If you haven't already, you should immediately drop what you're doing and read Puck The Media's interview with Bruins play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards. PTM is probably the best internet resource for hockey-related media issues, and Edwards is a naturally good interview.
Here's Part 1 and Part 2. Some highlights...
On the Randy Jones hit, and the maniacal cackle he let loose during the most recent Flyers game:
If you go back and if you listen to the illegally posted, copyrighted material thats on YouTube [we both chuckle] I clearly refer to “the crowd wants a call for a hit from behind”. That is what was so hilarious. Because even before we knew that Patrice Bergeron had a broken neck on the 27th of October, 2007. Even before we knew what the result of the examination was. While he was still unconscious, the Flyers had issued a public relations release, and the Philadelphia media swallowed it whole, to the point that some columnist in Philadelphia actually wrote that Bergeron knew the hit was coming.
Funny, but I’ve talked to Patrice Bergeron dozens of times about that incident, and at no point does he say anything about any kind of knowledge that Randy Jones, who was skating straight at Bergeron’s back, who coiled as you can clearly see in the replay, Jones coils as he crosses the goal line and drives Bergeron 90 degrees straight into the dasher, hitting to hurt. Clearly evident that even the lenient Colin Campbell agreed and suspended Jones for the game.
The Philadelphia media swallowed the PR spin whole to the point that the Philadelphia fans now, in revisionist history, a lot of them think that hit by Jones was not a significant hit. That there was no problem with it, and that it was just the circumstance that resulted in Jones’ suspension. For that crowd to whine and moan after a perfectly legal shoulder-to-shoulder hit, that sent Jones in a non-threatening angle down behind the goal, not face first but sideways into the boards. For them to whine that there should be a hit from behind, frankly, was hilarious. Anybody who can’t connect those two dots, and see the humor in the crowd, not at the hit by Lucic but the crowd’s reaction, you’re distorting the story or have no sense of humor.
On the possibility that the NHL could return to ESPN in the future:
Well, I think that all you need to know is - for those who wish that hockey was back on ESPN - last Saturday, which was probably the single most amazing night of the NHL season. Just in terms of teams switching places, dramatic things happening, crazy games, that kind of thing.
We went from Toronto to Philadelphia, we were in (Bruins radio
play-by-play man) Dave Goucher’s room, having a couple cold ones. Now, the Sweet 16 is going on in college basketball at the same time, the only hockey we saw in the entire sportscast of “SportsCenter” was about 45 seconds of the UNH-North Dakota game, which was the one UNH tied with one-tenth of a second to go, that went into Overtime. That was 56 minutes into the telecast. There was nothing on the NHL in the entire show.
So, for those of you that hope that hockey gets back on ESPN, that’s what you’re gonna’ get. That’s where it belongs in ESPN’s hierarchy, because there are some bozos sitting in the accounting department in a bunker in Burbank, California running Disney, who look at the numbers and completely ignore the passion of hockey fans. They say “Poker gets better ratings because we can attract more compulsive gamblers to the screen than we can passionate hockey fans, so just for the sake of that number, we’re gonna’ run poker instead of hockey. We’re gonna run women’s basketball instead of hockey.”
We saw highlights of the Division II NCAA basketball championship, we didn’t see a single NHL highlight in that entire “SportsCenter”. Case closed.