Winnipeg Jets bring new perspective to NHL’s Canadian line up
Sens TV schedule released – Winnipeg Jets add sonic boom to CBC, TSN coverage
BY TERRANCE GAVAN – Sens Reporter The Hockey Writers.com
The second coming of the Winnipeg Jets.
More to this Phoenix rise than meets the eye.
High def, big screen television eye that is.
And the “eyes” apparently have it this season, with both Canadian television networks tooting their vuvezelas over an expanded Canadian dynamic in the National Hockey League.
Sens fans should be happy with their coverage this season.
Sens.com reports that: “The venerable Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC) has 19 appearances in store for Senators fans, starting with the Oct. 8 match up inTorontoagainst the Maple Leafs on the first Saturday of theNHLschedule.
All but one ofOttawagames on HNIC are Saturday affairs, with four of them being matinee telecasts. The highlight is the Edmonton Oilers’ visit toScotiabank Placeon Feb. 11 as part of Hockey Day inCanada, which will include four games and seven Canadian teams with the return of the Winnipeg Jets to the league.
Today’s news included the unveiling of game coverage plans for CBC’s HNIC, TSNand TSN2, along with NBC, Versus and the NHLNetwork in the U.S.French-language broadcaster RDS hasn’t revealed any details beyond the 82 Montreal Canadiens telecasts it will offer in the season ahead which, of course, includes all six matches against the Senators.
Also part of the CBC schedule is the pre-season Kraft Hockeyville match up between the Senators and Jets at Mile One Centre in St. John’s. That’s a 4 p.m. ET puck drop on Monday, Sept. 26.
Another CBC schedule highlight: back-to-back telecasts on March 16 and 17, when the Montreal Canadiens and the Leafs appear on consecutive nights at Scotiabank Place for the first time. The Habs game is on a Friday night, the lone Sens CBC game not on a Saturday.
TSN, meanwhile, has 10 Senators dates on its 151-game schedule announced today, while also includes 74 broadcast windows onTSN2. Of the 77 games onTSN, all but four will include at least one Canadian team.
TheTSNschedule is comprehensive and should satisfy the broad longings of its Canadian viewers.
“Highlights of theNHLONTSNschedule include four all-Canadian match-ups featuringWinnipegatToronto(October 19),VancouveratCalgary(November 1),WinnipegatMontreal(January 4) andOttawaatMontreal(March 14),” saysTSN.com.
For Sens fans, our lollapalooza bonanza will surely hinge on Dany Heatley’s return with the Minnesota Wild atScotiabank PlaceforOttawa’s 2011-12 home-opener on Oct. 11.
And that game will also form the launch pad for 20th anniversary celebrations for the Senators organization. Some true nostalgia for your agent because when the Sens nailed down the franchise I was the Managing editor and Sports Editor of the Kanata Kourier and Kanata Standard weeklies. Those were some pressure-packed and interesting negotiations, from the downsizing of what was then to be the Corel Centre to some of the volatile land
Lest we forget?
All-Star Week in Ottawafigures to be an extraordinary bash of brash. The 2012 NHLAll-Star Weekend activity is slated for Jan. 28-29, and it’s a first for Ottawa’s Scotiabank Place.
Over the last five seasons the league and both networks –CBC owns the broadcast rights – have been refining the “event.” It’s a case of selling more sizzle and less T-Bone. The game is a “friendly” so this move to bringing more Disney and less Punch Imlach to the spectacle is an experiment with some merit.
Following a paradigm set up by the National Basketball Association (NBA) may irk the traditionalists, but Gary Bettman and theNHLbrass are not trying to appeal to old farts in duct-taped Lazee-Boys – they already own them.
They’re looking to set up the new iPhone generation of hockey fans – from 6 to 36 – who are drawn more by the peripherals than the ersatz juice of a 12-9 East-V-West snooze fest. Raise your hands if you enjoyed that skills competition last year. More than the game?
TheNHLAll-Star weekend isn’t perfect television. It carries some highs and lows. But it sure caters to a funky and wide-ranging demographic. And that’s not such a bad thing.
Sens fans? You’ll be able to judge the event up close and personal for the first time in history. Flop the date (January 28-29, 2012) down in your phone, PDA or fridge-side calendar.
TSNis also rolling out a pile of games on the Deuce (TSN2). Those games are not stitched into a set schedule saysTSN, but will have some scheduling leeway with the hope that they’ll be able to pick up on the seasonal juice. That’s a smart play because it allows them to contour their schedule to in-season story lines.
Winnipegis back and that new car smell, right or wrong, earns them the juice on both networks.
BothTSNandCBCwill be highlighting theWinnipeg’sNHLdebut with lots of view this season.
TheNHLandCBC’s HNIC have latched onto the Winnipeg Jets like Lassie on a porterhouse.
The Jets are an important add. Their insertion and the expected honeydew drip in television ratings add an important lucky seven Canadian dynamic to the pastiche of the prime time network paradigm. Hockey Night in Canada (HNIC) is doing a full-Monty Jets revival.
And we can’t ignore the old Madison Avenue piych: “Location, location, location!” New time zone for a Canadian team is a nice little addition. The Central Time Zone adds some interesting possibilities vis-à-vis double header choices for both networks. A key Canadian club in the central time zone will open up network scheduling choices.
Add to that the retro appeal of a Canadian club’s return to its roots? Nostalgia. It’s all cerebral succor for those ticked Winnipegfans who lost out on that 17 minute dervish and season ticket sellout. I have two friends in Winnipeg, who are plus 50 on the waiting lost for season tickets and they’re not happy. So Winnipeg’s comprehensive network scheduling is a nice fit and a small market bonanza.
This is important. We are moving to an elite eight (Quebec Aces, err, Islanders by next year?) teamCanada contingent. And possibly – with a Maritime (Halifax?) and aGTA team by 2018 – a nirvana juke and jive with a ten-team “OhCanada! Division.”
Two Canadian divisions, five east and five west?
Spitballin’ here peeps. Just spitballin’ for Schlitz and Giggles.
Locker Room Chatter:
- Nice little piece on Captain Alfie by The Ottawa Citizen’s Martin Cleary. Daniel Alfredsson is apparently looking forward to a healthy season.
- Ottawa’s upcoming season. The Young Guns, New coach and ahem! The Playoffs? FromNHL.com.
Here’s the complete slate of Senators games on CBC and TSN:
CBC‘s HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA
Monday, Sept. 26 — vs. Winnipeg, at St. John’s, 4 p.m. (pre-season)
Saturday, Oct. 8 — at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 15 — at Washington, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 22 — vs. Columbus, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 29 — at N.Y. Rangers, 3 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 5 — vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 12 — at Toronto, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 3 — at Washington, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 10 — vs. Vancouver, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 31 — at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 14 — at Montreal, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 4 — vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 11 — vs. Edmonton (Hockey Day in Canada), 2 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 25 — vs. Boston, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 10 — vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Friday, March 16 — vs. Montreal, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 17 — vs. Toronto, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 24 — vs. Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.
Saturday, March 31 — at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.
Saturday, April 7 — at New Jersey, 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 11 — vs. Minnesota (home opener), 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 25 — at Carolina, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 1 — at Boston, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 9 — vs. NY Rangers, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 7 — vs. Washington, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 14 — vs. Boston, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 20 — vs. Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 22 — vs. Washington, 7 p.m.
Friday, March 2 — vs. Chicago, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 14 — at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]