Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/01/13 at 09:16 PM ET
from Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette,
My first concern was that the 12-year, $5.2-billion deal would spell the death of Hockey Night in Canada and eventual doom for the CBC — concerns that were much allayed after I read Brendan Kelly’s interview with former Montrealer (and dedicated Habs fan) Scott Moore, president of broadcasting for Rogers.
In one sense, Moore’s task should be easy. He has to sell hockey to Canadians, in a country where 98.2 per cent of the folks over age 10 are hockey fans and 95.7 per cent of those are in need of a good 12-step program. And although we like to think of ourselves as a hockey nation, we’re really a nation that watches hockey on TV. On a busy Saturday night, there might be 100,000 people in NHL arenas across the country, but millions watch on television.
The hard part for Moore will be to sort out the mess that is Hockey Night in Canada — and Saturday night’s HNIC telecast of the 4-2 Canadiens win over the Toronto Maple Leafs should give him plenty of food for thought.
First, we had Don Cherry (whose career has been one extended money grab, raking it in with his Rock ’Em, Sock ’Em videos without paying the guys who do the actual fighting a cent) accusing the players who filed a concussion lawsuit against the NHL of a money grab. Roughly three days after I defended Cherry for the one and only time, he made me regret my words.
Cherry is an out-and-out Leafs fan, but if the rest of the broadcast offers some balance, you can ignore Cherry. Saturday night (hush, people), the play-by-play and the commentary from Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson and Garry Galley were fine, as they usually are. They pointed out what the Habs did right and the Leafs did wrong.
It was when we got to the Hotstove that the telecast ran off the rails.
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