Habs, Leafs to Open 2013 NHL Season

Renaud Lavoie of RDS has reported that the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs will open the 2013 NHL season on Saturday January 19 at the Bell Centre. Puck-drop is most likely at 7:00pm ET. It will air on CBC and RDS. CBC will have at least one other game on their schedule, although more are possible. CBC was originally scheduled to have a game Saturday afternoon, in addition to the primetime doubleheader. The schedule will most likely be released Saturday or Sunday, depending on when the NHLPA ratifies the new CBA.

MLSE’s Board… If you were watching TSN and Sportsnet’s constant coverage of the firing of Brian Burke today, you may have noticed numerous mentions of a dust-up with the new MLSE board members. If you’re like myself, you’re probably wondering exactly who these board members are. There are six. Two from Rogers, two from Bell, Larry Tannenbaum, and Dale Lastman. Reasoning would go that Tannenbaum, who sits on the NHL’s board of directors for MLSE, didn’t suddenly have a change in heart in Burke. Bell’s representatives are George A. Cope, the CEO of Bell Canada, and Mary Ann Turcke, who reports directly to Cope. Rogers’ representatives are Nadir Mohamed, CEO of Rogers Communications, and Edward Rogers, the son of the late Ted Rogers. Lastman is an independent lawyer from the law firm Goodmans.

NFL Playoff Streaming… For the first time ever CTV will offer free streaming of every playoff game they broadcast, including the Super Bowl. The only game not streamed is this Sunday’s AFC Divisional Playoff, which airs on TSN.

31 thoughts on “Habs, Leafs to Open 2013 NHL Season

  1. The timing of the firing, coming at the same time as the NHL BoG approving the new CBA, points to some sudden and dramatic change of heart by at the majority of the MLSE board regarding Burke’s fitness for the job.

    The lack of concrete comments from the parties involved only fuels that fire but I think it’s safe to say that Tannenbaum wouldn’t have precipitated the firing, logically leaving the Bell & Rogers reps on the board as the originators of the dismissal.

    I wondered how well Burke’s style would mesh with Bell & Rogers after the purchase of the controlling interest of MLSE, looks like the answer was “not well at all”

    • I agree, the timing just doesn’t make sense (especially with the truncated, 48-game regular season). In the corporate world you don’t normally make a leadership change at the beginning of a new fiscal year; it’s typically done weeks before (or directly following) the announcement of year-end results, if the company is having a bad year (ie missing the playoffs). This is obviously just my personal opinion but I’d bet on the fact it was ownership’s knee-jerk reaction to a conversation involving Burke’s request of complete autonomy in hockey-related decisions. There’s no question the Leafs have sucked under Burke’s leadership but to pull the plug days after an agreement-in-principle on the new CBA and a week before the season-opener is just plain bizarre.

      • Yeah, and to be honest, complete autonomy on hockey-related decisions is something GMs should have, especially in a system where there is a cap and the Leafs have the ability to spend at that level. The new ownership seems to want to have a say in this, which is odd because that usually happens in a situation where one person owns the team.

  2. Dan Murphy has twittered that it will probably Ducks @ Canucks on Jan. 19 so that makes for a good doubleheader on HNIC with the Leafs @ Habs which is good to start with. It also seems like that there will be the Flames @ Oilers and Sens @ Jets. That could make for two split telecasts!

    • Sens @ Jets was originally scheduled as a Saturday afternoon game on January 19, I wonder if they will just leave it there as a tripleheader.

      • Tripleheader would be excellent, we’ll have to see how it is scheduled.

        Here are other probable opening games that have been mentioned on team websites and twitter accounts.

        Blackhawks @ Kings, please be on WGN
        Avalanche @ Wild
        Red Wings @ Blues
        Coyotes @ Stars
        Blue Jackets @ Predators
        Penguins @ Flyers
        Capitals @ Lightning
        Rangers @ Bruins
        Devils @ Islanders
        Hurricanes @ Panthers

  3. Also: The Leafs won’t be able to play at home for the first two Saturday’s of the NHL season due to the Toronto Rock (National Lacrosse League) having the Air Canada Centre already booked. I find it hard to believe they don’t play at home for two whole weeks, so it looks like they will have to have their opening game of the season at home on some shitty weeknight. The Leafs did ask the Rock if they could move their home opener, but they told the Leafs to go pound sand, and rightly so.

