Tag Archives: Hockey Night in Canada

Only 5.2 Billion

The big news of course is Rogers (Sportsnet) buying the TV rights for hockey games across Canada for the next twelve years, including four years and beyond of Hockey Night in Canada. For 5.2 billion dollars.

CBC will still do the games, but Rogers collects money other ways. Whether or not Don Cherry and Ron MacLean continue remains to be seen. It’ll be up to the Rogers people but I’m guessing they will be. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, people still watch.

If Cherry stays, I’m hoping Hazel Mae replaces MacLean.

As they were saying on Prime Time Sports, this is a great thing, this massive deal. Hockey Night in Canada could have died if Rogers didn’t do this. CBC’s taxpayer dollars can’t handle 5.2 billion.

The big question is, will Habs fans see every Habs game like now? What about RDS? Can I get TVA? Where will certain broadcasters go? Will PJ Stock and Glenn Healy have to send their wives back to work?

I grew up with Hockey Night in Canada. It’s important to me.






Scientific Tracking System Not New

You may think that my Scientific Habs Tracking System (SHTS), which I do every year using high-tech yellow highlighter and ultra modern computer page link, is something new.

Heck, I used to do it often, long before computers were invented, using the very fine method of red star for a Habs win, blue for a loss, and a straight red line for a tie on an Esso schedule.

Below is the only one I have left from those days, the 1966-67 season, which also happens to be the year the Toronto Maple Leafs won their last Stanley Cup by beating Montreal four games to two.

Look at the run Montreal went on in March and April, losing just once, in Toronto of all places.

The standings for 1966-67 were:

Chicago 94
Montreal 77
Toronto 75
New York 72
Detroit 58
Boston 44



Mellanby Joins Habs’ Front Office

Scott Mellanby has been hired by the Habs as director of player personnel, and as I have no idea if this will prove to be a good move or not, all I can say is this former player played 21 years in the NHL, with Philadelphia, Edmonton, Florida, Toronto, St. Louis, and Atlanta, and during his time in Florida, he murdered a rat with his stick which led to plastic rats being thrown on the Panthers’ ice.

Mellanby, born in Montreal, is also the son of former Hockey Night in Canada producer Ralph Mellanby, who was one of Don Cherry’s biggest boosters.

All in all, Scott Mellanby has hockey running through his veins, and hopefully he’ll add great value to the complex rebuilding puzzle in Montreal. For me, at this stage of the game, any change is a good change.

As director of player personnel, what’s he going to suggest to Marc Bergevin about Scott Gomez, and which young buck is he hoping to land in the upcoming June draft?


Doug Loses To Doug Jr.

This is a nice 1960 commercial featuring Doug Harvey and son Doug Jr. playing a new table hockey game put out by Imperial Oil celebrating Hockey Night in Canada’s 25th year. The game could be bought for a whopping five bucks.

I spoke to Doug Jr. on the phone several years ago when he owned a restaurant in Charlottetown, and when I asked him what it was like growing up with such a remarkable dad, he said it was completely normal and just like any other family, except for the fact that Jacques Plante, Maurice Richard, Dickie Moore, Jean Beliveau and rest would come over for visits. Which is a little bit different than when the guys from my dad’s paint shop came over to our place after first stopping at the Legion for a few pops..

Big thanks to Beatnik for sending over this neat clip.

Canadiens Fall To Falling Leafs

It could’ve been a beauty of a night.  A glorious night to make life even more miserable for the Toronto Maple Laffs.

The Canadiens could have added a serious blow to the Leafs hopes of playing in the post-season, with Toronto coming in with a 1-9-1 record, a record that got coach Ron Wilson fired, and everyone feeling quite lousy about themselves. Randy Carlyle’s debut behind the Toronto bunch could’ve been deliciously ruined. It could’ve been a nice night for the paying customers, who haven’t seen a ton of wins at the Bell Centre this season, and it would have given Darth, who was at the game, something to cheer about.

And hell, I’ve always loved seeing Montreal stomp on the Leafs on Hockey Night in Canada.

Yes, it could’ve been a beauty of a night. Instead, it sucked the big one.

Ex-Hab Mikhail Grabovski scored the winner and the insurance goal for Toronto to once again rub salt in the nose of his former employer and the Habs, in losing 3-1 on this night, have their own pitiful record to worry about. Never mind about the 1-9-1 record the Leafs had going into this. Montreal has two wins in the last 10.

So tonight it was the battle of two teams in freefall.

