Monday evening I was taking in a Memorial Cup game on NHL Network. I had much rather been watching or listening to the Bears game but in between the monsoon that was unleashing itself over southern-north-eastern Virginia and the fact I’m in the middle of the process of packing for a move it was difficult to get an internet signal to get a feed.
Now no offense to my friends who care about the Memorial Cup but I don’t care. I love hockey but I don’t pay attention to the Canadian leagues outside of listening to two WHL games this year. I’m not going to pretend I have a favorite team in ever league of hockey every where to sound like more of a hockey fan. I like the NHL, AHL, College hockey and pay some attention to the German (Berlin!), and just because they’re completely amusing, the British league (Edinburgh!) but otherwise I don’t have the time to be caring about a whole lot of teams I can’t even watch on TV ever, as a student I don’t have time to be finding feeds or reading blogs or listening to online radio, I already juggle several teams like this any more teams and my brain would most likely explode. Judge me as you will.
So I was wondering as I sat there recognizing a lot of the names on the teams but not really knowing anything about the teams playing and pondering the weirdness that is Ian Schultz and his dark skin tone though he is the brother of Jeff, why NHL Network is not showing Calder Cup games.
To me, biased Bears fan and AHL lover (if I lived closer to an AHL team so I got games on TV I have no doubt I would be more of an AHL fan than a NHL fan), I would think a lot of people would be, especially in this part of North America, very interested in watching their NHL farm teams battle it out on TV. I know the CHL has loads of prospects in it. It’s “the future of the NHL” but the AHL is the immediate future of your team. As of recently every single NHL team has an AHL affiliate.
Of course the NHL Network probably has a contract with the network that shows the Memorial Cup games that requires them to show a certain amount, and maybe though they occasionally show AHL games during the regular season the AHL wants to stick people outside of the local network with the fees on AHLlive.com but I’d be very interested to know why exactly I can’t watch one of the hockey leagues most closely associated with the NHL on NHL Network more than just the “AHL Game of the Week” and why I can’t get playoff games (the most exciting part!) on there. What am I paying for?
Why as an AHL fan am I not given more access to my team outside of payed for feeds, free feeds (that you can’t find during the playoffs!), or crappy online radio (am I the only one who only gets it in one speaker?) just because I live a mere three hours from my favorite team (and also 3 hours from the Admirals.) Maybe this is just me, maybe I’m just being my usual cantankerous self, but I think there must be other AHL fans living in places outside of their teams market equally frustrated by the fact we are not given more access to the second largest hockey league, in the United States at least , and it’s ever-expanding.
Is this because the AHL is mostly in America? Is this another one of those “Oh well Canada gets more access to their minor league hockey because they just love the sport more” thing? Or, is this just a genuine missed opportunity by the NHL Network and the AHL? Maybe one of my readers ever more versed in the nuances of hockey TV broadcast or legal sort of things would know.
I know there are a lot of CHL fans and people interested in the Memorial Cup and I could never begrudge them wanting to see their teams but couldn’t they show both? I feel like we should be able to find away to see most of both playoffs. Perhaps there is an easy answer I’m just not aware of about why can’t I watch the Calder Cup Playoffs on NHL Network or maybe there is no reason at all besides that it never occured to who ever is in charge of these things.
Until then I sit here and wonder if Dan Elis is part goat. (His beard it looks like a red headed Mr. Tumnus from the Narnia movies)