Canucks and Beyond
From the Canucks/Wild game last night, on Sportsnet Pacific:
JOHN GARRETT: Do you think Alexander Edler ever gets excited? I don’t think so.
JIM HUGHSON: No. Typical of the Swedish defensemen… I don’t think they get excited when they get a paycheque.
Speaking of Jim Hughson, I always had a feeling that CBC was a threat to Canucks fans. And so finally it comes to pass… bad things are on the horizon.
With a climate more suited to year-round street hockey than frozen ponds, Vancouver Island might be unique environment when it comes to hockey culture in this country.
But I think it’s also fair to say that the game is as important to people here as anywhere else in the nation, and Valley resident Greg Adams—veteran of the Washington Capitals and six other NHL teams over his eleven-year career—gave me his thoughts on why that is.
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Tags: bchl, cbc, cowichan+capitals, cowichan+valley, duncan, hdic, hnic, hockey+day+in+canda, karin+larsen, minor+league+hockey, vancouver+island, worlds+largest+hockey+stick+and+puck
My favorite day of the year. Normally I’d be liveblogging this event—a pile of munchies and alcoholic side-dishes on hand—but today I’ve got another HDIC project to keep me occupied.
The thing is, I happen to live within spitting-distance of the World’s Largest Hockey Stick & Puck. And when you live next door to such a freakish architectural feature, that inevitably means that CBC’s HDIC crew will show up one day.
And so they have, with the kind invitation to allow me to shadow them for the day, following what goes on behind-the-scenes. Plus I’ll be catching a Caps game with them—also to be shown on CBC intermittently during the Canucks/Avs broadcast tonight. (Prediction: Canucks 3 - Evil Empire 0)
So I’d love it if others contributed to this post today, leaving their own commentary as the day progresses—whether it’s related to the HDIC broadcast, or just to share your own favorite hockey links and favorite personal stories of the game.
Enjoy the day! I’ll try and update later… if wireless is willing to cooperate.
As should be expected, no sport that accidentally designed its signature look around the mullet was ever going to escape a list like this, and so Men’s Style.com couldn’t resist to going to the superstar of hockey hotness himself:
Barry Melrose, NHL (ESPN)
Guess you can’t blame a hockey coach turned sportscaster from looking like, well, a hockey coach turned sportscaster. What can brown do for you? Very little indeed.
But Barry faces some tough competition, too.
(*Don Cherry escaped notice, however, so I guess this sort of thing gets a pass in the style rags…)
From William Houston at the Globe & Mail:
A new TSN-NHL national television agreement has been delayed, leading to speculation that something has gone wrong.
It hasn’t. The deal is done, but for some minor paperwork, according to sources, and is likely to be announced next month. It will be a long-term deal, six years in length, starting next season and extending through 2013-14.
TSN will receive more games involving Canadian teams, most important of which will be extra games featuring the Toronto Maple Leafs, a leading audience producer among the six Canadian NHL clubs.
And there’s lots more on Canadian coverage in Houston’s column, including Pierre McGuire’s new deal with TSN (also 6 years—a “monster” deal), plus the fact that Canadians apparently enjoyed seeing the Habs instead of the Leafs last Saturday night on CBC’s HNIC, to the tune of above-average ratings. (I know I was grateful for the change…)
Houston also mentions that ESPN Classic Canada will be airing a 12-hour tribute to the recently-deceased Don Wittman this coming Saturday, showcasing his work on CBC Sports spanning five decades.
William Houston at the Globe & Mail notes that Canadian hockey viewership, while still stronger than in the pre-lockout season, are drastically down this year. And the most notable downturn is the Vancouver Canucks audience.
Despite leading the Northwest Division, Canucks regional audiences are down 20 per cent. Rogers Sportsnet is averaging 242,000 viewers a game compared with 303,000 at this point last season.
Networks pay closer attention to long-term trends than year-to-year measurements, but the Canucks numbers also have declined 29 per cent from the prelockout season of 2003-04.
What’s gone wrong?
“You can drive yourself nuts trying to analyze ratings,” Sportsnet president Doug Beeforth said. “It’s like the stock market. It is the long term that counts.”
The Canucks’ weak audiences may be an example of a winning record failing to mitigate the tedium of dull hockey. Goalie Roberto Luongo, not the goal scorers, is the team’s star.
Any other theories? The ratings for the other 5 Canadian teams are noted below.
Paul Romanuk is widely respected for his work broadcasting international hockey over the years. He also stays busy as a successful author of a series of children’s hockey books
Today, NHL Digest published an interview with Romanuk, with questions on a variety of topics.
If you were a General Manager in the National Hockey League and could pick one player who is currently playing in Europe to be on your team, who would it be?
That’s a tough one. Most of the top guys over here have had a shot at the NHL and, for a variety of reasons, decided to come and play in Europe. There are definitely guys who go back - Jamie Heward is one name that pops to mind of a guy who was over here and then went back to the NHL.
Jeff Toms and Hnat Dominichelli are both having big years over here, but are in a position where they’d likely go back on some type of a two-way deal and end up as a fourth-line guy or in the minors making crap money. So they decide, wisely in my mind, to come over here, play on the top line, make way more money and live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Seems like a no-brainer to me.
Lots more here, with his thoughts on everything from Curtis Joseph’s recent performance at the Spengler, to NHL European expansion.
From the Canadian Press,
NHLers past and present are jumping over the boards and onto TV screens in record numbers. Viewers of Showcase’s “Rescue Me” have seen Team Canada hero Phil Esposito sneak into some of that dark comedy’s funnier scenes the past two seasons. (Star and executive producer Denis Leary, a Boston boy, is a big hockey nut).
The made-in-Canada comedy “Rent-A-Goalie,” also on Showcase, has also featured Espo this season, along with brother Tony, Daryl Sittler, Tie Domi, Mike Palmateer and Paul Coffey.
Broadcaster Magazine reports:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper shows his national pride and appears in TSN’s on-air promotional spots asking hockey fans to join him in watching the 2008 IIHF World Junior Championship as Team Canada goes for a fourth straight Gold Medal.
The Harper spots are the latest addition to TSN’s multifaceted World Juniors marketing campaign, promoting the network’s coverage of the event from December 26 to January 5.
Prime Minister Harper, a huge hockey fan, will appear in two 15 second spots, inviting Canadians to join him and his family for the country’s annual holiday hockey tradition on TSN.
All of which might seem a bit bizarre to non-Canadians, but this isn’t the first time our Prime Minister has partnered up with TSN.
But it would appear that Michael Wilbon—Washington Post columnist and co-host of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption”—is dressed up for Halloween on the air today as a Vancouver Canuck.
Yes indeed. The number on the sleeve of his jersey is just ‘07… so no particular player is the target. Just the whole freakin’ team.
Some screenshots I just took:
About Canucks and Beyond
Alanah McGinley has been blogging hockey since 2003 (with a notable gap in time through 2010, kicking it with new baby Lucy while living knee-deep in chaos while reading "parenting for complete idiots" during every spare minute) sharing opinions, rants and not-so-deep thoughts with anyone who will listen.
In addition to writing Canucks & Beyond and helping manage Kukla's Korner, Alanah was one of the founders and co-hosts of The Crazy Canucks Podcast. She has contributed pieces to FoxSports.com and the New York Times Slapshot blog, as well as other stray destinations in cyberspace.
So that's me. Who the hell are you?
Alanah's Twitter: [@alanah1]