There’s nothing Canadians love more than hockey. And, no one delivers the best players in the world like the NHL! With teams in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver, hockey continues to be entwined in the Canadian way of life.
(Originally posted in september 2001)
NHL Network provides viewers with original programming each night. Coverage includes news, commentary and analysis as well as previews of each night’s games and highlights of previous games. Hockey fans won’t miss a second of hockey action from around the league as NHL Network arena-surfs live each and every night of the NHL season, bringing viewers action from each and every game.
Complete with comprehensive highlight packages, analysis, Insider reports and arena-surfing action, NHL Network is the ultimate stop on the dial for hockey fans. When hockey season ends, the focus turns to the game’s grassroots: coaching, instruction and strategy, the NHL draft, hockey training and conditioning as well as roller hockey, beach hockey, celebrity golf tournaments and off-season analysis.
NHL Network is the fans’ source for everything and anything hockey!
NHL On the Fly will kick-off the launch of the channel and be the network’s signature show to air seven nights a week in prime time. The program will focus on breaking news and information from around the National Hockey League, through live look-ins to games in progress, highlights, interviews, pre- and post-game reports, as well as team press conferences. That’s Hockey 2, will conclude each broadcast day at 1:30 a.m. ET to give a final round-up of each night’s NHL action.
“NHL Network will satisfy the most avid hockey fan by presenting around the clock programming on both the NHL and the sport of hockey in general,” said Keith Pelley, Sr. Vice-President of NHL Network. “The people we have attracted to be a part of this team bring both experience and freshness to our hockey presentation along with an unrivalled passion for the game. We will be offering programming that no other channel can provide. True hockey fans will soon come to realize that NHL Network is the ultimate hockey destination.”
“We’re excited about the NHL Network and what it’s going to mean to hockey fans in Canada,” said Jon Litner, NHL Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. “Dedicated entirely to the game of hockey, the NHL Network will serve as a valuable tool to complement the already outstanding NHL coverage by our Canadian broadcast partners.”
“Insight Sports is thrilled to be a part of the NHL Network,” said Brian Cooper, President and Chief Operating Officer for Insight Sports Ltd. “Viewers from coast to coast now have a home to keep up on everything hockey. We look forward to creating exciting, original programming for the NHL Network that will be attractive to the fans and promote our most cherished sport.”
NHL On The Fly contributors, Pierre McGuire, Gary Green and Mike Keenan – three high-profile, knowledgeable hockey experts – have a combined 67 years of hockey experience between them. All three of these former NHL coaches bring something unique to the channel. McGuire is a regular contributor on That’s Hockey 2 and Molson Leaf Hockey. Green is the colour commentary voice of Montreal Canadiens hockey on TSN, while Keenan has held a number of high-profile analyst positions since he last coached in the league.
New faces for NHL Network include NHL expert Steve Dryden, formerly the editor of The Hockey News, who will serve as on-air analyst as well as Managing Editor for the network. Jay Onrait will appear with Dryden as a host of On the Fly and be a regular anchor of That’s Hockey 2. Onrait comes to NHL Network from the A-Channel in Manitoba where he was the host of The Big Breakfast show and was previously the sports director at a TV station in Saskatoon.
“Steve Dryden is a leading hockey authority in this country,” said Rick Briggs-Jude, Executive Producer, NHL Network. “Steve is one of the most knowledgeable and well-connected hockey experts in Canada and his addition to our team strengthens our commitment to providing viewers with the very best in hockey programming. Jay Onrait is an up-and-coming talent that we know hockey fans will come to respect.”
The balance of the programming schedule will include player profiles, training tips, the latest equipment advances as well as amateur hockey coverage. Regularly scheduled programming on NHL Network will be supplied by both NHL Productions and Insight Sports, two of the foremost production houses in Canada for delivering high-quality hockey-oriented shows. Regular series will include shows such as Ice Level, a 30-minute series profiling current NHL players; Puck Off!, a hockey game show, Coaches, a series profiling NHL coaches, and Fan Face-Off, a show that gives fans from around the NHL a chance to speak their minds on a variety of hockey topics.