Major Changes at Hockey Night in Canada

B.C. Lions radio play-by-play Rick Ball is the new voice of CBC's late Saturday games

B.C. Lions radio play-by-play Rick Ball is the new voice of CBC’s late Saturday games

Hockey Night in Canada is finally getting a much-needed makeover. Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey will takeover calling the main 7:00pm Pacific/10:00pm Eastern game on many weeks this season. Scott Oake will continue to report rinkside and host After Hours for the second game of CBC’s doubleheader. Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson and Glenn Healy will continue to call the 7:00pm Eastern Toronto Maple Leafs broadcast most weeks. Bob Cole and Garry Galley will mostly do Canadiens and Senators games. CBC has demoted Mark Lee to Winnipeg Jets regional broadcasts, where he will work with Greg Millen. Dean Brown also remains with CBC to call selected games. CBC will only have four games twice this season, however, on Hockey Day in Canada and again on April 6. Kevin Weekes will also stay with Hockey Night in a new role.

In my opinion, it’s about time CBC made a change. Lee really brought down the quality of CBC’s western broadcasts. I’m not too familiar with Ball; however, I’ve heard good things about him from those in British Columbia. Hrudey’s new role will allow him to stay closer to home (he lives in Calgary). Usually during the playoffs Hrudey spends most of April and May in Toronto, away from his family.

I wonder if this might be the opportune time for CBC to move Bob Cole further aside. I’m a big a fan of Cole as anyone, I grew up with him, but if CBC really wants to promote Ball and Hrudey as the team of the future they should call a Conference Final. I don’t know if it will happen this year, but it seems that Ball is CBC’s secondary play-by-play commentator of the future.

CBC’s rinkside reporters will largely stay the same. Andi Petrillo, Elliotte Friedman, Scott Oake, David Amber and Cassie Campbell all return.

EDIT (1/17):  CBC has made all of this official now. Kevin Weekes is taking Kelly Hrudey’s old spot in CBC’s studio. Elliotte Friedman is now part of the main studio panel, while Andi Petrillo takes over the iDesk. Don Cherry will do Coach’s Corner at the end of the 1st intermission of both the early and late games.

CBC has also confirmed that Cole, Brown, Galley and Millen will split up regional games in the east, while Lee and Millen will do regional Jets games.

I’m not sure exactly what motivated CBC to switch Weekes and Hrudey; however, it is worth noting Weekes lives in Toronto and Hrudey lives in Calgary. Instead of having both travel across the country weekly, this makes more sense.

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Stanley Cup Final 2012: Starts Wednesday on CBC, NBC and RDS

The 2012 Stanley Cup Final begins Wednesday May 30 in Newark, New Jersey. CBC and RDS will show all 7 games in Canada, while NBC will broadcast games 1 & 2 and 4 through 7. Here is CBC’s press release, then the schedule, followed by the NBC and RDS press releases after the break.

After three grueling playoff rounds comprised of 80 games in 45 days, 14 teams have been sent home empty handed. The Eastern Conference Champion New Jersey Devils and the Western Conference Champion Los Angeles Kings remain to do battle for hockey’s biggest prize in the 2012 Stanley Cup Final, exclusively on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA. Live coverage of the entire best-of-seven series is available on CBC-TV and streaming live at CBCSports.ca.

“The last month and a half of Stanley Cup Playoff action has been filled with unscripted drama and excitement and with the Kings and Devils facing off in the Final, we don’t expect that to change,” said Julie Bristow, CBC’s Executive Director of Studio and Unscripted Programming. “This is what hockey fans across Canada have been waiting for all year, the two best teams in this year’s playoffs going head to head for the Stanley Cup on hockey’s biggest stage – CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.”

The action gets underway on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA with Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Wednesday, May 30 at 8 p.m. ET when Jonathan Quick, Dustin Brown and the rest of the Kings visit the Prudential Center to take on Martin Brodeur, Zach Parise and the Devils. Jim Hughson provides play-by-play for the Final alongside analyst Craig Simpson who joins him in the broadcast booth, while Glenn Healy provides additional analysis from between the benches with Scott Oake and Elliotte Friedman reporting from rinkside.

Ron MacLean hosts CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA’s coverage of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final along with Kelly Hrudey and P.J. Stock, providing insight and analysis for each game. Don Cherry and Coach’s Corner returns in the first intermission while the second intermission features the Hot Stove and Andi Petrillo at the Chevrolet I-Desk. Scotiabank Hockey Tonight precedes Games 1 and 2 and Games 5 through 7 if necessary.

“The Stanley Cup Final on Hockey Night in Canada is a tradition that has been bringing Canadians together for the last 59 years,” said Trevor Pilling, Head of Programming, CBC Sports and Hockey Night in Canada. “We pride ourselves on bringing the fans closer to the action and deeper into the stories every night as we live the excitement of the game together from across the country.”

