Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 01/21/13 at 10:56 AM ET
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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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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