Here’s a some rants, raves and some news on a Tuesday morning:
- NHL Live debuted an improved set yesterday. They are still stuck in a shoebox studio but it is a definite improvement. The regular addition of Bill Pidto as host should help as he has great chemistry with E.J. Hradek. They still need to work on getting better guests and better fan interaction. Since the move from XM, the show has lost much of that.
- NHLN’s ticker continues to bother me. I don’t need it running the entire time during games. Also, the dreaded Twitter scroll from the NHL Awards and Draft is back. Like then, it just shows the same tweets over and over again. I’m not against showing tweets, but they usually aren’t relevant at all and showing the same ones for five hours straight is silly since Twitter is all about real time news and thoughts.
- Jamie McLennan made his NHL Network debut last night. He’s been doing work for TSN Radio in Toronto. I would rate his debut as a C+. A better broadcast partner than David Amber would’ve helped as would another analyst in the studio. That said, I’d like to see more of him.
- NHLN is still struggling when it comes to content during its intermissions. Instead of allowing McLennan some TV time, we were treated to a months old NHL.com video segment featuring Hradek and Mike Johnson at the R&D Camp during the second intermission. It was some stale television. The good news is that Kathryn Tappen will make her NHLN debut with an interview segment tonight.
- Props to the Leafs TV team as they had a solid broadcast. Props also go to teams that have jumped on the streaming bandwagon. The Leafs streamed their game last night, but it was mired with technical issues. The Sabres streamed their game with a Jumbotron feed with audio fed from the radio broadcast. That’s all you need. It appears that the majority of teams will stream at least one preseason game this year and that’s a good thing.
- In case you missed it, TSN officially announced the addition of Marc Crawford yesterday. He will make his debut on Wednesday night when Boston faces the Senators. As I mentioned before, he’s a great fit to replace Craig MacTavish. Also, it appears that Aaron Ward will make regular appearances on the TSN panel this season with Mike Peca busy as general manager for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres.
- In some interesting news, Puck The Media breaks the news that Bob Harwood is joining the Hurricanes as a reporter. This seems like a missed opportunity for some of the league’s national rights holders as Harwood is a terrific reporter. With CBC needing some more talent, it makes you wonder why they didn’t go after Harwood. Surely, he’s a better fit than Mitch Peacock. Same goes for NHLN which is where Harwood worked during the Stanley Cup Final. He was a definite upgrade to their broadcasts. Congrats to Bob and to Carolina for an excellent addition to their already strong broadcast team.