CBC To Bring Out Celebs, Legends for Habs Tribute

Everyone’s around the sport has been celebrating the Canadiens Centennial celebration this year, and CBC is no exception.  Canada’s public broadcaster will present a special titled “The Montreal Canadiens: 100 Years – 100 Stars” on Friday, January 23rd, the day before the All-Star festivities begin.

The special will feature your requisite interviews with such Habs greats as Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, Guy LaFleur, Guy Carbonneau, Bob Gainey and Ken Dryden.  But it will also feature comments from other celebrities such as Dan Aykroyd, Jay Baruchel, Tommy Lasorda and Jason Priestly.

We’ll hope this one pops up on YouTube or CBC’s video site so we can check it out, it should be fun for those of you who can see it.  The full CBC press release is after the jump.

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CBC Saturday: SUNDIN!!!!! And Your Announcing Schedule For Hockey Night in Canada This Week

We were a bit curious as to why, after what a circus the Mats Sundin nonsense was, neither national network in Canada broadcast his first game, in Edmonton on Wednesday.  Were sure Rogers Sportsnet had no interest whatsoever in giving up the rights, but CBC and TSN usually get what they want.

Well, Hockey Night in Canada has Sundin this week, and is sending half of it’s “A”-team to the game.  Here’s the announcing schedule for this Saturday’s edition of HNIC.  What follows after the jump is the CBC’s entire press release for Sundin-o-rama this weekend.

7:00 PM 

Philadelphia vs. Toronto 
Nationally, with the exception of Ottawa, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.
Play-by-Play: Bob Cole
Color: Greg Millen
Reporter: Elliotte Friedman

Washington vs. Montreal
Airing: in Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia.
Play by Play: Mark Lee
Color: Craig Simpson
Reporter: Cassie Campbell

NY Rangers vs. Ottawa
Airing: in Ottawa only.
Play by Play: Dean Brown
Color: Gary Galley 

10:00 PM 
San Jose vs. Vancouver
Play by Play: Jim Hughson
Color: Marc Crawford
Reporter: Scott Oake 

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Your Remaining NHL National TV Schedule

Since it’s the start of 2009, I figured I’d give everyone something to look forward to in the new year.  It’s every network’s remaining telecast schedule.  Things are subject to change, particularly with VERSUS and obviously with NBC, but here’s how things stand for the rest of the season, beginning with the Canadian networks.

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CBC Has Another Tripleheader Saturday, I Need to Move to Canada (HNIC Announcing Schedule)

Ever since I had first grasped what “Hockey Night in Canada” was, I knew I loved it.  I knew I even loved it just in theory.  Saturday is one of the reasons why.  HNIC presents what, I think, is it’s third triple-header of the season.  All are pretty decent games or feature some solid star power.  Here’s your announcing slate for Hockey Night in Canada this Saturday

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Local TV Ratings, Canada Style: Uh, Not So Good, Eh?

William Houston is the guru for TV ratings, Canada style.  I prefer him to most American counterparts because he usually reports an actual number of viewers.  Today, he had a piece on Canadian TV ratings.  They are not great, to be frank.  Let’s go bulletpoint on this:


  • Toronto: 341,000 viewers per game, down 17%
  • Vancouver: 228,000 viewers per game, down 19%
  • Ottawa: 88,500 viewers per game, down 18%
  • Calgary: 130,000 viewers per game, up 11%
  • Edmonton: 145,000 viewers per game, up 29%
  • Montreal (Games available nationally): 773,000 viewers per game, up 21%


So obviously, you see that while there is some good news in Alberta and Montreal, everywhere else is trending downward.

However, there is some good stuff nationally in Canada, where ratings are going up, and among key demographics.

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CBC Planning First of Special, Habs-themed Telecasts This Thursday

“Hockey Night in Canada” is planning to do three special Thursday night broadcasts to celebrate the history of the Montreal Canadiens as they move through their 100th anniversary season.  The first of these games is on Thursday night, when the Habs host the New York Rangers in an Original Six showdown.  Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson, Elliotte Friedman and, of course, Ron MacLean will have the call.  Meanwhile, HNIC legend Dick Irvin, Jr. will have a 2nd-intermission interview with Jean Beliveau.  Should be fun.  After the jump in the entire HNIC PR, and we’ll have Saturday nights announcing teams later in the week.

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Hotstove: ESPN Wants in, NBC Offer on the Table

This is just a breaking story, after watching Hockey Night Hotstove on CBC.  Al Strachan made the note that both the NHL and ESPN want back in bed with each other.

Okay, we’ve heard that a million times.  But there seemed to be some speculation as to whether it’d come at the expense of VERSUS or NBC.  Mike Milbury claims there’s a 1-year offer on the table for the NHL to decide on, while Scott Morrisonn seemed to think NBC wanted nothing to do with the league, but Strachan – and obviously Milbury – refuted that claim.

Once I can get a YouTube video to embed here, I’ll post it.  Just interesting food for thought from the Hotstove gang.

NHL Should Take a Hint from CBC’s “Original Six Saturday” (Plus HNIC’s Saturday Night Announcing Assignments)

The CBC sent us a PR E-mail today.  They do this often, hoping to get media folk such as myself to plug whatever’s going on with this week’s “Hockey Night” broadcast.  This week, however, I think the network truly shows why it’s dedication to the tradition of the sport is second to none, and are still a smart – if more conservative – innovator within hockey broadcasting.  Boy, do they have a Saturday planned for you.  Some highlights from the PR, as well as my thoughts, post-jump.

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CBC Adds Flames-Blue Jackets to the Hockey Night Lineup Saturday. Your Welcome

Boy, it sure is odd how Bob Cole’s totally turned into the new Pat Summerall in his career after being dropped as the top voice at Hockey Night in Canada.  Just as Summerall found himself calling games far too unglamorous for his dulcet tones, Cole has a Calgary-Columbus game – with Greg Millen, sadly – from Nationwide in Central Ohio on his plate for this weekend.  The game will only air in Flames territory.  The game was only recently announced as an HNIC add-on game.

The big games will have Jim Hughson/Craig Simpson (Habs/Leafs) and Mark Lee/Marc Crawford (Wild/Canucks).  Poor Bob.