On Sunday, June 3 at 9 p.m. local (9:30 p.m. NDT), CBC will air a behind-the-scenes look at this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs with Inside the Cup. The special is an authentic behind the scenes look into what the two conference champions have endured on the road to the cup and features commentary captured by microphones worn by players during the first three rounds of the Playoffs. Inside the Cup offers a unique look into the passion and intensity players feel as they battle for a chance to raise the Stanley Cup.

With every game broadcast also streaming live online at cbcsports.ca, viewers on the go can remain connected to the action. Download the Hockey Night in Canada mobile app for instant access to news, analysis and game highlights and enjoy the ultimate “second screen” experience, Hockey Night Playoff Pulse, as it captures the heartbeat of a nation through in-game polls, pools and near-live access to the best three minutes from every game.

Hockey Night in Canada Radio on SiriusXM hosted Gord Stellick continues Monday through Friday from 3-6 p.m. ET on channel 157. Show podcasts are also available for download from the iTunes Store.

Hockey Night in Canada Punjabi presented by Chevrolet continues with Harnarayan Singh handling play-by-play duties for the Stanley Cup Final. The Punjabi broadcasts will be available on Rogers Cable channel 799, Shaw Digital TV channel 328, Shaw Direct classic channel 480 and advanced channel 429, TELUS Optik TV channel 131 and on Bell TV and FIBE TV channel 232 and will also be streamed live and on-demand on CBCSports.ca.

Here is the 2012 Stanley Cup Final schedule. All times are Eastern.

(E6) New Jersey Devils vs. (W8) Los Angeles Kings
Game 1 – Wednesday 5/30 at 8:00pm ET on CBC*, NBC, RDS
Game 2 – Saturday 6/2 at 8:00pm ET on CBC*, NBC, RDS
Game 3 – Monday 6/4 at 8:00pm ET on CBC, RDS
Game 4 – Wednesday 6/6 at 8:00pm ET on CBC, RDS
Game 5 – Saturday 6/9 at 8:00pm ET on CBC*, NBC, RDS
Game 6 – Monday 6/11 at 8:00pm ET on CBC*, NBC, RDS
Game 7 – Wednesday 6/13 at 8:00pm ET on CBC*, NBC, RDS

*A 30 minute Hockey Tonight pregame show will air at 7:3opm ET on CBC before these games.

TSN will also show a 1-hour edition of That’s Hockey before all weekday Stanley Cup Final games. That’s Hockey 2 Nite will follow every game on TSN2.

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2012 Stanley Cup Final Schedule

The National Hockey League has announced the full schedule for the 2012 Stanley Cup Final. It will begin a week from tonight (May 30) at 8:00pm ET on CBC, NBC and RDS. Either New York or New Jersey will host games 1-2, 5 and 7. Los Angeles will host games 3-4 and 6. None of the networks have officially unveiled their coverage plans; however I expect the commentators will be Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson and Glenn Healy (CBC); Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk and Pierre McGuire (NBC); and Pierre Houde and Marc Denis (RDS). I will post the press releases for all three networks when they are available.

For now here is the schedule. All times are Eastern.

Game 1 – Wednesday May 30 at 8:00pm (in NJ/NY)
Game 2 – Saturday June 2 at 8:00pm (in NJ/NY)
Game 3 – Monday June 4 at 8:00pm (in LA)
Game 4 – Wednesday June 6 at 8:00pm (in LA)
Game 5 – Saturday June 9 at 8:00pm (in NJ/NY)
Game 6 – Monday June 11 at 8:00pm (in LA)
Game 7 – Wednesday June 13 at 8:00pm (in NJ/NY)

NHL Conference Finals TV Guide

Here is the complete 2012 NHL Conference Finals TV schedule. The commentator information and start times are already confirmed, so I will no longer post a weekly/daily schedule.

Chris Cuthbert and Ray Ferraro (reporter: Ryan Rishaug) will call the West Final for TSN. Bob Cole and Garry Galley (reporter: Scott Oake) will takeover for CBC. Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson and Glenn Healy (reporter: Elliotte Friedman) will call the East Final.

Every game will air on RDS as well.

