Not ashamed in the slightest to admit that I got sad watching Doc sunset the NHL on NBC for maybe the final time ever. I know we loved taking shots at their coverage from time to time, but stepping back I realized that they really paved the way for literally everything we expect in a hockey broadcast these days. As Doc mentioned in the video, things like innovative intermission shows, having a broadcaster inside the glass, and including new and unique voices into the broadcast were all pioneered by the network over the last 16 years. Many of our biggest and most recent memories came while watching Doc, Edzo and Pierre call the action - love em' or hate em'.
It's easy to hate on something while it's still around, but you tend to miss something once you realize just how good it was. Maybe the new NHL deals with ESPN and Turner will turn out to be incredible opportunities for hockey...or maybe the NHL will get buried behind the other sports that those networks already cover. We truly won't know until the next season gets going. Many of the broadcasters we already know from NBC will be transitioning to new roles - including the team of Kenny Albert and Eddy O who I think did a great job during this years playoff run.
Of course we will all miss Doc - but he's happily retired and now has plenty of time to attend Pirates games (someone has to right?) I hope that one of these new networks will give him the opportunity to do these special video essays like the send off he did here.
Many of the happiest moments of my Penguins fandom came while watching the NHL on NBC, or NBCSN, Or Versus or USA or CNBC or The Golf Channel Or OLN - remember calling your cable provider to find out what the hell OLN was? I know the most annoying part was figuring out what channel the game was on. But at any rate, I appreciate all of the work that went into the broadcasts over the last 16 years - and damn it I will miss that theme song! Maybe we will hear it again someday, but for now - Cheers NBC