Five Suggestions For NHL Overtime Guest Analysts

There will be more to talk about as far as NHL Overtime goes in the upcoming weeks and months as this show evolves. Next week, it will only air once. It’ll only air after NHL broadcasts on VERSUS until January, when they add a telecast on Friday nights, one would hypothesize after the network’s long-rumored College Hockey broadcasts.

For now, the 1-3 night per week show has featured guest analysts sitting in with regulars Bill Patrick and Jeremy Roenick. Tony Amonte showed a little promise on Monday (and he’ll be back next Tuesday), Eddie Olczyk got ornery, and Keith Jones was Keith Jones. Here’s a few other suggestions for the third man in on Overtime:

1. Mike Modano

Tony Amonte was a really good American hockey player, but you know was great? Mike Modano was. He was alright in his debut with the NHL Network on opening night and will reportedly slide in for Daryl Reaugh on select Dallas Stars broadcasts later this season, but why not give him a shot on VERSUS once or twice? He’s a guy with as much name recognition as Roenick, an appealing American and a former star in this league. Maybe it’s just my dream to reunite the 1996 World Cup of Hockey team (see later in this list) but it’d be worth it if VERSUS is committing to the guest analyst thing for the full year.

2. Kevin Weekes

A guy who was on Overtime a couple of nights last season. A few words about Kevin Weekes that I’ve been meaning to say for awhile: he has gotten better and better every day he has been working as an analyst, to the point where he’s become an even better ambassador for this sport than when he played (he was very good then, too). When he started doing it, it was out there that he might go back to playing if the opportunity arose, but here he is in year three and he’s continuously improving, finding ways to interact with fans via Twitter, and often being the sole thing keeping me awake during those Flames and Oilers late games on HNIC. He’s an obvious hire for any network looking to televising hockey, not only because he is a fantastic ambassador for NHL diversity, but because he backs it up with thoughtful, entertaining analysis.

3. Mike Richter

More 1996 World Cup of Hockey alumni! There are two things I know about Mike Richter: 1. He was an awesome goaltender that drove me insane as a young Devils fan. 2. He is crazy smart. Every time he’s been used as an analyst, it has been a bit of a trade-off so that Richter can promote various environmental initiatives. He got into Yale after making a life for himself playing hockey. He’s made hints at running for political office someday, but why not see if you can get some soundbites from him for a couple nights and squeeze a few extra viewers out of the always loyal ’94 Ranger bandwagon.

4. Aaron Ward

Aaron Ward was a frequent guest on Overtime last year who was not brought back for the 2011-12 season, which is a real shame. As an analyst for TSN, he’s become one of the more outspoken, well-spoken voices on cheap hits and fighting during his work with TSN. VERSUS could use a little bit more of that on the late-night show. While they tend to comment on the controversial hits, you kind of get the sense they’d rather not be talking about it. Ward is unafraid of using the position to speak his mind.

5. Justin Bourne

A former AHLer and ECHL All-Star, and the son of great NHLer, who now runs a blog for The Score is an interesting story in and of itself. Justin Bourne is a funny, interesting fellow with a lot of great insight into the life of a more modern hockey player. I’ve heard him on various podcasts and in interviews and I think he’d be a good way for VERSUS, or any network really (when did I start sounding like these people’s agents?) to reach out to the blogosphere. We all know they aren’t necessarily going to put a blogger on the show regularly, but Bourne would be a solid combo, a guy who played that now contributes his voice in new media.

Who would you like to see on the show? Leave your suggestions in the comments.


VERSUS/NBCSN To Televise Two Notre Dame Home Games This Season

Notre Dame announced recently that NBC Sports Network will become a partner in broadcasting the team’s home hockey games exclusively once they move to Hockey East in 2013, meanwhile, many have been speculating that the network will start airing hockey games as soon as this season.

It appears that will indeed come to pass, as VERSUS (which will be the NBC Sports Network on January 2nd) will make it’s NCAA Hockey debut no later than December 31st (while still being called VERSUS) when Notre Dame hosts Boston University, according to the CCHA’s television schedule. One other Notre Dame home game, against CCHA opponent Michigan, is also slated to air on what will then be NBCSN A quick perusal of all the conference websites shows no other scheduled games as of yet, but one would think that VERSUS plans to add a Friday night NCAA game (like the one on January 20th) as it plans to add a new edition of NHL Overtime to the night come January, creating another full hockey night on the network.

Current VERSUS NCAA Hockey Schedule

December 31, 7:00 p.m. – Boston U. vs. Notre Dame
January 20, 7:30 p.m. – Michigan vs. Notre Dame