Vancouver Sun

Canucks aim to be stars on changing TV off erings

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The Canucks play two games between now and next Saturday morning, which doesn’t give us a lot of choice for our fi rst- ever “Game of the Week.” Should we choose this game against the Oilers or that game against the Oilers? So many options! With no diff erence in the opponents, we’ll have to go with everything else surroundin­g the game, which makes it a clear decision. The Game of the Week has to be the home opener tonight, the fi rst Saturday night game of the season, nationally televised on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. Or, more appropriat­ely, Rogers’ Hockey Night in Canada. Rogers paid out $ 5.2 billion for exclusive NHL national broadcast rights in Canada for the next 12 years, but kept the Saturday broadcast on CBC. Rogers debuted their national broadcast Wednesday to mixed reviews. New set? Nice. The intermissi­on panel of analysts using that set, not so much. George Stroumboul­opoulos doing a one- on- one interview with Dion Phaneuf, showing a completely diff erent side of the normally taciturn Leafs captain? Great. S itting around a table with Sidney Crosby, Henrik Lundqvist and Jonathan Toews? Pretty bland. The new camera angles were largely a positive addition. But Nick Kypreos’s pocket square didn’t go with his tie, so fi re everyone. The bigger issue may have been the quality of the feed itself, which cut out multiple times . They also had multiple audio issues when cutting between diff erent desks during intermissi­ons . Despite the new broadcaste­r, there’s still a certain amount of cachet to HNIC games. Combine that with the Canucks wanting to prove change has indeed come in their fi rst game of the season at Rogers Arena and you have the ingredient­s for what should be a strong performanc­e, at least on the ice.

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