Puck Podcast – September 5th, 2009

On this edition of the Puck Podcast we'll discuss and debate all the big news from the past week in the NHL including a turbulent week for the NHL Players Association. We'll also continue our division previews with a look at the Central Division including a special interview with Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson AND Nashville Predators general manager David Poile.

MP3 File

About Doug Stolhand 27041 Articles
Doug Stolhand is one of the co-founders and co-hosts of the Puck Podcast and has been a member of the NHL media since the show's inception in 2006.


  1. I think one of the points that is lost in the NHL’s deal with VS is the notion that ESPN didn’t want hockey on it’s networks. If I’m wrong, then my memory is shot; but I think ESPN’s negotiations with the league consisted of: “Yeah, nice game ya got there. Have fun playing it somewhere else.” Many continue to crucify Bettman for taking a deal with VS, but let’s give him some credit for GETTING hockey on SOMEWHERE. I don’t think he could have ever imagined that Comcast- which owns the Flyers- would ever remove the league that one of it’s teams plays in from nearly 1/3 of homes that recieved it.

    Of course I would love to see ESPN carry the NHL. But, as Eddie mentioned, this is a channel that canceled the only 30 mins of dedicated non-game coverage while it was still carrying the sport. For the last few seasons on the network, SportsCenter had maybe 45 secs of game re-caps in their hour long show. There was no studio show before or after games to help cover and discuss other games and issues in the league. Once ESPN got the NBA, they could not possibly care less about hockey. They immediately canceled the Wednesday Night Hockey and would only carry games on ESPN2 in order to be sure basketball was on their “premier” channel. If this is the attitude of ESPN execs towards the NHL, I don’t want them covering my sport. Even if it does allow Gary Thorne to call games again. I miss Gary Thorne, dammit…

    Like Doug, I place all the blame on Comcast. I do believe that DirecTV is attempting to save customers money by refusing to give in to Comcast’s ludicrous demands. If they were forced to pay an extreme among of cash to carry VS, they would pass that on to the consumer and I wouldn’t necessarily blame them; that’s business. If DirecTV was forced to pay more, we would pay more. While Comcast has the right to attempt to get as much money for VS as possible, there is no precedent for it. Demanding that service providers pay more for a channel that clearly has not delievered more makes no sense. If they offered more exclusive sports or could point to increased ratings, they would have a point. As it stands, the IRL, one exclusive USC game and the return of Lance Armstrong to the Tour De France did nothing to increase their overall appeal to the sports viewer.

    I can only imagine that once Comcast’s shareholders realize that one of it’s most visible channels (I only know that they own VS and G4; is there others?) is now inaccessible to millions and millions of viewers and the greatest concentration of those viewers with one botched contract negotiation, there could be some pressure to get something done.

    And, real quick, if the NHL has another work stoppage because everyone from owners to GMs to players are too stupid to stop themselves from making the same mistakes over and over again, the NHL as we know it WILL NOT SURVIVE. There will be a league, but it will be significantly smaller- bye bye Fla, Pho, Nash, TB, Atl, Car- and significantly poorer in cash and talent as no one will offer big contracts and more and more players will follow the $$ to Europe and Russia.

    So, Bettman and [insert NHLPA head here], get this crap done. Now.

  2. Goaltending depth? You want goaltending depth for the Wings? How bout Dan Cloutier? Huh? Take that! (Sadly, I’m serious.)

  3. I hope Chicago wins the Central Division this year. It’s long over due that DET has a challenge after the Red Wings have had this division on a silver platter for years!

  4. One Note on the Texas Governor: His name is Rick Perry. He’s been the Gov. of Texas since the year 2000 and he’s running for yet another term next Year!

  5. Yeah, I saw that The Clute was invited to Det’s training camp. Good luck with that one. If the situation warrants him starting a good number of games, they’re gonna lose a good number of games…

    But I really don’t think the Wings are that desperate.

    Are they?

