Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I have questions.

Just some things I am having a hard time figuring out. Maybe you can help me. I saw the on ice picture of Detroit after winning the cup in Pittsburgh. You know the traditional shot with the entire team lying on the ice with the cup at centre ice. Everyone is holding up 1 finger, you know the “we’re number one” gesture and almost everyone is wearing a ball cap which says Stanley Cup champs. Look on the bottom right of that picture and you will see Dominic Hasek. He is holding up 2 fingers making the peace sign, or I’m now number two, or maybe I’ve won 2 cups , or maybe I’ll take 2 vodka and soda’s please. I am not quite sure. Also he is the only one wearing a teuk in a building which was about 90 degrees or at least I think its a teuk. The Dominator has always been a different kind of guy. This is a portrait of just that. He is not trying to be different to make a point. He just is a different kind of cat and maybe the most interesting thing is, he has no clue he’s different.

Tampa fires a Stanley Cup winning coach (John Tortorella) who also was named coach of the year. According to reports new ownership plans to replace him with ESPN’s Barry Melrose who has not coached in the NHL in 13 years? One of the reasons speculated by the media is that the new ownership wants a high profile guy. A high profile coach would be Scotty Bowman or Mike Babcock or maybe a Stanley Cup winner like, oh maybe John Tortorella. Barry is only high profile as a hockey analyst on TV. Most believe poor coaching has not been Tampa’s problem, but rather the fact that they have so much money tied up in 4 players and have no goalie since they couldn’t not afford to keep Nikolai Khabibulin. I don’t see Barry Melrose changing that reality.

Ron Wilson is the new coach of the Leafs with a 4 year deal. Didn’t Cliff Fletcher say quite a while ago that a coach would not be hired before a new GM.? That the new GM should have the right to pick his own man. What changed? It couldn’t be that Brian Burke has let the Leafs know through indirect back channels that he would take the GM’s post next year when his Anaheim deal is up. Ron Wilson would likely be Burke’s man because of their long hockey and personal relationship. But that can’t be true. That would be tampering and that’s against the rules. No, that can’t be it.

CTV now owns the rights to the HNIC theme composed by Delores Claman and used by Hockey Night since 1968. According to media reports she has an on-going law suit for 2.5 million against the CBC for its overuse of the song. Also according to media reports CTV paid 2.5 million for the rights to the song. Could it be that this was more about hurt feelings and money?

I love the hockey song and it will be a great addition to the TSN and RDS broadcasts next season. But this contention that HNIC will never be the same is ridiculous? There was theme music on HNIC before 1968 and the country’s national fabric didn’t fray when that song was replaced. I seem to remember a world famous (not just Canadian famous) song and visual opening to ABC’s Wide World of Sports that was replaced, brought back and replaced again. I don’t see the United States, ABC Sports or that unfortunate ski jumper going to the federal government to complain like some of us.

Again it’s a great song, a great jingle but no greater or more widely listened to than the one that opened and closed Front Page Challenge. I think we’ve all gotten along just fine without that show and its jingle.

TSN’s broadcasts will sound great with that familiar tune, but TSN’s hockey broadcasts are about the hockey and they are excellent at it. Hockey Night in Canada ultimately is also an exceptionally good hockey show and that will not change.

Hey, I’ve got an idea! Since some say Delores’s song is like a 2nd National Anthem, why doesn’t CBC just use the first National Anthem to open their shows? I don’t believe you have to pay any rights fee to do that and those who believe #2 is a part of our national identity can’t complain when song #1 is nothing but our national identity. You could get different school kids to sing it each Saturday to open the show. Every Canadian born celebrity could take a crack at it and you never have to worry about Delores Claman again.

See you at the rink.

No comments: