It was announced the other day that Versus had picked up an option to broadcast NHL games for another 3 years. While this might be great for Versus, I still have my doubts whether or not this is good for the NHL in the long run. Is having league games televised on an obscure network the best way to market your product? Is it the best way to grow interest in the league?
In my "Take Ten" interviews when asked what the NHL could do to increase interest in the sport, several of the sportswriters answered that the league should get back on ESPN. Maybe some kind of deal can be made where games can be televised on both networks on different nights? The ratings are up, so that is good news.
Speaking of Versus, network analyst Keith Jones had an interview yesterday with Chris Clark, from 850 The Buzz and 620 The Bull. It was a long, interesting interview which touched upon several subjects. For those of you who want a quick gist, he says that Carolina's primary problem is goaltending. He confirms that Frantisek Kaberle is having a disappointing year. He says that Jim Rutherford would be a perfect fit in Toronto and he picks Washington to win the Southeast Division. No homerism there even though you played for the Caps for 5 years, right "Jonesy"?
Washington does look good though and they were my pre-season pick to finish in second place in the division. Hopefully, that is where they end up, number 2 in the Southeast and number 8 in the Conference. Speaking of the Caps, they lost one of their games in hand tonight when the Leafs beat them as Mats Sundin scored with just 30 seconds left in regulation. Ouch, that had to leave a mark!
Most of the Hurricanes are going on vacation for the All Star break. Rod Brind'Amour confirmed that he wasn't going to step foot on the ice again until next week Monday. It's probably best that they all get their minds off of things and rest up. Maybe the team can pretend like it's the beginning of the season and play like they did in October when they come back from break?
Even though the team is on break, we will not be resting on our laurels here at the Canes Country Blog. There is always something to analyze, scrutinize, and give an opinion about, even if it is off base. Cheers!