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Bad Review For Hockey Night in Canada Crew

from Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated,

A couple months from now, we all may be applauding Hockey Night In Canada’s producers for the patience they showed while allowing the new five-man panel to work through some early growing pains. But hey, we might be raving about Lance Armstrong’s appointment as the head of WADA too, right?

If the group–host Ron MacLean, and commentators Elliotte Friedman, Kevin Weekes, Glen Healy and P.J. Stock–were simply an embarrassment of riches, then it might just be a matter of letting them find their rhythm. But outside of consummate professional MacLean and Friedman, who has established himself as the game’s top studio presence, the rest of the crew came off like the unprepared guy at the meeting who feels like he has to say something, anything, to impress the boss. They were bland and noisy as they flailed to claim some space as their own. It all made for lousy TV.

The loss of Pierre LeBrun is considerable, but this is the wrong response. Look, Weekes is warm and personable and performs well in his NHL Network duties. HNIC clearly loves the excitable Stock, but they haven’t quite found a fit for him. Healy is an acquired taste, but he does have a unique voice. He just needs to find the right foil. Put one or two of them on the panel alongside Ron and Elliotte, maybe you have something. Drop all three at the desk? You have a mess.

One bad show doesn’t mean they’ll abandon the five-man experiment. But here’s hoping it’ll be on a very short leash.

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Filed in: NHL Media, Hockey Broadcasting, CBC HNIC, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

HockeytownOverhaul's avatar

Weird, doesn’t LeBrun write for ESPN now?

Posted by HockeytownOverhaul on 01/21/13 at 11:50 AM ET

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I agree with this story. That panel was a mess, talking over each other to try and get the last word. They need to drop Stock and Weekes, they have nothing interesting to contribute. Weekes is too passive for the format and Stock is dumb. While I can’t stand Healy at least he stirs things up. Elliotte is the key guy with substance, maybe they should bring that goof from Calgary back, can’t think of his name, along with Healy and Elliotte.

Posted by timbits on 01/21/13 at 01:01 PM ET

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They need to drop Stock and Weekes

Nah, they need to drop Heely. 

On his head. 

Repeatedly. 

And then drive him out to the woods and let him go in hopes that he never, ever, ever finds his way to any TV studio ever.

Posted by Garth on 01/21/13 at 01:48 PM ET

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And then drive him out to the woods and let him go in hopes that he never, ever, ever finds his way to any TV studio ever.

I think we have a first Garth. You and I agree. I only suggest to keep him for annoyance factor, kind of like Grapes. Get’s the juices flowing with a good hate!

Posted by timbits on 01/21/13 at 02:15 PM ET

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I don’t know what it is with hockey columnists and not liking Weekes. Half the panel embarrassed themselves, but I don’t know what Stock, Healy and (frequently, but not necessarily this Saturday) MacLean being fools has to do with Weekes. Only honest complaint I could imagine being levied at KW is that he’s not controversial enough. Really, is that such a bad thing?

Muir’s picking on the wrong guy. Healy isn’t a “unique voice,” he’s a guy who has been without a purpose since they removed Milbury for him to yell at, which was entertaining, but not edifying. Stock is a waste who makes no meaningful contributions and can’t read a teleprompter. And MacLean inexplicably thinks he’s an NHL referee and is prone to bizarre, under the breath mutterings and hatchet jobs on guys he doesn’t like. If there are too many guys on that panel, those are the guys that need to be looked at.

Posted by larry on 01/21/13 at 04:23 PM ET

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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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