Thoughts On NHL Tonight and Other Stuff…

27 Dec

It has been awhile since I did an opinion piece in bullet form, so the time has come for one.

  • The much ballyhooed NHL Tonight made its debut last night. It had its new soundtrack and modern looking intro. Besides that though, nothing really changed from NHL On The Fly: Final. It was basically a flashier version of OTF. I was concerned about that, and indeed it seems like NHLN is just trying to update its image and use the vaunted program name to grab some eyeballs.
  • Now, not everything was bad about it. The show moved fast and it was updated throughout the night. Kevin Weekes and Billy Jaffe were solid as always and David Amber kept things lively. But let’s face it, fans were expecting something new, and this didn’t cut it. They did use the actual calls on some highlights and I’d still like them to do that during all game packages. But the graphics and style were stale which was a bit of a disappointment on its first night.
  • The good news is that as I mentioned before, there is new programming on the way. This will be slowly rolled out and should go full speed once NHLN gets its new studios in Stamford. Their Winter Classic coverage should be interesting although I’m not a fan of then cutting off TSN’s WJC intermissions to go to Philadelphia as they plan on doing. TSN is number one and NHLN should be showcasing them, not hyping the league’s special event.
  • Going back to the WJC, I thought NHLN did a decent job of covering the blowout by USA over Denmark. The new graphics looked pretty good and I’d like to see them in use during NHL games. Matt Rosen was solid although I’d prefer to see Gary Thorne or JP Dellacamera come back to the mic. I like Dave Starman, I think he’s very knowledgable and is one of the top college analysts. Rob Simpson was as good as one can be in a rather thankless reporter role. I’d still prefer TSN’s coverage but I understand the want of USA Hockey to have their own cheerleaders.
  • Moving on to CBC, Canadian Sports Media Blog has the news that Nabil Karim has moved on to join TSN. This comes at a bad time for the CBC as Mike Milbury is only expected to make sporadic appearances from here on out as NBC starts ramping up their NHL coverage. CBC has been decimated with departures over the past year and this makes it worse. Karim wasn’t an essential part of the HNIC team but he was important when it comes to their digital strategy.
  • Milbury’s move leaves a much larger hole, no matter how you feel about him. They could move Glenn Healy to the studio and try someone else between the benches. Both Greg Millen and Cassie Campbell have done it before. Or they can go down to two analysts as the main desk as they did before. Less chatter might be a good thing. And of course, they could go the TSN route and find themselves an ex-coach to join the network. Either way, CBC is lacking in the personnel department compared to where they stood many years ago.

Posted by on December 27, 2011 in CBC, NHL, NHL Network, Television, TSN


3 responses to “Thoughts On NHL Tonight and Other Stuff…

  1. Sean

    December 27, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Felt same way about OTF….I mean NHL Tonight. It was the same. But I didn’t like the intro or music. Intro looked liked something EA or 2K would use for their games. I was not impressed. I’m hearing that this is a phase to get rid of the OTF as it moves to Stamford and out of Toronto. Legal issues and rights owned by TSN.

    • paranoidpuck

      December 27, 2011 at 7:11 pm

      I think you’re pretty much spot on. I get your complaint about the into feeling video game-ish but I still prefer the look over OTF. It should make more sense once everything transitions over. Next season should be a game changer for NHLN, assuming the new studios are all done and there’s no labor woes.

      In a perfect world, the NHL would merge the US and Canadian operations. I don’t know much about legal issues surrounding it but they really need to program both channels as one as much as possible. I know they can’t air any Canadian teams on NHLN Canada and there’s the ownership issues with TSN and the clubs, but it would be a plus to get everyone on the same page. As it stands now, it seems like the Canadian version is sorta forgotten especially when you watch NHL Live. Its rare they plug a game that NHLN Canada is airing but NHLN US broadcasts are promoted endlessly. I’m sure that trend will be accelerated once they go to Stamford.

  2. JASON

    December 27, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Hey new to this website (saw it on Puckthemedia)… I couldnt agree more with the 2 of you sad. I really didnt see any magic in the show. Poor Amber was rushing to catch a breath. It was suppose to have a qucik feel….then after 10 mins…it was the same pace….I too did not like the intro…looked Cartoonish…but your game analogy works. I havent heard much other Toronto 590 (think that is what it is) interviewing Bill Daily and a someone from NHL Network about the network. Both didnt feel comfortable answering questions. When the question was point blanked asked does talent at the show have something to worry about when the Stamford move is complete. Bill Daily danced around it. They might be getting the transition going. Either way…guys from New York must think we are stupid. Kevin Weeks replied to a tweet saying it will be different. Sorry it wasnt. Well Ill have to come by this site more often.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: