In a deal worth $5.2-billion, Canadian media conglomerate Rogers has obtained broadcasting rights to NHL games across Canada for the next 12 years. While the NHL and its players appear to come out winners, the deal is a blow to Canada's other media conglomerate Bell, whose sports network TSN has lost all national NHL programming just five years after winning the rights to the iconic Hockey Night in Canada theme song from public broadcaster CBC, home to HNIC for over 60 years. As for the CBC, they will retain rights to broadcast games for four years in what president Hubert Lacroix described as a "partnership" where they will pay nothing, make nothing, and have no control over content. Considering HNIC is the only CBC English-language programming that consistently places in Canada's top 25 English TV shows and allegedly brings in up to 50% of its ad revenue and 30% of its audience, speculation regarding the future of a hockey-free CBC, last brought up during last year's NHL lock-up, abounds, with many characterizing it as a crisitunity for a clueless and complacent corporation.
How about dancing Canadian skeletons? Avec les sous-titres et sonnaille. Introducing mounties, a new Canadian supergroup formed by Hawksley Workman with Hot Hot Heat frontman Steve Bays and Limblifter/Age of Electric member Ryan Dahle. [more inside]
With the NHL locked out for the foreseeable future, the Montreal Gazette has decided to cover Canadiens games simulated on EA Sports NHL '13 as if they were real games.
"All of their lives they had been taught and told--hypnotized, really--that no one played better hockey than Canadians. And in a span of the first few weeks, when they lost two games and tied another on Canadian soil, they had to confront the fact that this was just plain wrong. And then they had to immediately adapt and overcome and figure out a way to win anyway."Andrew Cohen of The Atlantic makes the case that 40 years ago today, the final game of the "Summit Series", between Canada and the Soviet Union, was the greatest day in Canadian history. [more inside]
The Don Cherry Jacket Watch. Amazing, mind-blowing garishness.
What If Everybody in Canada Flushed At Once? The water utility in Edmonton, EPCOR, published a graph of water consumption last week. By now you’ve probably heard that up to 80% of Canadians were watching the Olympics gold medal hockey game between Canada and the USA. So, it stands to reason that they’d all go pee between periods. More from The Globe and Mail.
Something awful in a new CBC anthem. The CBC's Hockey Night in Canada is one of the highest-rated programs on Canadian television. It's something of a national shrine to our beloved sport. For the past 40-odd years, it's had a distinctive theme which most Canadians could hum. After something of a fiasco, the CBC lost the rights to the theme. They're running a contest to replace the venerated theme. A Something Awful forum user composed a truly dreadful entry ("mostly comprised of cat and sheep sounds, baby cries, and gunshots/explosions"), and got the community to 'vote it up' on the Anthem contest site. You really need to hear the awfulness to truly appreciate it. [more inside]
Controversy in Canada! It seems that Canadian politicians have nothing better to do. The hockey Don weighs in. The issue described in brief here. More press links here. Lastly, some comparible(?) incidents.
A set of ideal conditions earlier this week -- cold weather, little wind and snow -- created a large skating rink. On Lake Superior. Beautifully clear (YouTube - minor swearing if you're at work). Ever skate for a mile? Cracks on the ice. With sound (YouTube). And of course, hockey (YouTube). Or maybe just some skating and kite flying (YouTube). Duluth News Tribune's story. (With annoying registration but nice photo gallery)
From Muddy York to the Toronto of today.... My search to discover the exact age of the house I recently bought led me to the fabulous Toronto Archives. Even if you don't have the good fortune to live in Toronto and so have the ability to visit the Archives to take a free tour and check out their massive holdings, they have a whack of stuff on line. Of their million photographs dating back to 1856, over 21,000 are online. Check out some of their virtual exhibits. I couldn't begin to give you an overview of the site or even the best of its many gems, but check out Chinatown's VE day victory parade, Bay and Wellington as it was after a huge fire in 1904, old advertisements, letters and postcards (including some from the disenchanted), snapshots of a, er, less politically sensitive time (thanks, Capn!), and — inevitably! — hockey artifacts. A friend of mine makes a hobby of Toronto's history, and after this search of mine, I better understand her interest. It’s fascinating to see what lies beneath the layers of time on a surface so familiar and loved.
Gentlemen, start yer cliches: Thirsty hockey fans drinking Canadian city dry of beer
Welcome back NHL. Today marks the first day since June 7th, 2004 that an NHL hockey game has been played. Much has changed since then: team lineups, goalie equipment, even the painted lines on the ice. There is plenty of hype this year with phenom Sydney Crosby on the ice, The Great One behind the bench, and SHOOTOUTS!. Will the fans come back, and can the NHL live up to the hype?
What happened to sportsmanlike behaviour in hockey? Islander fans booed the Canadian national anthem hours after a memorial service for the Canuck soldiers who died at American hands. Fine, whatever, that type of behaviour is expected. They also harrassed Toronto fans in the parking lot outside the rink, including stealing their flags and setting the Maple Leaf ablaze. Now if this was Canadians burning the American flag...
Canada Wins Hockey After watching Belarus pull off a miracle, Canada joins in to see them in the semi final. Question is, who's gonna win? Wooooooooo...
Judge to referee road hockey complaint. HAMILTON, ONT. - A Hamilton man whose son likes to play road hockey will have to face off in court Monday against a neighbour who's fed up with stray tennis balls landing on her property.