Yes, the Hockey Night In Canada theme is just a song – and only in Canada would people argue vehemently about the merit of what enters their ears for 40 seconds on a weekly basis.
And, while I completely understand CBC Sports head Scott Moore’s assertion that CTV’s use of the song will only bring to mind the CBC’s most lucrative program, ask yourself this: Would the Coca-Cola Co. allow their “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” jingle to be sold to Pepsi? Even if they weren’t planning on using it in commercials again? Or under any circumstances at all?
You can bet your sweet bippy they wouldn’t, because if they did, Coke’s brand would hand off a vital piece of its past to a direct competitor. I’m no Jim Cramer, but that doesn’t strike me as a savvy business decision.
Whatever you can say in defense of the CBC’s letting the The Hockey Theme slip through its fingers, the bottom line is a cornerstone component has been removed from that show’s foundation. Even worse, CTV’s move will undoubtedly ramp up the speculation of its intentions when the CBC’s rights to air NHL games expires at the end of the 2013-14 season.
If you thought Canadians were up in arms now, just wait until the NHL disappears from CBC airwaves altogether.
• I’m in full agreement with Globe and Mail columnist David Shoalts’ assessment of Ron Wilson’s introductory press conference Tuesday as Toronto’s new coach – particularly in regards to Darcy Tucker’s imminent demise as a Maple Leaf.
After the team buys him out, Tucker will still be able to make a decent contribution to some other franchise. But once Jason Blake signed with the Leafs last summer, Tucker became redundant. He’s also a depreciating asset thanks to the smash-mouth style that endeared him to Toronto’s fan base.
And since there’s no chance whatsoever the Leafs will be able to dump Blake on some team – unless Florida GM Jacques Martin is struck by the same fit of temporary insanity that made him trade for the artist formerly known as Chad Kilger – it’s clear that Tucker has to be the one to go.
If you read between the lines, you’ll see even Wilson couldn’t deny it.
Adam Proteau is The Hockey News’ online columnist and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays, his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays, and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.
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