Blackhawks News

KHL On Channel What?

By Keith Schultz

May 5, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) argues call with referee Marc Joanette (25) against the New York Rangers during the second period in game four in the Eastern Conference semifinals of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE

What is going on at ESPN these days?  Most sports fans favorite four letter word has treated the NHL like red headed step child during their Sportscenter telecasts since it stop carrying the sport full-time some years back. Yes, it has one celebrity guest color analyst in Barry Melrose who they trot out every once in a while for usually just the big games like the Winter Classic and the Stanley Cup playoffs.  Melrose though very insightful ,doesn’t get to hear his voice heard enough on Sportcenter year round, which is surprising since everyone outside of Gainsville and NY is pretty tired of Tim Tebow stories on the continual Sportscenter loop.

The surprising but unofficial word today is that ESPN3 (can’t wait for there really to be an ocho) is going to cover at least 5 KHL games during the lockout including a game on October 3rd.  Not sure what the angle ESPN has on entering the Russian professional hockey league broadcasting market except to stick it one more time to Gary Bettman and the NHL.  Though some would disagree, I believe that the NHL needed to get back on ESPN instead on NBC Sports Channel formerly known as Versus if it were to grow beyond World Series of Poker and Soccer in today’s fans viewing pattern. Having a large dose of Melrose and a full plate of highlights nightly would leave a mark and thirst for more instead of just a blip on the national screen on Versus.

Not sure what interest there is to see a handful of NHL players sprinkled in with regular Russian players on TV will be, but I would much rather watch the young Blackhawks in Rockford against their next AHL opponent!

Of course none of this would matter one bit if this lockout could ever get resolved, and after today’s session it could be a long cold winter in the Siberia…I mean watching games from Siberia!