And… A Couple of Omissions

Carolina Hurricanes: Bob Harwood, Canes Country
His interview with John Forslund really grabbed our attention (considering it was one we couldn’t get) and he provides really solid coverage on Carolina hockey.  One of my favorites on SBN.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Bethany’s Hockey Rants
She hasn’t updated as much lately, but her work during the Blue Jackets initial playoff run last spring was something fun and informative to read.

The NHL Wants You to Acknowledge The Existence of the 29 Teams You Don’t Love

From John Ourand and Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Journal (Reg. required):

NHL executives are hoping to use NHL Network-produced highlight packages to better promote out-of-market games on regional sports networks.

Expanding on last year’s effort to push real-time highlight packages to arenas, the NHL hopes to persuade RSNs to run the game clips during intermissions.

“There are some great story lines and plays happening all around the league and we want to be able to expose the stars and those plays and those stories to as many fans around the NHL as possible,” said NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins.

NHL fans are considered the most tribal of all major sports leagues, with fans typically following their local teams to the exclusion of other teams. By providing highlights from across the league, the NHL hopes to enable local fans to keep up with out-of-town games and become more familiar with players on other teams.

The report also states that no deal has been reached between the NHL and Comcast or Fox.  Do you, the readers think anything would get you more into other markets?  As a hockey diehard, I love watching the playoffs no matter what, but it’s hard to get me to watch a regular season game with teams I don’t like if I’m not covering it for a specific reason.  The in-arena highlight packages are great, though.  However, it’d be great if they could find a way to produce highlight packages that don’t feature highlights of your own game.  I know the NFL does this for it’s in-stadium show.

For more SBJ this week, check out this story from Tripp Mickle on NHL employees’ new pay scale.

The Best Blogs, Team-by-Team

We thought this would be a fun way to build a database of blogs without the boredom of doing a blogroll.  Consider this Puck the Media’s new blogroll.  It’ll head to the top of the page.

Anaheim Ducks: Earl Sleek, Battle of California
Because of his efforts to revive the hockey cartoon, and because he provides us with great insight into a fanbase we haven’t a clue about.

Atlanta Thrashers: Ben Wright, Blueland Blog
We’re always suspicious of team-sponsored blogs, but Ben’s a solid guy who provides Thrasher fans with a go-to database on Hockey in Hotlanta info.

Boston Bruins: Cornelius Hardenbergh, Hockey Blog Adventure
There wasn’t much of a Bruins blogosphere until a couple of years ago, but now many are blossoming, including this one, which really shows off the bitterness of the Boston hockey fan, considering they’ve won everything else.

Buffalo Sabres: Vance, Bangin’ Panger
Best.  Blog Name.  Ever.

Calgary Flames: Matt Fenwick, Battle of Alberta
We kind of swore off the Flames when Sutter headed up to Alberta, but we always make sure to check in on any “Battle” site.
Any site with a glossary is a winner in our books.

Carolina Hurricanes: Bob Harwood, Canes Country
His interview with John Forslund really grabbed our attention (considering it was one we couldn’t get) and he provides really solid coverage on Carolina hockey.  One of my favorites on SBN.

Columbus Blue Jackets: Bethany’s Hockey Rants
She hasn’t updated as much lately, but her work during the Blue Jackets initial playoff run last spring was something fun and informative to read.

Chicago Blackhawks: Mr. Miller, Blackhawk Zone
Though we kind of wish he’d bring back Wirtz Sucks.

Colorado Avalanche: Jibblescribbits
A good Twitter friend and a fellow lover of alternative rock.  Good enough in our book.

Dallas Stars, Razor with an Edge
So what if he’s a professional broadcaster?  He’s funnier than almost anyone, professional or otherwise.

Detroit Red Wings: The Chief, Abel to Yzerman
Hands down the most enjoyable read in hockey on a team basis.  Filled with hilarity, anger, and genuine passion.  In another life, Chief was Mark Twain, I swear.

Edmonton Oilers: Derek Zona, The Copper & Blue
Solid lineup of Oil bloggers.  By no means a mickey mouse organization.

Florida Panthers: George Richards, On Frozen Pond
Again, a professional writer, but there’s honestly not too much going on in the blogosphere.  Richards makes up for it by providing funny opinions as well as hard news.

Los Angeles Kings: Rudy Kelly, Battle of California
Because, let’s face it, it’s the most awesome name in hockey blogging.

Minnesota Wild: Elise, 18,568 Reasons Why
The Wild are another team we don’t follow much, but this is where we head if there’s any news that we want opinions on.  Hasn’t updated as much lately, and that’s a shame.

Montreal Canadiens: Robert L., Habs Eyes on the Prize
Fantastic, insightful essays on the history of Les Habitantes, mixed in with current news and opinion.

Nashville Predators: The Oakes Gentlemen, Preds on the Glass
The father and son dynamic Preds on the Glass brings is one I hadn’t seen before, and it adds pretty interesting insight into a relatively new franchises.

New Jersey Devils: The Ookies, Interchangeable Parts
AKA: Two women I’m not nearly as funny as.  Whenever I talk about the Devils to people who don’t know hockey, I steal their jokes.  They’re that funny.

New York Islanders: B.D. Gallof, Hockey Independent
Another Twitter friend.  We’re not Islanders haters, so we love reading about them.  Gallof is the best, and most creative of the bunch.

New York Rangers: Derek Felix, Battle of New York
The only Ranger fan we can stand.  We may or may not have created that site.