  6. Great job with the interviews again! This is really great you’ve finally gotten some coaches and GM’s to come on! Hopefully plenty more good ones to come during the season. 🙂

    Another way to make a name for yourselves talking to these guys with your extensive hockey knowledge. Again, well done!

  7. Just listened to last weeks show today. I have some addition to the sports songs. It’s not hockey though.

    NFL Teams Make Terrible Rap Songs

    From the site:
    6. Miami Dolphins – Can’t Touch Us
    This video features such timeless classics as Zubaz pants, MC Hammer and a keytar.

    5. SF 49ers – We’re The 49ers
    Apparently Jerry Rice borrows his rapping skills from Stephen Hawking and his sweaters from Bill Cosby.

    4. LA Raiders – Silver and Black Attack
    Okay, this one from the Raiders stint in LA starts a little slow, but I BEG OF YOU to go to the 2:50 mark and watch an offensive lineman pretend to solo on a guitar, then watch them attempt to seamlessly transition from that, to Matt Millen rapping. He has less charisma than my desk chair. Plus, my desk chair didn’t ruin the Detroit Lions.

    3. Cincinnati Bengals – Fear Da Tigers
    This 2005 addition to the NFL rap pantheon tried to bring a higher production level to the NFL hip hop song. Recruiting funk legend Bootsy Collins to write your team’s theme song might sound like cheating. Until you hear the song. Then it still sounds like crap.

    2. LA Rams – Rammin’ It
    Okay, when a bearded man in stretch pants sings, “I like to ram it as you can see, no one likes to ram it more than me,” you potentially leave yourself open to ridicule.

    1. Chicago Bears – Super Bowl Shuffle
    There’s the Mona Lisa, the Sistine Chapel and the Super Bowl Shuffle. This is the NFL rap song by which all other rap songs are measured. Seven minutes of pure football rapping heaven. When backup quarterback Steve Fuller lays down pioneering lyrics like, “I’m not here to feathers ruffle, I’m just here to do the Super Bowl Shuffle,” you know you have finally created an artistic masterpiece.

  8. No matter what side you’re on with the Coyotes move for Jim to think that moving in the middle of the season is a good idea is just idiocy. Beyond all the things mentioned already, when is anyone going to think of the families involved. Imagine being a wife of one of these players with kids. When are you going to be able to look at houses with your husband, or take care of everything that goes along with a move. There are so many reasons why a move this year, even in the middle of the year are horrible I don’t see why everyone can’t see that, including those in Hamilton.

    This whole thing has been horrible. Phoenix may not be the best locale and while I don’t want to see them lose their team (I’d hate to lose a team like that), there might be better places for hockey though I don’t know that Hamilton is the top of the list. Hopefully the whole thing is resolved soon one way or the other. However I think Balsilie has proven himself to be passionate but not an owner I would ever want in the league.

    Great shows lately guys. Love the interviews. A couple people I wouldn’t mind hearing interviews from would be Joe Sacco (yes, you did your NW preview but maybe during predictions) and Jeremy Roenick. Sacco because I’m an Avs fan obviously, but Roenick always has opinions and he’s willing to voice them and I’d love to get his take on a number of things, the NHLPA, the Phoenix saga, etc…

    Keep up the great work and looking forward to next week.

    Steve, aka Av-In-Nebr

  9. I’m new to these podcasts and really enjoy them. The interviews are fantastic and I am really enjoying the divisional previews. Thanks


  10. For those can’t read the Russian that Brown wrote here is the translation.

    During this fight, I’ve seen a lot of changing, in the way you feel about me, and in the way I feel about you. In here, there were two guys killing each other, but I guess that’s better than twenty million. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!

  11. OK, enough with the Rocky IV quotes. I like the idea of the USA Network. Here is my feeling on the whole VS thing. If I can’t find a game on the TV I know that I can find a live stream of it somewhere online. Having a game on the TV is a “nice to have” not a “need to have” right now. The only defense that I can give to VS is that if they lower their price to DirectTV every other cable provider that catches wind of the deal is going to ask for a more reasonable price. At the end of the day though I still think that it is a better business decision for VS to suck it up and work with DirectTV.

