Kukla's Korner Hockey
The first round of the draft is getting ready to start. KK won’t be updating with every pick, but you can watch the action live on TSN, Versus or online at NHL.com streaming online. (You can even see it blogged live online. update: also being blogged here)
Any other stories will be updated as normal, depending on how long I stay sober. (Kidding, Paul, honest!)
Good luck to everyone’s favorite teams.
From Susan Bickelhaupt at the Boston Globe,
Two years ago, the year after the NHL lockout, Versus reached an agreement with the NHL to start airing games twice a week, including the conference playoffs and the first two games of the Stanley Cup finals.
Tonight, Versus will air the NHL draft for the second year in a row. After a pregame show at 6:30, the network will have live coverage (7-10) from Columbus, Ohio.
“I think the first year there was a lot of criticism for a network that was known for more outdoors than anything else,” said Versus president Gavin Harvey. “And I think the NHL made a bold move to put this on the network, but they understood what we were, and they understood what we and [owner] Comcast wanted to do with the network. And I know that hockey fans were a little confused that first year, thinking we’re glad we got hockey back, but it’s on that other network . . . there was a lot of controversy.
“But we know, and not just from anecdotal evidence, that hockey fans are great, and they found us, and they bookmarked us. And that’s the power of the NHL.
more… (*requires registration)
from the Star Tribune,
Brett Hull is leaving NBC after only one season as an NHL studio analyst.
An NBC spokesperson confirmed the former NHL star has decided to depart the network after working with host Bill Clement and analyst Ray Ferraro. Hull is expected to take on an increased front-office role with the Dallas Stars. He has been serving as a special assistant to Stars’ President Jim Lites since April 2006….
NBC executives will now begin to explore their options for replacing Hull. One potential scenario could see NBC pursue Jeremy Roenick, who could retire after spending 18 seasons in the NHL. Roenick, like Hull, always has been known for speaking his mind.
from William Houston of the Globe and Mail,
The National Hockey League may be hot stuff for the fans, but the heat got out of hand Thursday night.
A CBC broadcast truck almost caught fire during the network’s telecast of the NHL Awards show from the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto.
Technical problems resulted, the worst of which affected Versus in the United States. The overheated CBC truck caused transmission difficulties forcing the U.S. cable channel to cancel its live telecast. Instead, it aired a World Combat League show and carried a tape delay of the NHL show at 11 p.m. EDT.
more on the Show and some HNIC talk…
added 7:29am, Watch a condensed version (32 minutes) of the NHL Awards Show…
The NHL Awards show was scheduled for 7pm ET tonight. Nada… 7:30pm, Nada…
8:00pm, just learned it will be shown at 11pm ET tonight. It is on CBC at 8pm as scheduled.
Versus drops the ball again, even their website listed the show at 7pm.
You can refer to an earlier post on KK on this topic too…
added 9:23pm, from the NHLPA,
NHLPA MEMBERS SELECT SIDNEY CROSBY AS THE 2006-07 LESTER B. PEARSON AWARD RECIPIENT
…at 19 years of age, becomes the youngest player ever to win the Pearson, surpassing 21-year-old Wayne Gretzky in 1982.
I will be posting the winners, so if you want to know….
John Buccigross at ESPN signs off until the fall and when asked about the NHL TV contract, this was his response…
“Both ESPN and ABC saw major viewer erosion during the postseason (NBA); both networks drew over a million fewer viewers than last year.”
The NHL is not alone. So, when you read these numbers, don’t let them affect your self-esteem. Imagine the television ratings if the Toronto Raptors and Memphis Grizzlies met in the NBA Finals. That was what we had with the Senators and Ducks in the States.
You have to take Canada’s viewers in account when you talk about NHL interest—20 percent of the NHL’s teams are based north of the border. Whether it’s ratings or money, you have to combine the two. It’s a North America game and it is healthy.
Great job Bucci!!!
from the Vancouver Province,
With poker getting high ratings and with the success of all the collegiate sports ESPN has dipped into since dropping hockey, the league would have to beg the network to take the game back. Even then there’s not much likelihood given NBC’s staggeringly poor ratings.
It’s a shame, because at times this spring, the entertainment level during playoffs was high, much better than during the regular season. The pace was sometimes electric and the hitting often spectacular, with the better officials working and some intensity blossoming.
form the AP via Sports Illustrated,
Game 1 of the NBA finals drew the lowest rating ever for an opening-game in prime time, dropping 19 percent from last year.
The San Antonio Spurs’ 85-76 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night earned a 6.3 rating and 11 share on ABC. The previous low was a 6.4/11 in 2003.
Last year’s Game 1 between Miami and Dallas earned a 7.8 rating and 14 share.
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer…
From William Houston at the Globe & Mail,
The National Hockey League season is over, but an important question about its television coverage remains unanswered.
Will the longest tenured play-by-play team in Canadian broadcasting, the CBC’s Bob Cole and Harry Neale, return to the Hockey Night in Canada booth next season?
It’s too early for a CBC announcement, but you can anticipate one of two decisions: Either the network will thank Cole, 74, and Neale, 70, for their long and estimable contribution to the show and say goodbye. And Jim Hughson will be offered Cole’s spot as the No. 1 play-by-play caller, and the CBC will look for additional announcing and analytical talent.
continued… *plus more about the television ratings for the SCF
There was no hope at NBC last night, with game five of The Stanley Cup Finals (Ottawa vs. Anaheim) at a mere 2.1/ 3 in prime time. Comparably, that was 25 percent below the year-ago overnight series average for The Stanley Cup Finals (2.8/ 4 in 2006).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org