Your Announcers and Open Thread for Red Wings-Sabres

Detroit vs. Buffalo, 7PM, VERSUS
Play by Play:
Mike Emrick
Color: Darren Eliot
Reporter: Bob Harwood

Bob Dylan: Hockey Fan?

We make no secret here at Puck the Media of our joyous love for Bruce Springsteen and the Powerful E-Street Band.  So it was safe to say that when saxophone player Clarence Clemons’ memoir Big Man (co-written by TV legend Don Reo) was released to the shelves, we’d be out there to get it.

Well, we did, and the book is a great, amusing mix of real life stories and “legends” that Clarence tells, that may or may not be true.  One of the best is when the Big Man meets with singer/former Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman, and all of a sudden Bob Dylan shows up (this is far from the craziest combination of characters in the book) and this exchange takes place:

It was quiet for a while.  They sat and listened to the storm.
“I always meant to ask you, Bob, who’s your favorite performer?” said Kinky.
“I’ve always liked Gary Unger from St. Louis,” said Bob.  He put his hand to his chin and thought awhile.
Clarence stole a glance at Kinky and mouthed the question Gary Unger? Kinky shrugged.
“Bobby Clarke,” Bob continued.  “Dan Maloney, Butch Goring…”
“I thought I knew every musician in the world,” said Kinky.  “But I’ve never heard of these guys.”
“They’re hockey players,” said Bob.  “When you said ‘performers’ I thought you were talking about hockey players.”

And so on it goes.  Now, as Clarence says in the book, these are legends.  But the conversations are said to have taken place.  Besides, names like Butch Goring and Gary Unger?  Those are too specific to not be true.  Either Clemons is a hockey fan, or Dylan is.

It’s probably not all that shocking that Dylan was/is a puckhead, considering he comes from Minnesota.  That said, how awesome would it be to catch Bob Dylan out at a game?  And that he loves Bobby Clarke!  This is great stuff, and all the more reason you should check out Big Man.

VERSUS.com Improves a Ton This Season

The first post ever done during the regular posting hours of this website (October 21st, 2008: Whadja get us for our anniversary!) is one talking about the improvement of VERSUS.com.  Titled cynically “VERSUS.com is Nearly Worth Reading” it extolled the virtues of added editorial content and an embrace of the blogosphere.  So why not return to that subject almost a year later?

First, it should be pointed out that the network has started promoting the website during it’s hockey telecasts.  It’s the first time I can really recall them doing this, apart from a joint Hockey Central/OLNTv.com campaign during the 05-06 season.

While a lot is the same, there has been a bit of an effort to re-design the site.  It’s improved, but not by much.  It’s moved from 1990’s AOL quality to turn of the century.  That said, effort is being made.  Still, we want to see a complete revamp eventually.  We’re sure some of our more enterprising commenters could come up with one.  Feel free to e-mail them to SMLepore@comcast.net.  We’d love to post them.

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The Next Pair of Skaters Kicked Off Battle of the Blades

Isabelle Brasseur and Glenn Anderson were the second pair iced, as the results were revealed during tonight’s broadcast on BATTLE OF THE BLADES. Marie-France Dubreuil and Stéphane Richer are the second pair to be saved, joining the five remaining pairs for a chance to win $100,000 for the charity of their choice. This is the second week in a row that the pair has been saved in the competition.

The two pairs with the fewest votes in the second week of competition were Brasseur and Anderson, who skated to Frank Sinatra’s Ain’t She Sweet, and Dubreuil and Richer, who performed their routine to Sinatra’s Strangers In The Night. Both pairs performed again before the panel of judges, Sandra Bezic, Dick Button and guest judge Don Cherry, for a final chance to remain on the show. All three praised tonight’s performances and were impressed with both pairs’ improvement from Sunday’s skate. For their efforts, Brasseur’s Canadian charity, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, will receive a $12,500 donation, and Anderson’s charity, the Alberta Cancer Foundation for the Cross Cancer Institute, will receive a $12,500 donation.

The six pairs returning to compete on Sunday, October 18 are: Shae-Lynn Bourne and Claude Lemieux, Marie-France Dubreuil and Stéphane Richer, Jodeyne Higgins and Ken Daneyko, Christine Hough-Sweeney and Tie Domi, Jamie Saléand Craig Simpson, Barbara Underhill and Ron Duguay.

Latin music in all its colourful varieties—including the Salsa, the Cha Cha and the Bolero—will be the musical backdrop for the show next week. Sophisticated and rhythmic, the strong beats of Latin America and the Caribbean will bring a special kind of heat to the performances on the ice.

Young Canadian skating duo Edrea Khong and Edbert Khong are the guest skaters performing live at Monday’s skate-off show on October 19 at 8:00 p.m. Still in their early teens and with Olympic aspirations, this extremely talented brother and sister act is already amazing audiences with their brilliant ice dancing routines.

Viewers can learn more about the competitors at www.cbc.ca/battle, the official online portal for the series and the source for everything about BATTLE OF THE BLADES. In addition to competition recap videos and behind-the-scene photos, the site offers viewers the opportunity to become fans of their favourite pair and track each participant’s activity as they strive to be the final pair remaining at the end of the series.

BATTLE OF THE BLADES is the brainchild of Kevin Albrecht with development by 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.


Morning Music Breakdown