Ottawa Senators: Dany Heatley Speedwagon, Scarlett Ice
Bar none, one of the funniest people we have ever come across in our existence.

Philadelphia Flyers: Travis Hughes, Broad Street Hockey
Great guy.  Terrible team, but great guy.

Phoenix Coyotes: OdinMercer, Five For Howling
With all the anti-Phoenix material Mirtle posted over the summer, it’s remarkable these guys could stay in existence and be awesome with how awkward that must be.

Pittsburgh Penguins: The Homosexuals Who Run The Pensblog
Wonderful, hilarious homosexual gentlemen.  Big Muse fans.  We can dig it.

San Jose Sharks: PJ Swenson, Sharkspage
Any blog with some good photography becomes an instant favorite.

St. Louis Blues: Brad Lee, St. Louis Game Time
Hilarious, biting Blues coverage.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Raw Charge
Cassie’s a Twitter friend, and John Fontana is one of our oldest pals in blogging.  The Lightning don’t deserve this kind of awesome, informative writing.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Pension Plan Puppets
Occasionally we’ll argue, but there’s nothing wrong with that if you’ve got something to say.  Of course, if you don’t have something to say about the Leafs…

Vancouver Canucks: Yankee Canuck, Nucks Misconduct
There’s a deep, thriving Canucks blogosphere.  This is our personal favorite.

Washington Capitals: On Frozen Blog
One of the websites that lead the charge for the advance of the Washington Capitals bloggers.  Fantastic stuff.

Anyone Want to Explain How We Got These VERSUS Ratings?

VERSUS numbers from last week are out, courtesy of John Ourand’s Twitter.  The Devils-Flyers Monday night matchup (10/16/09) drew 331,000 viewers, out-drawing the Tuesday evening Capitals-Rangers (10/17/09) game, which had 310,000 viewers.

Huh?

Anyway, your list of VERSUS viewership totals for the season are after the jump.  Note that Oct. 26th’s Minnesota-Chicago game is unavailable.

Read more of this post

Great Ideas Courtesy of VERSUS

Here’s three things VERSUS did wrong last night:

  1. The National Football League’s TV schedule (in particular, that of Monday Night Football) was released on April 14, 2009.  The NHL released it’s schedule in the middle of July.  Now, on a Monday like last night, they gave VERSUS many options for games to show on their network.  A compelling John Tavares vs. Toronto matchup could be interesting fodder.  Bruins and St. Louis: Interconference matchups are always fun.  Columbus-Rangers: ditto, and why not show off Rick Nash under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden.  Hell, the Flyers and Avalanche would be absolutely tailor made for national TV (if this were ESPN).  Instead, not only did we get a Red Wings-Predators matchup that’s lost it’s competitive muster, we got the only Nashville game on VERSUS this season, pit against a Tennessee Titans showing on Monday Night Football.  Yes, the Titans are terrible, but who’s bright idea was this in the first place?
  2. If you are going to show a Preds game, best to keep it out of the way of football as best you can, but something just doesn’t feel right about these 7PM ET starts in central timezone markets.  Let me ask you, folks in Minnesota, St. Louis, Dallas, Nashville, Chicago, etc… does the hour early difference matter?  It seems rather disingenuous and pointless for VERSUS to do it to it’s loyal Nashville fanbase.
  3. Finally, we didn’t get to see Darren McCarty on Hockey Central, but seriously, Darren McCarty giving analysis on a Red Wings game?  You mean, the guy who stood for everything Detroit nearly a decade?  Come on.  We didn’t see Peter Laviolette doing a Hurricanes or an Islanders game.  We magically managed to find Mike Keenan analyzing a game that didn’t feature one of the 500 teams he’s coached!  Can’t we throw Mac at Wednesday night’s St. Louis-Dallas game?  I’m sure he could use the money regardless.

With Habs Splitting National Audience, HNIC Hits Over 2 Million Again

From William Houston:

Hockey Night in Canada drew its second largest audience of the season, 2.101 million, for the 7 p.m. ET telecast.

Worth noting is the Toronto Maple Leafs, for the first time this season, were not the featured national game.

It was a split telecast, with Washington Capitals-Leafs seen in Ontario and Atlantic Canada, and the rest of the country receiving the Detroit Red Wings-Montreal Canadiens game — except Ottawa, which saw the Buffalo Sabres-Senators game.

It makes sense to give match-ups not involving the Leafs more exposure, given the Toronto team is last in the NHL standing.

Sherali Najak, Hockey Night’s executive producer, says the strong viewership is attributable in large part to the Leafs and Canadiens games both going to a shootout.

Game 2 of the doubleheader, Chicago Blackhawks-Edmonton Oilers, was watched by 725,000. The pre-game show continues to draw very well, 657,000 viewers.

Hockey Night’s Season-to-Date ratings are after the jump.  The original post is updated as well.

Read more of this post

Tuesday Mailbag

Only one E-mail today.  From “Patrice Bergeron”:

“No mailbag Tuesday tomorrow. Mostly because people refuse to send me questions. Yay apathetic readership!”

Here’s something for your mailbag: “waaaahhhhh! waaaaaah!”

Well sir, I appreciate your efforts.  You sir, clearly have all your ducks in order.

Enjoy the day.  New mailbag next Tuesday.

New Music Tuesday

NOTE: No mailbag today.  Start sending questions if you want to see it again.