It seems just like yesterday when the Boston Bruins returned to their rightful place as Stanley Cup Champions. Ok, that’s an overstatement, but it seems like such a short time in between seasons and it is.
The 2011-12 NHL season begins on Thursday and CBC’s venerable Hockey Night in Canada, the longest running sports series in North America returns with games in a span of three out of the first four nights.
There’s a season opening doubleheader on Thursday involving the CBC’s two favorite markets, Toronto and Vancouver.
Then on Saturday, Hockey Night in Canada returns on it’s traditional night with Toronto taking on Ottawa and Pittsburgh visiting Calgary.
Finally on Sunday, CBC airs the return of the Winnipeg Jets to the NHL as they host Montreal.
On the off night Friday, CBC airs a special on the Jets return to Winnipeg.
With the new season comes some personnel changes. As Jeff Marek and Scott Morrison have left CBC for Rogers Sportsnet, Elliotte Friedman takes over the I-Desk and David Amber of NHL Network becomes on-ice reporter for the main announcing team.
Here’s the CBC press release.
CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA LAUNCHES ITS 59th SEASON WITH MOLSON CANADIAN NHL FACE-OFF LIVE FROM WINNIPEG FOLLOWED BY BIG DOUBLE HEADER – THURSDAY, OCT. 6
The Maple Leafs take on the Canadiens followed by the Canucks versus the Penguins;
new weekly feature show “HNIC Game Day” premieres Saturday, Oct. 8
October 3, 2011 – The wait is finally over as CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA (@hockeynight) drops the puck on its 59th season with a dynamic, action-packed opening weekend featuring the best matchups, special events, features and broadcast talent in the industry. Plus, the Winnipeg Jets are back!
“The return of NHL action on CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA is always cause for celebration, but it’s especially sweet this year as we say ‘welcome back’ to the great hockey city of Winnipeg and celebrate the return of the Winnipeg Jets,” said Julie Bristow, executive director of studio and unscripted programming for CBC Television.
It all gets underway on CBC Television, Thursday, Oct. 6, at 6:30 p.m. ET, with NHL Face-Off, live from The Forks in Winnipeg, including live musical performances from Three Days Grace and hometown legends Bachman and Turner. Ron MacLean hosts the broadcast from the AirCanada Centre in Toronto, while CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos (@strombo) emcees the festivities from The Forks alongside new Hockey Night team member Andi Petrillo.
Following the celebration pre-game show, the game takes centre stage as the Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Montreal Canadiens, at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the Vancouver Canucks versus the Pittsburgh Penguins, at 10 p.m. ET. Don Cherry makes his much-anticipated return with Coach’s Corner inthe first intermission of Leafs-Habs. Fans will also be treated to coverage of the Stanley Cup banner raising in Boston.
New to the CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA lineup is the weekly show HNIC Game Day, a full hour of hockey coverage every Saturday, debuting Oct. 8, at 5 p.m. ET. Hosted by the team’s newest member, Andi Petrillo, and veteran P.J. Stock, this one-hour show will set the table for the evening’s games, and also feature stories and interviews about the culture of hockey with the players, personalities and famous Canadians that love the game. Hockey Night favourite Stock begins his fifth season with the broadcast, while fan favourite Petrillo joins from Leafs TV, where she hosted and reported.
Saturday night then sees Hockey Tonight, at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by Ottawa at Toronto, at 7 p.m. ET, and Pittsburgh at Calgary, at 10 p.m. ET.
Rounding out the weekend, one of the most anticipated hockey games in recent memory, as the Winnipeg Jets return to the NHL against the Montreal Canadiens, Sunday, Oct. 9, live from Winnipeg. Hockey Tonight sets it all up, at 4 p.m. ET, then the puck drops at 5 p.m. ET. Prior to the game, glimpse the passion this city feels for their team with the documentary Fuelled by Passion – The Return of the Jets, an in-depth look at the re-birth of the NHL in Winnipeg and what it means to fans, players, teams and the league. It airs both Friday, Oct. 7, at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT), and Sunday, Oct. 9, at 3 p.m. ET.
CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA’s schedule this season includes special events such as the 2012 NHL Winter Classic featuring an outdoor game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the New York Rangers; the 2012 NHL All-Star SuperSkills and 59th NHL All-Star Game from Ottawa; and the much-anticipated Hockey Day in Canada, the 12th annual day-long celebration of the game featuring four Canadian matchups and coverage from Charlottetown and Summerside, P.E.I., on Feb. 11.
Coach’s Corner will be back every Saturday, with the legendary Don Cherry in his 32nd season with CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA. The Hotstove also returns with MacLean, Mike Milbury, Kelly Hrudey (@KellyHrudey), Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC), Eric Francis (@EricFrancis) and P.J Stock as regular contributors, providing commentary on the latest issues and rumours around the NHL. After Hours with hosts Scott Oake (@ScottOake) and Kevin Weekes (@KevinWeekes) rounds out the full night of hockey with live post-game interviews featuring NHL players and personalities.
New this year is Elliotte Friedman’s role. He’ll be manning the iDesk, taking viewers behind the headlines with his insider reporting on the game’s biggest stories. Jim Hughson, Bob Cole, Mark Lee and Dean Brown will provide hockey fans from across the country with the very best in play-by-play. Expert analysts Craig Simpson, Glenn Healy, Greg Millen (@GregMillen), Garry Galley, Weekes, Hrudey and Milbury all return this season, and rink-side reporting duties and expert analysis will be provided by Elliotte Friedman, Cassie Campbell-Pascal (@CassieCampbell) and Oake.
Joining the all-star cast this season is David Amber (@DavidAmber), CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA’s newest Eastern Conference rink-side reporter, while newcomers Rick Ball and Daryl Reaugh will join the West Coast broadcast team covering the Jets, Flames and Oilers.
Former NHL front office executive, author and veteran radio personality Gord Stellick (@GordStellick) also joins the Hockey Night family as host on HNIC Radio on SIRIUS Satellite Radio beginning Oct. 3 on Channel 97 and Chanel 127, airing Monday through Friday from 3 to 6 p.m.E.T. Stellick will be joined by co-hosts Hrudey, Simpson and Campbell throughout the season to provide insight and analysis on all matters in the world of hockey.
The complete broadcast schedule of the 2011-12 season is available on the newly re-designed CBCSports.ca, the fan’s online home for hockey. Along with its new look providing enhanced navigation for fans, the site will continue to include up-to-the-minute hockey news, live and on-demand video streaming of every game and expert blogs, including Friedman’s 30 Thoughts column, and regular insights from Tim Wharnsby (@WharnsCBCSports). Also new this year, are re-designs for Hockey Night’s popular iPhone and iPad applications, keeping fans up to date with instant access to stats and results from all NHL games, along with live streaming.
CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA
Oct. 6 – 9, 2011
Thursday, Oct. 6:
6:30 p.m. ET – NHL Face-Off
7 p.m. ET – Montreal at Toronto
10 p.m. ET – Pittsburgh at Vancouver
Friday, Oct. 7:
8 p.m. (8:30 NT) – Fuelled by Passion – The Return of the Jets
Saturday, Oct. 8:
5 p.m. ET – HNIC Game Day
6:30 p.m. ET – Hockey Tonight
7 p.m. ET – Ottawa at Toronto
10 p.m. ET – Pittsburgh at Calgary
Sunday, Oct. 9:
3 p.m. ET – Fuelled by Passion – The Return of the Jets
4 p.m. ET – Hockey Tonight
5 p.m. ET – Montreal at Winnipeg
And we’re done.
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