June 17, 2024
Hockey Night in Canada? More like Hockey Night in Toronto
Sportsnet (through the CBC) has turned itself into The Leafs Network and Hockey Night in Canada has been dragged along, like it or not.
Sportsnet (through the CBC) has turned itself into The Leafs Network and Hockey Night in Canada has been dragged along, like it or not.

These are sad days for those among us who recall the great Danny Gallivan and his Savardian spinorama — days when Hockey Night in Canada has become little more than a public-relations outlet for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It has been going on for a couple of decades now, so this isn’t really new — but for all practical purposes, Sportsnet (through the CBC) has turned itself into The Leafs Network and Hockey Night in Canada has been dragged along, like it or not.

Our thanks to reader Paul Wilkinson of Dorval, who pointed out the Canadiens will be featured on CBC only six times all season — including the four games the Habs play against the Leafs. CBC will also show one game featuring the Habs against the Florida Panthers and one versus the Ottawa Senators.

“No other Canadian teams will be featured by HNIC (on CBC) vs. Montreal,” Wilkinson points out, “not even when the Habs are in Edmonton for a Dec. 21, 7 p.m., Saturday game with (Connor) McDavid and the Oilers. Canada’s ‘national’ broadcaster will carry the Leafs vs. Detroit instead. Our tax dollars at work, and it leaves a very bad taste.”

In other words, HNIC finds the Canadiens and the Oilers (two Canadian teams that have won a combined 15 Stanley Cups since Toronto held its last parade) less compelling than the Leafs playing a U.S. team in rebuild mode.

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