Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail,
NHL overcoaching – three on the bench, one upstairs, one breaking down video – has turned hockey on its ear. Once a game played by driving forward toward the opposition net, it is now a game where most attack comes from behind that net.
The obsession with shot-blocking has created a new game where goalies, once usually the smallest and quickest players on the team, are now sought for their size, the theory being that should a puck ricochet through the bodies it will bounce off the giant wearing the oversize equipment.
Howie Meeker thinks, as does Bob Gainey, that going down to block a shot should be a penalty. We completely agree.
By sticking endlessly to “systems,” coaches lose trust in players who freelance, who take it upon themselves to change the game, who try things that don’t always work.
Today’s coaches say they want only “200-foot players,” suggesting that yesterday’s players, Wayne Gretzky and Guy Lafleur, for example, would be stapled to the bench until they learned how to play “the right way.”
from John Ourand of SportsBusiness Journal,
After five years of on-again, off-again negotiations, Fox Sports and the NHL finally have reached an agreement for in-market streaming, according to several industry sources....
The streaming deal is wrapped into other deals involving rights outside of a team’s home market. All told, Fox is paying an annual rate in the low eight figures combined for the streaming and outer-market deals, sources said....
The NHL deal is significant in that Fox Sports now has in-market streaming deals with all the big sports leagues that offer it. It signed its first in-market streaming deal with the NBA three years ago and completed the MLB deal earlier this spring. It has not released any consumption information or adoption rates for its local NBA or MLB streams, so getting a sense of viewer interest has been hard to gauge.
The NHL breakthrough came in recent months as some of Fox Sports’ linear TV NHL deals were expiring. Fox was in the midst of negotiating a new outer-market rights deal for its RSNs — a deal that enables Fox to carry, for example, Kings games in Los Angeles’ “outer market” of Hawaii and Blues games in St. Louis’ “outer market” of Kansas City.
Fox and the NHL also were negotiating around the NHL’s planned new Las Vegas franchise and coverage areas. Fox carries Ducks and Kings games in the Las Vegas market, but will have to give up rights to that market when the new team starts in 2017. By contract, Fox was due to get a rebate from the teams since it was going to have to scale back its distribution from Las Vegas.
from Dave Shoalts of the Globe and Mail,
Rogers Media cut a wide swath through its hockey broadcast personnel on Monday, dismissing at least six on-air personalities including Glenn Healy, who was the between-the-benches analyst on Hockey Night in Canada’s No. 1 crew.
P.J. Stock, Billy Jaffe, Chantal Desjardins, Corey Hirsch and Leah Hextall are also gone in a housecleaning prompted by a disastrous miscue by Rogers’s upper management regarding Canadians’ appetite for hockey, a mistake compounded by mediocre play from Canada’s NHL teams. And the 5 p.m. NHL pregame show on Saturdays on Sportsnet 360 was cancelled.
There was no immediate word on further job losses, although company insiders were expecting a larger number of behind-the-scenes people to be dropped as well. The bad news came just a few days after word leaked that George Stroumboulopoulos was fired as the main host on Hockey Night in Canada and would be replaced by his predecessor, Ron MacLean.
Also gone from Hockey Night in Canada is Damien Cox, who appeared in the second-intermission news and discussion segment with Elliotte Friedman. He moves to Toronto radio as Bob McCown’s permanent co-host on Sportsnet 590 The Fan’s Prime Time Sports. Surviving the Hockey Night purge are Friedman, Kelly Hrudey and Nick Kypreos.
TORONTO (June 27, 2016) For more than 30 years, Ron MacLean has been a cornerstone of Hockey Night in Canada, and today Sportsnet announced he is returning to host hockey’s biggest night alongside David Amber. MacLean will host Game 1 on Saturday nights with Amber hosting Game 2, and together they will guide Canadians through all of Hockey Night in Canada’s memorable moments and greatest stories.
MacLean will continue to host Coach’s Corner with Don Cherry in the first intermission of Game 1. Following his hosting duties on Saturday nights, MacLean will head out to 24 communities across the country to host Rogers Hometown Hockey with Tara Slone on Sundays throughout the season.
