Residents in the east got Out of the Fog. West Coasters got Corner Brook Caf. And no one, except for the butts in the stands at Mile One and the Pepsi Centre in Corner Brook, got The Telegram Herder Memorial Trophy championship series. Its a little disappointing the Herder isnt being broadcast on Rogers Television this year. There have been near capacity if not capacity crowds at all five games of the series thus far, including a Game 1 sell-out at Mile One Centre. And with the CeeBees and Red Wings headed back to Mile One for a Game 6 and possible Game 7 this weekend, theyll undoubtedly sell out again. But if you dont have a ticket, the best youll do is a play-by-play on one of three radio stations. And hats off to the folks at Steele Communications who are providing that service. Its obvious sports play-by-play and colour commentary isnt a regular task for these gentlemen, but theyve handled it remarkable poise and professionalism. But the reality is one can only take so much away from a game based on what you hear. A play, a check, a fight, or bench banter as observed by one person may be seen by someone else in a different light. So fans looking to get a feel for what is actually happening on the ice are at a disadvantage. All the St. Johns Fog Devils home playoff games the handful they were were broadcast, and if the turnout in the stands was any indication of how many people were watching at home, it immediately makes a case for the Herder to be broadcast. Why? Well for starters, the on ice product is a helluva of a lot better ... bigger hits, bigger goals and far more intensity. More importantly, beyond the aesthetics of the game, the Herder means something to people in this province. Moreso, at least, than Quebec major junior hockey. Thats not meant to be a slight on the Q. Its just the Herder has been played for across the province for decades. The Foggies couldnt stay alive for more than three years. Which one is more cemented in the hearts of this provinces hockey fans? If nothing else, broadcasting the games might have been a good indicator of the number of viewers senior hockey can potentially draw. If its warranted, whos to say broadcasting a few regular season games and the playoffs wouldnt be worth it? It could change this year. Hopefully, though, by the time next years Herder rolls around, we wont be stuck with eight consecutive hours of community programming while a great game of hockey is being played.
- July 27, 2010 - 13:55
Amateur senior hockey better than the QMJHL? The Fog Devils, obviously not a great Q team, would sweep any team playing for the Herder. As for passion, hitting, and emotion, I hear this year's Herder is lackluster to say the least. Emotion in local senior hockey is a myth. Why would the players care about winning the Herder? So what if they're the best amateur senior team in NF? The Avalon East is barely a league at all. Lets not confuse the excuse to have a big drunk-fest every April with true hockey emotion.
I'd rather watch Paddy on OOTF.