On the Fantasy Draft, the Commish’s Radio Show, and a Few Other Things From Thursday’s All-Star Coverage

I have a few things that I want to discuss, but don’t have enough material to let stand alone, with regards to everything that went on Thursday. So, it seems best to just do it with bullet points, as they’ll never let you down.

  • The All-Star Fantasy Draft remains entertaining, leave it alone. I have a lot of ideas for how the Draft (which, as many have pointed out, is taking place in reality and is in no way a fantasy), including encouraging trades, dropping the pretense of making sure defensemen and goalies are taken by a certain round, a more neutral (i.e. maybe something that looks more like NHL Network than TSN or NBC, so neither network would look awkward simulcasting the other) broadcast, celebrity (in hockey terms) captains, and a number of other things that range from fairly sane (why not add one hockey legend to each team?) to egregiously stupid (why not let the next to last player picked get the car, and let the last two players standing debate on air why they should be picked? I mean, why not?). The fact is, though, that this event is very entertaining, James Duthie is the perfect host for this sort of thing, and the players with human qualities seems to have fun (i.e. everyone but Phil Kessel, whom my 13-year old brother observed, “hates talking). Don’t mess with this at all. It’s one of the best moments on the NHL game schedule.
  • Haven’t we all learned that reading people’s tweets isn’t in any way interesting? I feel for Alyonka Larionov, who had her on-screen time limited to two silly, frivolous segments in which she read various players’ tweets. Having them roll on a bottom line graphic is fine, but reading them on the air just seems pointless to me, as it does whenever any other network broadcasting anything tries to do it. Twitter may be the biggest thing on earth, but it has no place in television.
  • Cheers to NBC for at least throwing on a pre-draft show. The network is putting some effort into All-Star weekend for the first time, and part of that includes an episode of NHL Overtime from Ottawa tonight, and (in what was a surprise to me) a pre-show for the draft in which Liam McHugh, Jeremy Roenick and Keith Jones broke down the night to come, while Pierre McGuire conducted interviews. It was a nice, easy way to spend the half-hour before the draft.
  • Commissioner Bettman’s radio show should be broadcast on NHL Network. The league’s television arm broadcast a light hour of NHL Live with EJ Hradek, Barry Melrose and Kevin Weekes before handing it over to something that I don’t believe has occurred before – a television simulcast of Commissioner Bettman’s radio show, The NHL Hour. I’ll confess to not having listened to the show in some time, and Bettman remains a bit nervous looking on television (though he’s certainly self-deprecating about it), I’ll admit I really enjoyed the show. The commissioner simply spending time answering questions from children was fun, and having Wayne Gretzky on to finish it up was a nice touch. I hope NHL Network eventually finds a way to get the show on the air on a more permanent basis, because it is a unique program.

About Steve Lepore
Contact me at stevemlepore@gmail.com

One Response to On the Fantasy Draft, the Commish’s Radio Show, and a Few Other Things From Thursday’s All-Star Coverage

  1. paranoidpuck says:

    The NHL Hour moved to a simulcast last week. It sounds to me that this will be permanent as long as the Commish is near some TV cameras. Gary & E.J. are using the NHL Live studio. This also ends the oddity of E.J. being on both NHL Live and NHL Hour at the same time on Thursdays. They had been tape delaying NHL Live so E.J. could do both gigs.

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