While I'm quite sure it's coincidence, it's nice to see that the Programming minds at TSN and HockeyNation are of the same mind! Canada's The Sports Network has picked up the Hockey Day in Canada torch and held it high on their own.
A day after the CBC put the kaibosh on it's five year tradition Hockey Day in Canada, the folks at TSN jumped up to take advantage of the void and offer up their own celebration of Canadianna.
Hockey Lives Here: Canada's game will be broadcast for six hours on February 19th from Noon -6 pm Eastern time ( a 9 am wake up call for us West coasters). Highlights of the day include a stop in Quebec City for the always popular and much celebrated Pee Wee Hockey Tournament. TSN will pop into the rink in Thunder Bay and take in a CIS college game between the University of Western Ontario and Lakehead. They scoot back across to New Brunswick for the World Pond Hockey championships as well.
Other features will include a how to session for home rink builders, a peek into the Canadian Women's team preparations for the defence of their world title and a number of other features from across the country.
In short, pretty well everything that Hockey Day in Canada was all about, without of course the three NHL games to keep it flowing. But TSN will find other ways to keep the show on the right track, utilizing it's stable of top flight hockey experts like Pierre McGuire, Bob McKenzie, Dave Hodge and Brian Burke to name a few there will be no shortage of Hockey Talk in the six hour special.
It's as if they took the recent HockeyNation story on the CBC and put it up on the storyboard. Though to be fair to TSN I'm quite sure that mere minutes after the CBC cancelled their Hockey Day plans, TSN were jumping into the studio to get things rolling.
Kudos to The Sports Network for taking charge of things, Hockey is much more than the bleating of rich owners and well compensated players, it's about heart, determination and love of game. The folks at TSN understand the passion for the game across the land, something that not only has escaped the CBC but indeed has escaped all those involved in the NHL both management and labour!.
May just a bit of the spirit of Hockey Lives Here rub off on them! They all seem to have forgotten the hold that the game has on us. Bring on the Peewees, the college kids and the gals team. February 19th we'll all be dropping by the rink to watch some hockey, just like it should be!