Barry Melrose, Steve Levy Top Commentator Team for ESPN’s World Cup of Hockey 2016 Telecasts; Brett Hull and Chris Chelios Join as Studio Analysts
· Levy & Melrose to Call All Team USA Games, Semifinals & Finals
· Hull, Chelios, John Saunders, John Buccigross & Adnan Virk the Studio Team
· Buccigross, Kevin Weekes to Cover Remaining Games
· Leah Hextall Ice-level Reporter
· Linda Cohn Feature Reporter
NHL studio analyst Barry Melrose, SportsCenter anchors Steve Levy and John Buccigross and former NHL goalie Kevin Weekes will call ESPN’s telecasts of the World Cup of Hockey 2016 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre from September 17 – October. A minimum of 16 games (17 if the final goes three) will be televised.
via John Ourand of SportsBusiness Journal,
After five years of on-again, off-again negotiations, Fox Sports and the NHL finally have reached an agreement for in-market streaming, according to several industry sources. No contracts have been signed, but the two sides have agreed to allow Fox’s regional sports networks to..
The rest of of the story is paid subscription but you will probably get the idea...
STAMFORD, Conn. – NBC Sports will provide live coverage of the 2016 NHL Draft this Friday, June 24, at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN, with an exclusive presentation of the first round from First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Coverage begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET with a 30-minute NHL Draft Pre-Draft Special on NBCSN. In addition, NBCSN will also provide live coverage of the 2016 NHL Awards tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET.
2016 NHL DRAFT – FRIDAY AT 7 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
Liam McHugh will host coverage alongside Emmy Award-winning analyst Pierre McGuire and NHL Insiders Bob McKenzie and Craig Button. In addition, Kathryn Tappen will anchor coverage from the floor of First Niagara Center, conducting interviews with players, coaches and general managers. Darren Dreger will handle reporting duties, providing information on potential trades and developing storylines.
NHL Network’s 2016 NHL Draft Coverage:
NHL Network will have on-site Draft coverage on Friday and Saturday, with Brian Boucher, EJ Hradek, Brian Lawton, Dave Reid and Steve Mears among the group in Buffalo.
NHL Network’s coverage will start on Friday at 5:00 p.m. ET with a two-hour preview show, followed by an hour-long recap show after Round 1 is completed.
On Saturday, Rounds 2-7 of the Draft will air on NHL Network starting at 10:00 a.m. ET, hosted by Tony Luftman, Brian Boucher, Brian Lawton and Dave Reid. We’ll have four set locations at the First Niagara Center, one of which will include analysis from Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and John Shannon. NHL Network also interviewed scouts from throughout the NHL for a feature called “Scout Speak,” with intel and research on dozens of prospects.
After 2 days talking to Rogers employees about Ron MacLean and other changes coming (on Monday, they think) one thing was loud and clear.
In hockey dept., morale could not be any worse. I knew it wasn't great but depth of despair among some surprised me. They expect the worst.
-via David Shoalts tweets.
from Vinay Menon of the Toronto Star,
Hockey is not thriving in this country.
Wait. What’s the opposite of thriving? Floundering? Flailing? Wallowing in existential despair? That’s what hockey feels like these days. It’s as if our national sport is now on life support, unable to exhale the same passion and interest it once did from coast to coast to coast.
So if changes are coming to Hockey Night in Canada, as the Star’s Dave Feschuk reported Monday in a front-page story, you can’t blame the execs at Rogers for rolling the dice while fighting a blinding urge to guzzle Pepto-Bismol straight from the Stanley Cup....
Even if Rogers plays musical host chairs and swaps out George Stroumboulopoulos for the return of Ron MacLean, which is what sources told Feschuk, this alone won’t mitigate the growing perception that watching hockey is now about as thrilling as attending a spelling bee in a language you don’t understand.
from Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star,
George Stroumboulopoulos won’t return as host of Hockey Night in Canada next season, sources tell the Star.
His replacement will be the man he replaced. Industry insiders say Ron MacLean is expected to return to the show’s No. 1 seat just two seasons after Stroumboulopoulos was hired with much fanfare in the wake of Rogers’ $5.2-billion acquisition of NHL broadcasting rights. Prior to that, MacLean occupied the job from 1986 until 2014. Since then, he has hosted Sunday night Hometown Hockey broadcasts and worked Saturdays alongside Don Cherry on Coach’s Corner. It’s expected he will continue those roles in addition to resuming the main HNIC hosting gig — the highest-profile position in Canadian sports broadcasting.
The ouster of Stroumboulopoulos marks a strategic about-face for Rogers, which sublicenses Hockey Night in Canada to CBC. In 2014, executives remade the iconic Saturday night show while speaking of the need to bring it to a younger demographic.
“We want to get a new breed of Canadian fans that get passionate about the games,” Scott Moore, president of Sportsnet and NHL properties, told reporters after Stroumboulopoulos’s hiring was announced in 2014. “I think George does that.
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.
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