!!” for showing more hockey than any cable network in history has…you just bitch and moan about announcers, feeds and the studio show. Who cares if it was CBC, CSN or two guys from the bar…they put the game on!

    I’m so sick and tired of hearing from hockey fans about how poor the coverage is and that ESPN needs to take it back. Do you think ESPN would air this much hockey? Do you think ESPN would be giving us doubleheaders for almost a month now? They didn’t when they had hockey before…now they have MORE sports, most notable the NBA playoffs…why would anything change now?

    The only people that can gripe are the ones without Versus. The people that have Versus should be thanking their lucky stars that the NHL basically has an entire network to itself for the playoffs. Is the network perfect? No, but it shows more hockey and that’s what I care about. I think it’s fantastic that a growing network like Versus is willing to show bonus coverage of the Blackhawks game (which was incredible).

  17. Alan Hoffmann says:

    I may be the only Vancouver fan to say this, but I thought it was good. I didn’t think the CSN-Chicago broadcast was too biased, and it was enjoyable to listen to a local team do a big game. I thought the production quality was better than your typical VS broadcast.

    Look, I appreciate what VS does in the US, but I was lucky enough to be able to watch Hockey Night In Canada for years (still am, thanks to NHL Network). Even ESPN’s games were better than VS. They try, they do decent, but VS still has a ways to go.

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