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Category: NHL-Media

A Tough Spot For The Media

from Scott Burnside of the Daily Faceoff,

There was a time when a veteran reporter like Jim Matheson in Edmonton, a member of the media arm of the Hockey Hall of Fame I might add, would have walked into the Edmonton Oilers locker room on an off day and maybe waited until the television cameras moved on, and sat down next to Leon Draisaitl and asked him about the many problems afflicting the slumping Edmonton Oilers.

Maybe Matheson, whom I have known and respected as a true pro since I got in this business almost 25 years ago, would have asked the same questions he asked Tuesday. Questions that were recorded in our new Zoom life and immediately digested, debated and digested and debated some more by folks on social media, the vast majority of whom have never had occasion to speak to a pro athlete, let alone ask one of the best players in the world why his team sucks.

That’s not an indictment of the commentary necessarily. Hey, it’s social media. Have at it, although it always infuriates me when other ‘journalists’ weigh in on these kinds of situations in what I can only assume is an effort to curry favor with their social media tribe. Don’t you have anything better to do? But I digress.

More than highlight the manner in which the Edmonton Oilers’ season has gone down the rabbit hole, Tuesday’s awkward interchange reinforces the great disconnect that has been created and exacerbated in these pandemic times between the player, coaches and executives of NHL teams and the reporters whose job it is to try and share the stories, good and bad, with the fans who are the lifeblood of the game.

continued

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Diversity Growing In The Hockey Play-By-Play Field

from William Douglas of NHL.com,

Hockey play-by-play broadcasting is about to become a little more diverse.

The Chicago Blackhawks have tapped Jason Ross Jr., a 23-year-old Black Detroit native, to calls select games on WGN Radio 720-AM this season as part of a rotating roster of play-by-play broadcasters and personalities on its radio and NBC Sports Chicago telecasts.

"It means a lot to me because the last three years, even though I'm from Detroit, grew up in Detroit loving the Red Wings, I listened to almost every Blackhawks game over the last few years over WGN because of (play-by-play announcer) John Wiedeman," said Ross, who graduated earlier this year from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan. "I would say I learned the craft of radio hockey from John Wiedeman."

Alex Randall said he was drawn to hockey when he first heard Mike Lange call Pittsburgh Penguins games on the radio in 2012.

Now, the 20-year-old University of Pittsburgh junior is poised to become the first Black broadcaster to call a Canadian Hockey League game.

continued

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More Games Needed On TNT And ESPN

from Mark Madden of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,

When the NHL left NBC to do rights deals with ESPN and TNT, it seemed good.

The season’s first week featured a Tuesday night doubleheader on ESPN and a Wednesday night doubleheader on TNT. The presentation, production and announcing were all sharp. There was lots of fanfare.

But ESPN hasn’t televised a game since Oct. 26 and won’t till Jan. 6.

TNT has had nothing but 10 p.m. games since Oct. 20. That doesn’t change till Jan. 5. (Hockey is being pre-empted for pro wrestling.)

TNT will televise a total of 50 regular-season games. ESPN and ABC will broadcast 28 between them.

Between NBC and the NBC Sports Network, 101 regular-season games aired last season. That campaign was shortened to 56 games per team by covid and didn’t start till Jan. 13.

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The Professor’s Son On Local Blackouts

from Kevin Allen of Detroit Hockey Now,

Former Detroit Red Wing Igor Larionov’s son, Igor II, said on social media this week what many NHL fans are feeling.

“Blackout restrictions are the stupidest things in the sports world,” the young Larionov said. “The fact I can’t stream local teams is embarrassing.”

“Plus,” Igor II said. “I don’t know a single person under 40 that has cable. Everyone is streaming and the league is so far behind on this.”

Igor II is not alone in his complaint

With the start of TV contract, the NHL’s blackout rules are a bit more restrictive.  Many fans  have sat down to watch a game only to discover it is blacked out.  Others have also used social media to complain.

continue for more hockey topics...

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NHLPA Statement

TORONTO (November 1, 2021) – On the NHLPA’s Executive Board call today, Don Fehr recommended that an independent investigation be commenced by outside legal counsel in order to review the NHLPA’s response to the Kyle Beach matter. The Executive Board is currently voting on this matter.

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Afternoon Line- John Tortorella

“When you coach your own team, especially the way I feel about how you coach, I’m locked in on my team and what we’re doing. I don’t spend a lot of time on the other teams. I know what we’re going to face before we play them, but I’m not watching the league from the inside out.

“Here, I get to watch games and I’m learning about the league and its personnel. I get to listen to other coaches and other players. I get to see stories about other players … all this stuff I didn’t know.

“I want to coach again, and I hope this is going to help me understand the league even better.”

-John Tortorella, now an ESPN analyst.  Aaron Portzline of The Athletic has much more (paid) and other CBJ topics.

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Video- Hockey Night In Canada Opening

Music from Dua Lipa.

via Sportsnet,

 

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Morning Line- Sean Shapiro On ESPN And TNT

I’ll admit that my expectations have risen in the past couple of weeks. There was a lot of early hubbub about how Turner and ESPN were going to change hockey coverage, and without proof I was worried it would simply be NBC’s coverage packaged into another, albeit more widely available, platform.

But after seeing ESPN make the commitment to a studio show, seeing the Turner media preview, I’m more confident that hockey coverage is headed in a better direction in the United States. The big thing is having two networks pushing each other, I like that TNT wants to beat ESPN and vice versa — I think both hired a rules expert for that reason, and once Wayne Gretzky was courted by both, the runner-up in signing Gretzky went and hired Mark Messier.

-Sean Shapiro of The Athletic.  Read more ($$$) from Shapio and Richard Deitsch on ESPN and TNT.

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Watching TNT

from Warner Media,

TNT’s first-ever NHL regular season telecast – the New York Rangers facing the Washington Capitals (7:40-10:14 p.m. ET) – is the most-watched game to ever air on the second night of nationally televised NHL coverage, among total viewers and all key adult and male demos. That makes it the largest audience for the second night of nationally televised NHL regular season action in the nearly 30 years on record.

The Rangers/Capitals telecast delivered an average of 817,000 total viewers, up 139% vs. the comparable game window in 2020-21 (Buffalo vs. Philadelphia / 342,000 viewers) and an increase of 210% over the primetime game televised on the second night of NHL coverage in 2019-20 (Minnesota vs. Nashville / 238,000 viewers). Rangers/Capitals peaked with an average of 920,000 total viewers from 9-9:15 p.m.

The second game of last night’s NHL on TNT doubleheader between the Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche (10:14p-12:53a) averaged 522,000 total viewers, up 284% vs. the same telecast window on the second day of NHL coverage in 2020-21 (Arizona vs. Las Vegas). The Blackhawks/Avalanche telecast peaked with an average of 887,000 total viewers from 10:15p-10:30 p.m.

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Watching ESPN

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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 pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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