Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Hockey Night in Canada
The 2001–2002 hockey season marked the 50th season for Hockey Night in Canada. Legendary announcers Foster Hewitt, son Bill Hewitt, Danny Gallivan, Dick Irvin, Bob Cole, and former NHL player (veteran of one game) and coach Don Cherry have been the voices of HNIC over the past 50 years, bringing the games of the NHL into houses across Canada. Having once been anchored by broadcasters Wes McKnight , Ward Cornell , Jack Dennett , Ted Darling and Dave Hodge , the show is now hosted by Ron MacLean.
The first game is usually played in the East, and is called by Cole and Harry Neale . Critics of the show say that Toronto Maple Leafs games have aired too often in this time slot, to the exclusion of the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens, but the CBC says with budget cutbacks and the relatively national popularity of the Maple Leafs, that Toronto games will make the most money for them.
The second game is generally from a western venue, and is called by Chris Cuthbert and Greg Millen . Usually the second game features the Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames or Edmonton Oilers; but on some occasions it will be an eastern Canadian team playing one from the western United States.
Many playoff games, regardless of the day of the week, are also aired; this gives the CBC an unusual program schedule from late March through early June, gererally ending CBC's broadcasting season earlier than other Canadian and American broadcasters. All playoff games involving Canadian teams are aired by CBC, though not always on a national basis.
During mid-February every year, HNIC holds an event called "Hockey Day in Canada" to celebrate hockey at the grassroots level. The broadcast will be held in some rural community in Western Canada, and will have 3 games, all involving Canadian teams. However, due to the NHL Lockout in 2004, CBC has cancelled the festivities due to the lack of funds.
The famous theme song, "The Hockey Theme", was written in 1968 by Dolores Claman and has been referred to as Canada's second national anthem. The theme was updated in 1988 when the show was retitled Molson Hockey Night in Canada on CBC. In 1998, the theme was again updated, when and sponsorship moved to Labatt, and the show was back to being called Hockey Night in Canada (La Soirée du hockey continued to use the Molson theme up until its discontinuation in 2004). Other theme updates occurred in 2000 and 2001, but the Molson theme was brought back at the start of the 2004 playoffs, although it was only used during the opening (around this time, there was no title sponsor).
Due to the disruption of the 2004–2005 season (caused by a labour dispute), CBC needed to replace the dense hockey schedule with alternative programming. They chose to run a series of feature films; this schedule has been officially titled Movie Night in Canada and is hosted by Ron MacLean. This was a move much criticized by some for the decision to focus on American movies.
Veteran broadcaster Chris Cuthbert was among many fired by the CBC due to cutbacks in losses due to the NHL lockout.
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