(1) New York Rangers vs. (6) New Jersey Devils – CBC
Game 1 – Monday May 14 at 8:00pm ET*
Game 2 – Wednesday May 16 at 8:00pm ET
Game 3 – Saturday May 19 at 1:00pm ET (also on NBC)
Game 4 – Monday May 21 at 8:00pm ET*
Game 5 – Wednesday May 23 at 8:00pm ET*
Game 6 – Friday May 25 at 8:00pm ET*
Game 7 – Sunday May 27 at 8:00pm ET*

(3) Phoenix Coyotes vs. (8) Los Angeles Kings
Game 1 – Sunday May 13 at 8:00pm ET* (TSN)
Game 2 – Tuesday May 15 at 9:00pm ET* (TSN)
Game 3 – Thursday May 17 at 9:00pm ET* (TSN)
Game 4 – Sunday May 20 at 3:00pm ET (CBC, NBC)
Game 5 – Tuesday May 22 at 9:00pm ET* (CBC)
Game 6 – Thursday May 24 at 9:00pm ET* (CBC)
Game 7 – Saturday May 26 at 8:00pm ET* (CBC)

* 30-minute pregame shows will air prior to these games.

NHL Canadian TV Guide: February 13-20

Here is this week’s NHL Canadian TV Guide. . Thanks to Puck the Media for posting the CBC and NBC commentator crews. National broadcasts are in bold, regional broadcasts are in italics. Hockey Day in America is Sunday on NBC. The commentators for the three early games are still to-be-confirmed.

Monday February 13
7:30pm, San Jose Sharks @ Washington Capitals – TSN2
Mike Emrick & Pierre McGuire

7:30pm, Carolina Hurricanes @ Montreal Canadiens – TSN-Habs, RDS
10:00pm, Phoenix Coyotes @ Vancouver Canucks – SN Pacific

Tuesday February 14
7:30pm, Anaheim Ducks @ Minnesota Wild – TSN2
John Forslund & Brian Engblom

7:00pm, Ottawa Senators @ Tampa Bay Lightning – SN East, RDS
8:30pm, New York Islanders @ Winnipeg Jets – TSN-Jets
9:00pm, Toronto Maple Leafs @ Calgary Flames – SN Ontario, SN West

Wednesday February 15
7:30pm, Boston Bruins @ Montreal Canadiens – TSN, RDS
Chris Cuthbert & Ray Ferraro

10:00pm, Toronto Maple Leafs @ Edmonton Oilers – LeafsTV, SN West
10:00pm, Colorado Avalanche @ Vancouver Canucks – SN Pacific

Thursday February 16
8:30pm, Calgary Flames @ Dallas Stars – TSN
Gord Miller & Mike Johnson

7:30pm, San Jose Sharks @ Tampa Bay Lightning – RDS INFO
8:00pm, Winnipeg Jets @ Minnesota Wild – TSN-Jets

Friday February 17
8:00pm, Boston Bruins @ Winnipeg Jets – TSN
Chris Cuthbert & Ray Ferraro

7:30pm, Montreal Canadiens @ Buffalo Sabres – TSN-Habs, RDS
9:30pm, Colorado Avalanche @ Edmonton Oilers – SN West

Saturday February 18
7:00pm, Toronto Maple Leafs @ Vancouver Canucks – CBC
Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson & Glenn Healy (reporter: Elliotte Friedman)

10:00pm, Calgary Flames @ Los Angeles Kings – CBC
Mark Lee & Kevin Weekes (reporter: Scott Oake)

7:00pm, Washington Capitals @ Tampa Bay Lightning – RDS

Sunday February 19
12:00pm, Hockey Day in America (from Minnesota) – NBC
Liam McHugh, Ed Olczyk, Mike Milbury & Pierre McGuire

12:30pm, St. Louis Blues @ Chicago Blackhawks – NBC [Map], TSN2
Dave Strader & Brian Engblom

12:30pm, San Jose Sharks @ Detroit Red Wings – NBC [Map], NHL-N
Ken Daniels & Darren Pang

12:30pm, Pittsburgh Penguins @ Buffalo Sabres – NBC [Map]
Gord Miller & Ray Ferraro

3:30pm, Boston Bruins @ Minnesota Wild – NBC , TSN2
Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk & Pierre McGuire

6:00pm, New Jersey Devils @ Montreal Canadiens – CBC, RDS
Bob Cole & Garry Galley (reporter: Andi Petrillo)

8:30pm, Colorado Avalanche @ Winnipeg Jets – TSN-Jets
9:00pm, Vancouver Canucks @ Edmonton Oilers – SN West, SN Pacific

*Most Canadians will receive this game on NBC, unless your NBC station comes from Boston, Buffalo, Burlington or Minneapolis.

CBC, TSN and Sportsnet Have NHL All Star Weekend Covered

This weekend is NHL All Star Weekend 2012 in Ottawa. While I don’t really enjoy watching much of it (except for the Skills Competition), the Canadian sports networks are giving it their full attention. CBC, TSN and Sportsnet have all issued press releases detailing their coverage of All Star Weekend. CBC has the Skills Competition and the game itself, TSN has the All Star Draft and Media Day. Sportsnet doesn’t have coverage of any events, but is broadcasting live from the Rideau Canal and has a junior hockey game featuring the 67s on Friday.

Continue after the break for all three press releases.

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