Regular season coverageEdit
CTV/Carling O'Keefe initially signed a contract well into the 1984-85 season. As a result, they wanted to cram as many games as possible (beginning in February) in the brief window they had. 1985-86's coverage didn't begin until November, so to avoid conflicts with CTV's coverage of the Major League Baseball postseason.
While Molson continued to present Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday nights on CBC, rival brewery Carling O'Keefe began airing Friday Night Hockey on CTV. This marked the first time in more than a decade that CBC was not the lone over-the-air network broadcaster of the National Hockey League in Canada.
The deal with CTV was arranged by Quebec Nordiques (who were owned by Carling O'Keefe) and all 14 U.S.-based NHL clubs, who sought to break Molson's monopoly on NHL broadcasting in Canada. All of CTV's regular season telecasts originated from Quebec City or the United States, as Molson shut them out of the other 6 Canadian buildings (as Carling did to them in Quebec City).
After the 1985-86 season, CTV decided to pull the plug on the venture. Their limited access to Canadian-based teams (other than Quebec, whose English-speaking fan base was quite small) translated into poor ratings. For the next 2 years, Carling O'Keefe retained their rights, and syndicated playoff telecasts on a chain of channels that would one day become the Global Television Network under the names Stanley Cup '87 and Stanley Cup '88, before a merger between the two breweries put an end to the competition.
|February 15||Edmonton-New York Rangers|
|February 22||St. Louis-Buffalo|
|November 8||St. Louis-Buffalo|
|December 6||New York Islanders-Quebec|
|December 20||New York Islanders-New York Rangers|
|December 27||Montreal-New Jersey|
|January 3||Washington-New Jersey|
|January 24||New York Islanders-Washington|
|January 31||St. Louis-Detroit|
|February 14||New York Rangers-Detroit|
|March 28||New York Islanders-Washington|
All-Star Game coverageEdit
The 1985–86 Canadian coverage of the All-Star Game was to be provided by CTV. However, CTV had a prior commitment to carry a U.S. mini-series. As a result, TSN took over coverage of the game in Hartford.
In 1984–85, Dan Kelly and Ron Reusch called the Philadelphia-Quebec Wales Conference Final series. They also televised Games 3, 4, and 6 of the Montreal-Quebec Adams Division Final and games 2 and 5 of the Philadelphia-New York Islanders Patrick Division Final.
For the Calgary Flames-Winnipeg Jets first-round series in 1985–86, CBC, who initially had the rights to the series, ultimately passed as they were already maxed out with 3 other series (Montreal-Boston, Chicago-Toronto, and Edmonton-Vancouver). The rights to the Calgary-Winnipeg series were eventually sold to the CTV affiliates in Calgary (CFCN) and Winnipeg (CKY) as well as Carling O'Keefe. On the call were Ed Whalen of the Flames and Curt Keilback of the Jets.
CBC and Molson Brewery used a loophole in that games involving Canadian based teams (excluding the Quebec Nordiques) in the playoffs could be televised locally by CBC.
Stanley Cup Finals coverageEdit
In 1972, Hockey Night in Canada moved all playoff coverage from CBC to CTV to avoid conflict with the lengthy National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians strike against the CBC. Eventually, MacLaren Advertising, in conjunction with Molson Breweries and Imperial Oil/Esso), who actually owned the rights to Hockey Night in Canada (not CBC) decided to give the playoff telecast rights to CTV. Initially, it was on a game by game basis in the quarterfinals, and then the full semifinals and Stanley Cup Finals. Because CTV did not have 100% penetration in Canada at this time, they asked CBC (who ultimately refused) to allow whatever one of their affiliates were the sole network in that market to show the playoffs. As a result, the 1972 Stanley Cup playoffs were not seen in some of the smaller Canadian markets unless said markets were close enough to the United States border to pick up the signal of a CBS affiliate.
In 1986, CBC only televised Games 1 and 2 in Montreal and Calgary. CBC would go on to televise Games 3-5 nationally. When CTV televised Games 1 and 2, both games were blacked out in Montreal and Calgary.
|Year||Round||Series||Games covered||Play-by-play||Color commentator(s)|
|1985||Divisional finals||Philadelphia-New York Islanders||Games 2, 5||Dan Kelly||Ron Reusch|
|Montreal-Quebec||Games 3, 4, 6||Dan Kelly||Ron Reusch|
|Conference finals||Quebec-Philadelphia||Games 1–6||Dan Kelly||Ron Reusch|
|1986||Divisional semifinals||Quebec-Hartford||Game 3||Dan Kelly||Ron Reusch and Brad Park|
|Calgary-Winnipeg||Games 1–3||Ed Whalen (in Calgary)|
Curt Keilback (in Winnipeg)
|Curt Keilback (in Calgary)|
Ed Whalen (in Winnipeg)
|Divisional finals||Washington-New York Rangers||Games 1–6||Dan Kelly||Ron Reusch|
|Conference finals||Calgary-St. Louis||Games 1, 4–7||Dan Kelly||Ron Reusch and Bobby Taylor|
New Year's Eve broadcastEdit
On New Year's Eve 1985, CTV broadcast an exhibition game between Montreal Canadiens and CSKA Moscow in Montreal. Although CTV aired the game (as a "Special Presentation of CTV Sports"), it was not considered an official part of NHL on CTV package. That was because the broadcast was presented by Molson instead of Carling O'Keeke. However, the regular NHL on CTV on-air talent were still utilized.
Hockey Night in Canada rumorsEdit
The possible movement of Hockey Night in Canada to another broadcaster caused some controversy and discussion during the 2006–2007 hockey season. CTV had outbid the CBC for Canadian television rights to the 2010 and 2012 Summer Olympics as well as the major television package for curling. The broadcast requirements would have focused on CTV-owned TSN (The Sports Network), a cable channel which already carries Canadian NHL hockey during the week as well as other NHL games throughout the season. CTV did, however, buy out the previous theme to CBC's Hockey Night in Canada for use in TSN's broadcasts immediately after the 2007–08 NHL season.
- Dan Kelly - 1984–86
- Ron Reusch - 1984–86
- Brad Park - 1985 playoffs (after Detroit was eliminated). Park retired from playing in the summer of 1985 and joined the CTV crew as a studio analyst for the 1985–86 season. However, he was hired in 1985, forcing him to leave CTV. He once again re-joined the crew for the playoffs, which Detroit did not qualify for.
- Bobby Taylor
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