Your Announcers and Open Thread For Flyers-Caps

Philadelphia vs. Washington, 7PM, VERSUS
Play by Play:
Joe Beninati
Color: Darren Eliot
Reporter: Billy Jaffe 

We’d Like to Start a Mailbag Column

Ask us anything that’d have to do with this blog, and we’ll come back here every Tuesday and give you as much detail as we can. is the handle to find me.

VERSUS To Feature Cancer Awareness Group Tonight

We’ll often mock VERSUS at times, but this is a good idea.   Brian Hunter of on a special VERSUS feature tonight:

As part of the NHL’s “Hockey Fights Cancer” initiative and in conjunction with the Washington Capitals hosting their awareness night, Versus will feature Men With Heart during a segment of Tuesday’s nationally-televised game between the Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers.


Billy Jaffe, who will present the story, and the rest of the announcing team will be wearing the pink-striped ties that have been part of the League’s effort to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


“It doesn’t seem like anyone nowadays doesn’t know someone who has been affected by this disease,” Versus NHL Coordinating Producer Mike Baker said. “This is a side of it nobody’s really addressed.”

Baker became aware of Men With Heart not through their walking or fundraising, but because of their trademark yellow T-shirts, which will be featured in an introduction to the Versus segment.

Kudos to the VERSUS team for all the promotion they’ve been doing for Hockey Fights Cancer this month.  Now back to skepticism!


Hey Guys, Did You Know That HDTV Will Revolutionize The Way We Watch Hockey?

In what has to be the 10,000th “HDTV will make hockey better on TV” article, Robert Cribb makes us all wonder why having a newspaper job makes you so much more valuable than a blogger by reciting to us the history of the NHL on American TV since 1996.

High-definition television images are luring more American eyeballs to professional hockey and invigorating the NHL’s prospects in the U.S., say leading sports industry experts.


“HDTV will have a greater impact on hockey than any other sport,” says Matthew Pace, a lawyer with prominent sports law firm Herrick, Feinstein in New York. “You can follow the puck much easier (on HDTV broadcasts). The action is clearer. I think the television future of the NHL is bright.”


The holy grail of professional sports – routine access to 115 million American television households– has long eluded the NHL despite efforts dating back to the infamous glowing puck of the 1990s.


While the NHL has built a national U.S. footprint that includes hockey-tepid cities across the sunbelt, major U.S. broadcast deals still haven’t come.


And without the billions of dollars in revenues that come with a major TV deal, the league is left to contend with financial basket cases in cities such as Phoenix, Florida and Nashville, which have no cultural connection to hockey.

Well, what a genius this guy must be.  Can you guys believe what a derivative, same old same old column this is?  We’ve all read a billion times that HDTV will make hockey a ton more popular.  Let’s wait until a large majority of the country is in HD to write another dumb article on this.


Aw, Dano, How Could They Have Gotten Rid of You on Battle of the Blades?

Jodeyne Higgins and Ken Daneyko, after a heartfelt and soulful performance, were the fourth pair iced, as the results were revealed during tonight’s broadcast on BATTLE OF THE BLADES. Christine Hough-Sweeney and Tie Domi are the fourth pair to be saved, joining the three remaining pairs for a chance to win $100,000 for the charity of their choice.

The two pairs with the fewest votes in the fourth week of competition were Higgins and Daneyko, who skated to James Brown’s I Got You, and Hough-Sweeney and Domi, who performed their routine to Robin Thicke’s Superman. Both pairs performed again before regular judges Sandra Bezic, Dick Button and guest judge Lanny McDonald for a final chance to remain on the show. McDonald is renowned for his years with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames.

For their efforts, Higgins and Daneyko’s Canadian charity, Foundation Fighting Blindness, will receive a $25,000 donation. Foundation Fighting Blindness is a national charity organization that funds research into the causes, treatments and ultimately the cure for all retinal disease. Its annual Ride for Sight event is Canada’s largest motorcycle charity fundraiser in support of the Foundation.

The four pairs returning to compete on Sunday, November 1 are: Shae-Lynn Bourne and Claude Lemieux, Marie-France Dubreuil and Stéphane Richer, Christine Hough-Sweeney and Tie Domi, Jamie Salé and Craig Simpson. All will perform to songs inspired by movies and musicals.

Olympic gold medalist and figure skating champion Kristi Yamaguchi and her husband Bret Hedican, who won a Stanley Cup with the Carolina Hurricanes, will reside as guest judges for the fifth week of BATTLE OF THE BLADES, Sunday, November 1 and Monday, November 2. Yamaguchi and Hedican will draw from their knowledge of both sports to provide a combined score alongside regular judges Bezic and Button. All four will also determine who of the bottom two ranking pairs—as determined by viewer votes—gets iced on Monday’s skate-off show.

Viewers can learn more about the competitors, the official online portal for the series and the source for everything about BATTLE OF THE BLADES. In addition to 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.

New Ratings System Continues to Produce Huge Numbers For CBC Despite Woeful Leafs

From the ever-awesome William Houston at Truth and Rumours:

The new system of measuring audiences – the personal people meters — continues to produce big sports numbers for the TV networks.

The CBC drew 2.306 million for the Leafs-Vancouver Canucks game, a split telecast that included regional games New York Rangers-Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins-Ottawa Senators.

A year ago, with the old system of measurement, that lineup would have produced an audience of about 1.4 million, maybe 1.5 million. That’s a jump of about 800,000 viewers. More on this later.


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