I'll try to sneak around and get some things I can use on our two broadcasts this weekend. I don't know how much of the game I'll get to see.
The last Oilers game attended, I was a year into my Broncos play-play job and I managed to get into the Hockey Night in Canada booth and watch a period with Chris Cuthbert and Greg Millen.
I'll never forget the look on Kelly Hrudey's face... I was up poking around the media area when he stopped me and asked If he could help. I introduced myself and he proceeded to treat me like a long-time friend even though I'd just met him. He quickly escorted me into the HNIC booth for the 2nd period.
The one thing that has amazed me over the years is how willing some of the National guys are to let you into their world. No "big leaguing" going on. They want you to soak it all in and if they can be of any help the better.
The Broncos were in Vancouver a couple years ago. I called ahead to get media accreditation to the Canucks/Flames game at GM Place.
I wasn't in the media lounge more than 10 minutes and I was sharing stories with Jim Hughson, play-by-play host for the Canucks on Sportsnet at the time.
An hour later I'm watching the game from the media gondola with the Canucks broadcast team Jim Hughson and John Garrett. An hour after that, Roger Millions let me observe the Flames Sportsnet broadcast next door. Quite a night.
Maybe I am a bit of a "nerd" when it comes to this sort of stuff. Any chance you have to learn from the best, I guess you should jump at the opportunity.
If any sports broadcaster is reading this let me suggest a good book to read. Pick up "Walking With Legends" by Ralph Mellanby.
Mellanby was the long time producer of Hockey Night in Canada on CBC. If you ever wanted a behind the scenes look of what goes on and what the personalities are like I suggest you have a look.
---------As for the Broncos, Edmonton is a good set-up for road teams. Teams usually stay in a nice hotel downtown close to the action. There is also the NHL rink factor of playing at Rexall Place. For many players, tomorrow night will be the first time they've played in an NHL building.The team is still in search of their first road win of the season after an 0-3 start away from the friendly confines of the Credit Union i-plex.
Edmonton will be another tough test. They lost their 2nd game in a row on home ice last night as the visiting Portland Winterhawks came in and picked up a 5-2 win.
It's safe to say they will be a little owly. The Oil Kings are still short some key players due to injury. Not sure what their line-up will look like tomorrow night.
The Broncos could have F Dane Muench in the line-up. Dane has only played a game and a 1/3 of another after going down with an injury in Prince Albert in the 2nd game of the season.
I'm expecting a visit from Broncos over-age forward Matt Tassone as well. Maybe we will throw him on the broadcast for a period to get the update on his pending return.
Also, thanks to Warriors broadcaster James Gallo in Moose Jaw who produced a feature on Theoran Fleury's recent allegations he was abused by Graham James. His book "Playing With Fire" is getting some attention. I'll air James' feature tomorrow night before face-off.
We're on the air at 6:30pm with the pre-game, 7pm play-by-play on the Eagle 94.1 FM.
My last stop before catching the bus is a round of coffees for the staff...one of the lesser known duties of the radio broadcaster.
Then it's seven hours of relaxation, a couple movies, some conversation, a little game prep and a few Z's. Contrary to popular belief, time on the bus is mostly enjoyable.
Talk to you from Edmonton......