Kukla's Korner Hockey
The National Hockey League begins arriving in Winkler, Man., Thursday as the small town gears up to host the 2008 edition of CBC’s Hockey Day in Canada.
CBC Sports personalities Ron MacLean, Don Cherry, Cassie Campbell and Dick Irvin, along with several former hockey heroes, will be in Winkler for the daylong festivities to be broadcast on Saturday from 11 a.m. CT.
The city of nearly 10,000 in the Pembina Valley region about 100 kilometres south of Winnipeg is buzzing with excitement as organizers make final preparations for the festivities.
CBC had a contest for the best version of the Hockey Song, written and sung originally by Stompin’ Tom Connors.
Watch the winning video in case you missed it during the HNIC pre-game Saturday night.
NHL’s television partner has released some of their ratings today, showing growth in viewership over last season. As of January 22, 2008:
- national household ratings up 50%
- total viewership up 36%
Additionally, the NHL All Star Game was the #1 rated NHL telecast for Versus ever, aside from post-season play.
Full content of the press release is below, all figures provided by Neilsen Media and Versus research.
Chris Chelios via the Detroit Free Press,
“I think our biggest issue ... is getting some more exposure to our game, and I think we just signed a three-year deal with Versus. ... We need a better TV contract, more exposure on TV, and we’re not getting that. It’s not going to hurt for a team to go over to Europe for some of the stars to be seen over there. But our problem is in the U.S., selling buildings out and exposing the game.”
more on the Wings…
from the LA Times,
Scott Gomez of the Rangers and the East All-Stars acknowledged the appeal of international play but wondered if the NHL should solve problems at home before venturing to Europe.
“There are some cities that maybe we can do more as a league,” he said. “I think the main thing about the league is that the product on the ice is just outstanding. The speed is at a new level. It doesn’t do justice on TV. That’s the first thing we have to do, get the game better on TV.”
Bettman seemed to diminish speculation the NHL might return to ESPN in even a limited presence. He said the league has a “cordial and cooperative relationship” with ESPN, which ended their association by declining an option for 2005-06. He added, “We talk about things all the time but nothing more specific than that.”
read on (reg. req.)... Some of the topics have been covered today, but I thought pointing out the ESPN situation was important.
from Richard Sandomir of the New York Times,
McGuire said that being trained by Bob Johnson and Scotty Bowman, who coached the Penguins to Stanley Cup titles in 1991 and 1992, were crucial to his education as an analyst.
“They taught me to recognize changes in a game,” McGuire said, “and to see all the idiosyncrasies of a game: the neutral-zone defenses, face-offs, the control and flow of the game. Bob taught me how important it was to be positive and to delegate authority; from Scotty, I got discipline, hard work, attention to detail and how to match lines.”
During games, he is likely to receive e-mail messages from Bowman, a Hall of Fame coach. On Sunday, Bowman wrote, according to McGuire, “Milbury’s got some strong opinions.”
via the AP,
The NHL and Versus have agreed to extend their contract by three years, the cable network confirmed Tuesday.
Terms of the deal were not immediately available.
The network, formerly known as OLN, began televising NHL games during the 2005-06 season. It paid $65 million for the first year, $70 million for the second, and exercised a $72.5 million option for this season.
Ratings for NHL games on Versus are up this season. Through 29 games, average viewership has increased 34 percent from 195,666 to 261,760. Versus is airing 57 regular-season games this season.
Don Wittman, synonymous with CBC Sports for nearly a half-century, died early Saturday after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was 71. Wittman passed away in a Winnipeg hospital surrounded by his family.
“The family wishes to acknowledge the tremendous outpouring of support Don received from friends, colleagues and fans. Thanks to everyone for respecting our privacy at this time.”
Three early games and 8 in the evening.
Visit NHL.com for TV broadcast information.
added 10:29am, Watch the NHL Preview for today…
from Empty Netters,
During the intermission, Alexander Ovechkin’s contract is discussed and we wonder who has a worse haircut; Ovechkin or Brian Engblom?
make sure to read their minute by minute breakdown of the Pens game last night!
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com