Doc Emrick to Narrate BU-BC Documentary

Mike Emrick was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008.

Lots of stuff from the NBC crew today.  This comes from the USCHO site, and their senior writer Jim Connelly:

One of college hockey’s greatest rivalries will have one of the game’s best-known voices telling its story when Rival Films releases “The Battle of Comm Ave — Boston University vs. Boston College” this fall.

Mike “Doc” Emrick, the well-known voice for NBC and Versus broadcasts of NHL action, will provide the narration for this one-of-a-kind documentary, it was announced on Monday. Emrick’s voice has become synonymous with hockey coverage throughout the U.S. and Canada and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008.

The film will feature interviews with nearly 50 players, coaches and observers of what Sports Illustrated once called the greatest rivalry in the country. Shot in High Definition, it will combine an array of archival footage, rare photos, radio calls and many untold stories.

This will be a great treat for college hockey fans and puckheads alike when it is released on DVD just in time for Christmas in November.  NESN will premiere it on the TV side, but hey VERSUS, there’s always national cable rights.  Right?


Eddie Olczyk Wins $500,000 at Racetrack, We Assume for Charity, Right Eddie?

We all know that Eddie Olczyk likes horse racing from the NBC broadcasts.  Well, it turns out he actually might know what he’s talking about (this would be a first) according to Kirk Penton of the Winnipeg Sun:

The 42-year-old was on his way to home to Chicago from the NHL awards show in Las Vegas when he put $166 down on a Pick 6 at California’s Hollywood Park. When he got home, he watched the action with glee as every one of his selections finished first.

The payoff? A cool $500,000.

“Every squirrel finds a nut every once in a while, so I just happened to get lucky,” Olczyk said. “It’s a tough enough game to pick a couple winners, let alone six in a row. But sometimes just the combinations have to come up right.

“I was one of three people to win, so I was pretty lucky. It’s like hitting the lottery.”

Okay, Mr. former hockey player and TV star.  What are you gonna’ do with that cash?  Tell you what, we have a great charity for you.  The “Please make VERSUS do a nightly Hockey Show” foundation.  Send all donations to Steve Lepore in New Jersey.

The Story Behind Why Darren Pang Left Phoenix

One of the only real stories to break during the week we were gone (C’mon, NBC!) was that Phoenix Coyotes analyst Darren Pang was leaving to take a job with the Blues and Fox Sports Midwest, who were feeling the need to bolster their coverage as they were planning on airing all 82 games for the first time during the 2009-10 season.

This may have caused some ears to perk up, as Panger is usually popular wherever he goes, and had developed a relationship with the hockey fans out in the desert.  According to Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, it all came down to the disarray that the Phoenix franchise is in:

Pang has worked on ESPN, ABC, NBC and Canada’s TSN, and his primary job the past four seasons had been as the television analyst with the Phoenix Coyotes. But that team in bankruptcy and its status is in such flux that Pang said the club doesn’t have a TV deal in place for next season.

“There was no one to negotiate with,” he said. “So you can understand that trying to get some answers and trying to figure out where you stand” was impossible.

It certainly is a shame that this will be one of the many effects of how badly things have been bungled by the league out in the desert.  For now, Panger will become more visible on our TV dials as St. Louis is an up and coming team in the league.  VERSUS should think about adding him.  We were never big fans of him in the ESPN days, but he’s grown on us a lot lately, especially after doing a great job hosting the Stanley Cup Final.

We’re Back, and With Some Info

Well that was the world’s least accommodating week off ever.  We’re glad to be back.

Anyway, we have mostly opinion pieces the first half of the week.  Then it’s all 2009 NHL Schedule speculation for the rest of the week.

Oh, about that?  The NHL schedule is coming out Wednesday.  Count on it, beyond any massive screw-ups by the league.

The 2009-10 NHL Season, according to various sources, will begin October 1, due to the Olympics forcing a schedule squeeze.  Expect the Penguins, Maple Leafs and Canadiens to be in action.

Some things we’ve been speculating on during the week off:

  • Maybe NBC and the league could get around to announcing that extension?  The good buzz the NHL has from it’s 8 Million viewer performance for Game 7 of the Final is gone, since Sunday’s Federer-Roddick match drew a better rating at least, if not more viewers.  Perhaps they’re waiting for the Winter Classic to do something.  Maybe the NHL is holding out for more coverage.  Maybe NBC is holding out for less coverage.  We might never know even when this thing gets done.  All we’re saying is, the longer this doesn’t get done, the more we should worry about the NHL jumping networks again, just as they’ve found one they can deliver viewers on.
  • Moving to ESPN, which people always strangely suspect will replace NBC.  You know, you have John Buccigross, Steve Levy, Matthew Barnaby and Barry Melrose on staff.  That’s two well-known hockey people at the anchor desk and two well-known analysts at the company.  Why not throw on 30 minutes of hockey highlights featuring them folks at 1AM every night on ESPNNews or one of your even lesser channels?  Oh, you don’t have to call it NHL2Night, but maybe just “NHL Tonight” or “NHL from the Night Before”.  Just saying, hockey fans all have such a supposed hard-on for ESPN, let’s see them put their money where their mouth is.  If they’ll watch NHL2Night on ESPNNews, then maybe ESPN really is the right place for hockey.