Thursday, February 8, 2007

NHL Network Responds

In a recent entry I made yesterday, I wondered if there would be any extensive NHL Draft coverage for Rounds 2 thru 7 which is to take place on a Saturday on June 23rd in Columbus from 10 AM Eastern time till it concludes. With Versus only committed to airing the all important first round in primetime the night before, it looked like curious viewers in the U.S. would have to rely on the internet to find out who their teams will select for the final six rounds. While that is technically true, there is a way to see those rounds if you are fortunate enough to have a high speed connection.

Here was NHL Network's response:

"Just When You Think..."

1 Comment - Show Original Post

NHL Network said...

Hey there. Just wanted to update you on something that wasn't part of the press release yesterday. The NHL Network will be carrying live coverage of the draft on Saturday, unfortunately it's not available in the US yet. But...we will be streaming it live to

6:16 AM

I'd like to personally thank this person for providing us with such a thrifty response. This information is very valuable and gives us an update on the situation regarding the network, which we hope will be made available in The States soon.

It shows that this place is being read by someone important and that we're actually being heard.

I hope that in the future, we'll be able to provide more answers like the one we got this morning.

Now onto a point regarding sensational Pens' rookie Jordan Staal. If you've watched the former No.2 overall selection closely, then you know how brilliant this 18 year-old phenom out of Thunder Bay Ontario is. He just recorded his 20th goal of the season on the power play by going to the net and finding a rebound against Philadelphia. It came a few minutes after he had a goal wiped out due to incidental contact between defenseman Ryan Whitney and goalie Antero Niittymaki. I was 50/50 on it because Whitney was shoved in by a Flyer. But the call was made. It didn't have any impact on Staal as he gave his team the lead anyway.

How good is he? He might just be better than older brother Eric which is saying a lot considering how brilliant he was last year for the Cup champion Hurricanes. The 22 year-old older brother has come back to earth after a bustout 45 goal, 100 point season. He still has 23 goals and 48 points. Ironically, Eric was also a former second overall pick in 2003 and has evolved into a very good hockey player. So the two brothers have something in common. But what can't be overlooked is how much poise the younger Jordan has demonstrated time and time again this year. A solid overall player who is a rock defensively to the point where he is a dangerous puck hawk on the Pens' penalty killing unit, tallying five shorthanded goals which still paces the league. Give Michel Therrien and his staff a lot of credit. They started out Staal primarily on the third line and PK units and allowed him to work his way up. Now, he can play second line if needed and gets PP time. There isn't anything this guy can't do. How responsible is he defensively? Only NHL leading scorer Sidney Crosby has a better plus/minus (+13) on the Pens than his +12. His 20 goals give them three 20-goal scorers all 20 and under.

For about two months now, Hockey Night In Canada's Don "Grapes" Cherry has been raving about Staal's play, insisting if he got the minutes Evgeni Malkin and Anze Kopitar got that he'd be a Calder Trophy candidate. The fact that Malkin is more mature (almost three years older) and polished explains his rookie-leading production of 26 goals, 33 assists for 59 points. Now remember that Malkin is responsible in his end. But he's only plus-three. Interesting.

The more I watch Staal, the more I agree with Cherry about how good a player he is. If the Pens make the playoffs, nobody will want them in the first round. Just imagine how scary they'll be a couple of years from now.

As I watch some of this Islanders-Devils game, it becomes more obvious how bad these new NHL rules have been. Tacky calls already were made on two Islanders. And then you have Chico Resch agreeing because of the replays. Minor stuff such as what Randy Robitaille and Jason Blake did shouldn't be penalties. Would you care to take a wild guess what they both were? Fyi...just to prove a point, Sergei Brylin did the exact same thing later in the period and nothing was called.

So Mark Messier wants to be the next Ranger GM according to an Edmonton newspaper report the other day. That was news to Dumb and Dumber President and GM Glen Sather, who after commenting on the story to the Toronto Sun opted to use the lame MSG policy and refusing to discuss it with local beat writers. Nice. And then he wants to know why he's so hated.

Interesting to note that an animated host Joe McDonald basically called out all three executives who run the locals, referring to them as "condescensing jerks" during the opening segment of our NY Hockey Report show last night. He seems to believe that's part of the reason attendance and ratings have dropped in the metro area. I'm not sure I agree. But can see his point. If you want to listen, the archive is below:

NY Hockey Report

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