Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Hughson at the mic

Hockey fans in Canada can look forward to those Saturday night double headers once again, Hockey Night in Canada has chosen Jim Hughson to step in and handle the play by play duties on the second game each Saturday night.

Hughson who also works at Rogers Sportsnet on Canuck's broadcasts will be taking over the slot that came open with the involuntary departure of Chris Cuthbert from the CBC. Cuthbert of course landed on his feet quite nicely over at TSN, a network that will make use of his skills in both football and hockey.

The Hughson appointment seems to be the first intelligent thing the CBC has done in months as the network suffered under the weight of some questionable decisions of late. From the backlash to the Cuthbert dismissal, to a complete disaster in the curling world, the CBC brand on sports has taken a rather rough ride of late.

As if to highlight the return of the national game to the national network, the CBC also announced that the popular Hockey Day in Canada feature (axed by network twits this year) will return with triple header of hockey on January 7. Last years celebration of hockey was successfully staged by TSN without the need of the professionals, so the CBC has a lot of catching up to do on that issue.

The CBC also announced that the Coach shall be unedited on Coach's corner this year, the much discussed and mocked seven secon delay no longer a part of the between period rants by Don Cherry.

But lest one thing it's all goodness and light at the CBC, don't forget all these changes may be for naught, the CBC and it's union are at present involved in contract negotiations, with the union receiving a sizable mandate for strike action. It would be rather ironic that after surviving over a year without hockey, the network would be unable to show a game due to labour troubles. If the pickets stay down and the plan stays the same, the first night of double headers will be October 8th.

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