  12. It seems DirecTV would be acceptable to keeping the same contract that they were currently working with leading up until Aug 31. So they are not asking for Versus to lower their rate (I believe), but to remain at the “current” rate. Any Versus fee increase, especially the significant one Comcast is demanding, would be passed on to the DirecTV customer. And I don’t know about you, but my cable bill is high enough, thank you.

    If the NHL is serious about it’s coverage, why not terminate the Versus contract and put their “National” games on the NHL Network? As of now, NHL Net is carried by DirecTV, Verizion Fios and most Time Warner cable providers. This would mean that the NHL Network is at least as available as Versus. The NHL would then have more control over their own coverage, and may be able to carry local feeds as the MLB Network does now. Their relationship with the CBC and TSN would not be adversely affected and the possibilities of broadcasting “marquee” games would help the Net’s exposure. And we would not be subject to 37 Flyers games in the regular season.

    Is it even posssible for the league to terminate it’s contract? I imagine the loss of nearly 1/3 of it’s potential viewers would constitute an inability to honor the terms of the original deal. Again, I don’t think Bettman made this deal expecting Versus and Comcast to all of a sudden lose it’s broadcasting mind. As stated before, Versus needs DirecTV. DirecTV does not need Versus. While it sucks for us hockey fans, I think DirecTV could easily absorb the loss of the few customers who would change their service due to the issue. In point of fact, I am a DirecTV customer and a fanatic NHL viewer; but I am unwilling to change my service because Comcast is being unreasonable. I don’t want to, but I will make other arrangements.

  13. I know everyone wants to go back to ESPN. I Agree that NHL network should carry most of the games. It’s a Hockey network and could carry hundred’s of games a month. Thye could do a game in each timezone almost nightly

    Though I do agree ESPN would be the best. but like our friend said above. Just look at there baseball coverage. Being out here on the West coast we would NEVER get the Kings or Ducks or Sharks on ESPN unless they are playing back east. The East Coast Bias of ESPN is the worse it has ever been.

    I meen my beloved Angels have been on ESPN only 9 times this year and the Red Sox 43 Yankees 51 and the terribel Mets 39 times.

    If they go back to ESPN be ready for the Rangers Flyers Penguins and Red Wings every night of the week.

    Just think how they cover LaBron James. If he throws down a normal dunk that 90 percent of the NBA players can do it’s in the top 10 and we get to see it 45 times in replays and hear how great it was.

    So then we get to see Shelia Crysby score a rebound goal that even Doug could put in the net 47 times. Great

    It’s almost a catch 22 The leauge needs ESPN. ESPN does not need hockey.

    Screw Comcast Screw Direct TV and DISH Network. Thank God for Time Warner I get VS and NHL network in High Def

    Draft Mike

  14. I don’t think we will get a serious TV Deal till atleast Gary Bettman is gone. He’s the guy that got the deal with VS after the lockout, we need some fresh leadership and someone who’s not afraid to demand to get more hockey on ESPN and other networks.

    Also I like the USA Network idea, hopefully we can get something like the NBA does with TNT. Get a network that you wouldn’t normally get on and get some success from an unexpected source.

  15. How the hell is Bettman, or his fabled succesor, going to get the NHL on ESPN if ESPN DOES NOT WANT THE NHL?!??!?

    I really don’t understand this arguement. The executives of ESPN told hockey to f’ off. But we are blaming Bettman? If you want to blame Bettman for producing a PRODUCT that ESPN doesn’t want, fine. But make that distinction.

    How is anyone going to “force” ESPN to place the NHL on it’s networks?!? The league has ABSOLUTELY NO LEVERAGE. “Hey, you NEED to put this broadcast that reguarly gets a .08 share on your network!” As of right now, the NHL needs to take what it can get.

    Which, I think, is to put it on YOUR OWN DAMN NETWORK!!

  16. The problem with the NHL network carrying all games is that very few if any providers include it in your standard channel line up. I personally have to buy the sports package to get it. They need the NHL on a national network that is on the majority of most standard cable listings.

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