  4. With Rogers now onboard thinking about a domed classic with the Habs and the Leafs at Rogers would be an awesome promotion and something that could be included in both the Habs and Leafs season ticket package with seating left for single game tickets 50K fans in a football like Neutral site game Habs fans on one side Leafs on the other with the roof closed.
    Could even play it back in the BIG O. With no extra charge for season ticket holders as the visiting team in each case would be the guest of the home team just for having season tickets.
    With the organizations also picking up the Tab for the train ride to and from the games

    • A game in a dome would be about making as much money as possible i can’t see the game part of season tickets as for a free train ride not a chance.

      • That would just be for this season as a way to thank the fans. Many fans are expecting teams to do something for them this could be that something this season to show that they care about their fans. They would still make money on the event and in the future could be something That they would charge for possible a tradition can come from this. One year at Rogers the next ant Big O.
        Something new and fresh would be in order I would think

        • It would not be possible this year as as you would have to request it and the league may not even ok it plus it would take time to plan.As for having it each year again would the league would be fine with that i have doubt it maybe have one in 2014 then the next in 2020 you do that it might work and sure it could be a huge success.

          • Even better to get it together in the off season and announce it and build it as a Fan appreciation home and Home series for 2014 then as you said spread it out over time as not to lose its luster

            • So 2 games in 2014 then 2 say in 2020?

              • either that or two games in 2014 and one in 2019 and then to the other city in 2020 then wait another 5 years that is if the Big O last that long

                • Part of the issue is the league likes to limit the amount of game to one or 2 per year and not have the same teams play every few years and i don’t think many would want to see them play that much.

                  • Could be. Maybe just a 2014 promotion and one time event and see what it can lead to in the future but for 2014 I think it would be something cool for the fans in Montreal and Toronto to be a part of. The first Home and Home Hockey series inside a domed stadiums of 50Kplus. How exciting after a goal to have half of RC or the Big O going crazy when their team scores

  5. I like how CTV is streaming the games. My guess: they’re testing it, to see if it’s popular and if it is, they’ll either make it pay-per-view (like TSN did with the World Juniors) or release it as a paid app, like the NCAA does with March Madness. Who knows, maybe they’ll do both. But I’m going to try and enjoy it while it’s still free!

    • I’m not entirely sure the NFL will allow them to do so. NBC and NFL Network’s streamed games are free in the US, AFAIK.

      • True but we have no idea what the contract for the Canadian rights looks like. For example I remember last year that if you had purchased the Canadian version of the NFL’s on line streaming product that it didn’t include the playoff rounds while the American one did.

        • the CFL was streamed online with espn3 in the US for free including all playoffs and grey cup

          • Yes but the suits at TSN/CTV refuse to stream CFL in Canada.

          • espn3 is only a small window though, it’s not open to everyone in the US. I think the Watch ESPN app is, not completely sure though

          • That’s because ESPN has American rights and they chose ESPN3 as the outlet instead of ESPN or ESPN2. They do the same with other “less popular” sports like Dutch soccer and the KHL. It’s a completely different situation than Canada where the rightsholder actually shows the games on regular TV.

  6. It looks like Kevin Weekes is going to have a bigger role with HNIC, according to his Twitter feed from yesterday. Details are not known yet, but I wonder if he’s going to join the top crew of Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson. Perhaps replacing Glenn Healy between the benches.

    • And they’ve now taken it down since I posted that… *sigh*

      But I copied it for myself. If it stays true the breakdown of games for Canadian teams is 16 MTL, 14 TOR, 8 OTT, 8 VAN, 7 WPG, 7 CGY, and 7 EDM.

  7. It looks like the Red Wings have leaked their schedule. The HNIC games would be Feb. 9 against the Oilers, then March 16 & April 20 both against the Canucks. The Feb. game is an afternoon game so it could be on Sportsnet. http://www.detroithockey.net/history/schedule/2013.php

    Surfing around, it seems that NBC will be doing a split telecast next Sat. with Blackhawks @ Kings and Flyers @ Penguins.

    • The 2/9 EDM-DET game will be part of Hockey Day in Canada according to the schedule that was “leaked” on CBC’s site earlier then removed. HDIC will feature EDM-DET and WPG-OTT at 2pm, TOR-MTL at 7pm, and CGY-VAN at 10pm ET.

    • You are correct on CHI-LA and PHI-PIT as far as I know. That was a timeslot where they weren’t originally scheduled to show hockey. They also have a game on Sunday.

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