It just wasn’t to be as the Canadiens scored one feeble goal and allowed Toronto to score three, two of which were in the third period, a period when Montreal usually blows it and once again they did. Overall this season, the Canadiens have been outshot by a margin of 71 to 48, and of course It’s been one of the giant achilles heels in the Habs story this season, letting things slip away in the final 20 minutes. How come they can’t play 60 minutes?

Random Notes:

Erik Cole opened the scoring on a nice play between him and linemates David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty. Such a great line. One of the few things, along with the penalty kill, that we can boast about.

Brad Staubitz got into a dandy scrap with Mike Brown, and I give the edge to Staubitz for more punches thrown, although I didn’t count them.

Shots on goal were a ridiculous 42-22 for Toronto. I have no words for this.

Don Cherry on Coaches Corner was all worked up over Brian Burke not having any players from Ontario on the team. It was a lively rant and I agree, a few local guys are always a nice touch. The other Ontario team, the Ottawa Senators, have five players from the province in their lineup. But maybe I should stop here. I don’t want to get into the issue of Habs and Quebec-born players.

The Canadiens now start their annual Western Canada swing, playing in Calgary on Tuesday, Edmonton on Thursday, and Vancouver Saturday. As far as I know, Luci and I will be at the game in Vancouver.


Canadiens End Things The Right Way

It only took 82 games but now we know exactly who the Habs will meet in the opening round of the playoffs. The team we figured all along. Sort of.

Bring on the Bruins, as the Canadiens finished off their regular season in fine fashion, taking out the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-1 at the ACC, and doing it front of some people with deeper pockets than me (but maybe not you), shelling out a thousand bucks a lower-bowl seat to see an age-old rivalry going at it in their final games of the regular season.

Ryan White opened the scoring for the Canadiens and got in a nice little fight with some gorilla (names aren’t important) that left White battered and bruised but looking good anyway. Except for the swollen cheeks and forehead.

But he got his licks in and he’s become an important foot soldier for Les Habs.

Brian Gionta notched two power play goals, and Tomas Plekanec scored a shorthanded goal late in the game to salt it away. And in all fairness, it appeared that Phil Kessel’s puck crossed the line but was ruled no-goal, and yes, maybe it wasn’t conclusive in two different camera angles, but it sure looked to be with a third angle.

With the contoversial Chicago goal the other night and now this one tonight, can we be sure the guys upstairs were actually upstairs? And I say this while being extremely happy that Toronto’s goal was ruled not in. I’m just wondering if these guys have beer in their war room or something.

Nice to see Montreal end things on a winning note. How much would it have sucked if Toronto had taken it to the Canadiens and made the good guys look bad? Instead, we go into the postseason ready to rock and roll.

Now we have to hit Boston where it hurts – and that’s on the scoreboard. Jump out to early leads and when Shawn Thornton or Nathan Horton or Milan Lucic or the slimy Brad Marchand start getting greasy, just point up to the scoreboard. It’s the perfect age-old jab.

Random Notes:

They were saying on Hockey Night in Canada that Kirk Muller is a much-desired man for the Sens coaching position. It would be a shame to lose him, but he needs to do what he thinks is best for his career. Of course.  But if he ends up in Ottawa my wife might not think he’s handsome anymore.

One other thing to be addressed. I didn’t see the clip of Scott Gomez laughing like crazy during the Ottawa game the other night, but HNIC showed it tonight, and both Mike Milbury and Kelly Hrudey couldn’t quite understand this attitude given that Gomez hasn’t scored since Georges Vezina was playing.

I’m in complete agreement with these two fellows. It upsets me to see a guy, with one of the league’s highest salaries and just 7 goals, who floats much of the time and avoids heavy traffic almost all the time, laughing like that. They say he not prepared to play, and laughing, as Hrudey mentioned, is completely unacceptable.

Rarely if ever in my years as a Habs fan have I disliked the play of a player the way I dislike Gomez’s efforts. If he wants to finally earn some of that big money and have Habs fans on his side at all, he needs to help his team dismantle the Bruins beginning on Thursday. Anything less and he’s a bum and won’t be forgiven.

Carey Price was, as usual, just excellent. He’s the guy who stirs the drink, the guy who’s going to lead his team, and us, to the promised land.

I thought the sign a kid in a Leafs’ jersey held up was hilarious. It read, “Nobody Likes The Habs.”

Jacques Martin recorded his 600th win as an NHL coach. And I’m serious when I say he smiled after game .