How the NHL Draft Would Get ESPN-ified

Look, there is so much value in the NHL Draft coverage TSN gives us.  Sure, Pierre McGuire yells at us in a way that says: “I AM YELLING BECAUSE WHAT I SAY IS IMPORTANT!  BUT I CAN’T STOP YELLING CAUSE THAT’LL MEAN THAT I LOST THE BATTLE!”.  But Gord, Pierre, Bob and Darren know what’s up.  Dreger broke the only trades of the night before Commissioner Bettman announced them.  It’s kind of a tension killer, but it’s no different from what Ric Bucher does on the NBA Draft on ESPN.

Which brings us to an interesting thought: Obviously, ESPN – were they to get back in the hockey game – would go full tilt on the NHL if they got back in.  I mean, c’mon, these guys televise the WNBA and MLS Drafts.  We’re pretty sure we saw the MLL Draft there once.  Do you folks even know what the MLL is?  Anyway, here’s what ESPN’s NHL Draft coverage would look like.

Read more of this post


NHL Net To Serve Up a Fresh Batch of Americaballs on 4th of July

Your NHL Network Schedule for July 4, 2009:

12:00 1996 World Cup of Hockey, Game 1
2:00 1996 World Cup of Hockey, Game 2
4:00 1996 World Cup of Hockey, Game 3
6:00 2008 U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
7:30 The Hodge Stove League: Ron Wilson
8:00 2008 Lester Patrick Award Ceremony
9:30 The Hodge Stove League: Brian Burke
10:00 2004 World Junior Championships Gold Medal Game

A perfect way to celebrate the American contributions to the sport.  I’ll certainly have the TV locked to NHL Network Saturday.

NHL Network to Show Coverage of UFA Day

After their daily broadcast of NHL Live! at Noon, the NHL Network will air TSN’s Free Agent Frenzy show from 2-6 PM ET to keep you up to date on all the potential Free Agent signings.

I personally think that viewers lose with NHL Live! because there’s no way they’ll be as up to date on everything as TSN is.  But, take what you can get.

I brought this through customs. Not really.

Alright I am still recovering from my epic journey to Montreal for the draft. It might take a few days to get back on track. So I give you this clip of a guy I filmmed. I was with the gang from Pension Plan Puppets enjoying drinks on the patio of….some pub. And this dude came up to us and started ranting about the Habs. It’s truly wonderful. And the language isn’t safe for work, just a heads up;

Sadly I didn’t record him going on about “Martin Fleury” and declaring “Roberto who?”

Your NHL Draft Open Thread

Note: Will be at the Devils Draft Party in Newark tonight, but there’s no reason the rest of you can’t spend the night pointing out all the creepy things the TSN gang does.

NHL Draft, 7:00 PM 
TV (US):
Host: Gord Miller
Analysts: Bob McKenzie, Pierre McGuire, Darren Dreger 

Hockey Garners a Few Mentions From the ESPYS

Here are the hockey nominees for ESPN’s yearly celebration of ESPN:

BEST PLAY: Ovechkin’s Game 5 Goal vs. the Rangers
BEST TEAM: Pittsburgh Penguins
BEST COACH: Dan Bylsma, Pittsburgh Penguins
BEST NHL PLAYER: Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin
BEST MALE COLLEGE ATHLETE: Matt Gilroy, Boston University

Big Shocker: Game 7 Drew Big Numbers in Pittsburgh

From the terrific Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

The Stanley Cup was Must-See TV for Pittsburghers.

According to Nielsen Media Research, more than 485,000 local television viewers watched Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Penguins and Detroit Red Wings. The NBC broadcast June 12 drew a 42.2 rating – the highest local mark for an NHL game since the league began tracking in 1995.

One local rating point equates to 11,500 viewers.

Also, 61 percent of regional television sets were tuned to Game 7, won by the Penguins to claim their third championship. The one quarter-hour peak rating/share was 54.6/73, with another quarter-hour at 53.1/73.

Insane numbers, though we know Game 7 likely drew great ratings in Detroit, too.  We recommend the full article, as it talks about the Penguins attempt to grow their brand in the shadow of the Steel Curtain.  With a special Sports Illustrated issue dedicated to their championship on newsstands everywhere, it’s clear the Penguins are close to becoming the NHL’s model franchise when it comes to selling itself.

Mid-Day Music Break: Billy Talent

TSN2 to Pick Up Bulk of Free Agent Frenzy Coverage

We don’t envy the position of TSN scheduler.  You basically have to shove all of ESPN’s programming, in addition to exclusive Canadian content (NHL, CFL, curling, etc.) into a 24-hour day, plus some HBO boxing and SportsCentre’s and whatnot.

That’s why TSN2 has become a necessary Godsend.  It helps when covering stuff like UFA day.  TSN’s Wimbledon coverage will only allow 1-hour of Pierre McGuire yammering on at 5:00 PM ET.

However, TSN2 (and we hope, NHL Network) will air coverage from Noon-5PM ET.

Good work getting something on the air!

NHL Players to Go Figure Skating on CBC

CBC Television announced today the first competitors to sign on to participate in CBC Television’s BATTLE OF THE BLADES. NHL Hall of Famer and fan favourite Lanny McDonald, NHL Hall of Famer and six-time Stanley Cup-winner Glenn Anderson, legendary enforcers Tie Domi and Bob Probert, two-time Stanley Cup-winner and HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA analyst Craig Simpson, and two-time Stanley Cup-winner Stéphane Richer will go head-to-head in this fierce competition. These hockey heavyweights will be paired with some of Canada’s top female figure skaters in a competitive and thrilling pairs showdown beginning this October.

“Whatever else you can say about Canadians, they know hockey and they know figure skating—and are passionate about both,” said Kirstine Layfield, CBC Television’s executive director of network programming. “We’re going to bring the two together in a way that’s never been seen before. It’s going to be great.”

CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA’s Ron MacLean and Canadian figure skating icon Kurt Browning host the seven-week BATTLE OF THE BLADES series. Browning’s storied international career and his infectious personality combined with MacLean’s deep-rooted knowledge and passion for hockey will provide viewers with the insight and intricacies of both sports and their unlikely combination.


All-Star forward Probert holds the Detroit Red Wings’ franchise record for career penalty minutes. Domi is one of the most popular players to ever don a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey and ranks third overall in penalty minutes in NHL history.

A gentleman both on and off the ice, McDonald’s contribution to his teams and community earned him both the Bill Masterson and King Clancy Memorial trophies. Simpson’s influence extends from playing to coaching and currently as an analyst on CBC’s HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA. Simpson is the last Edmonton Oiler to score over 50 goals in one season. Richer is one of the all-time leaders in playoff overtime goals and is the last Montreal Canadien to score over 50 goals in a season. Anderson is considered one of the all-time great playoff performers with 214 playoff points, ranking him fourth overall in playoff history.

BATTLE OF THE BLADES is the brainchild of Kevin Albrecht, and development of Sandra Bezic. BATTLE OF THE BLADES executive producers are John Brunton, Barbara Bowlby and Kevin Albrecht. It is produced by Insight Productions in association with CBC Television.