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NHL on Global is the de facto name of a former television program that broadcast National Hockey League games on the Global Television Network. The program aired during the 1987 and 1988 Stanley Cup playoffs under the titles Stanley Cup '87 and Stanley Cup '88 respectively.

Background Edit

In relation to CTV's NHL coverage Edit

For the 1984–85 and 1985–86 seasons, CTV aired regular season games on Friday nights (and some Sunday afternoons) as well as partial coverage of the playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals. 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 since 1974–75 that CBC was not the lone over-the-air network broadcaster of NHL in Canada. CTV's 1965-75 NHL package consisted of Wednesday night games produced by the McLaren advertising agency, which also produced CBC's Saturday night Hockey Night in Canada telecasts.

The deal with CTV was arranged by the Quebec Nordiques (who were owned by Carling O'Keefe) and the 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 six Canadian buildings (as Carling did to them in Quebec City).

The deal ended following the 1985-86 season. CTV's limited access to Canadian-based teams (other than Quebec, whose English-speaking fan base was quite small) translated into poor ratings.

Stanley Cup '87 and Stanley Cup '88 Edit

Despite CTV pulling the plug on their two-year-long venture with NHL, Carling O'Keefe retained their rights (there were 2 years remaining on the contract with or without CTV).

Things became problematic when the 1987 Stanley Cup playoffs opened with Carling O'Keefe still without a network of some sort. The problems arguably peaked when the Montreal–Quebec playoff series opened without any telecasts originating from Quebec City. This soon lead to them syndicating 1986–87 and 1987–88 playoff telecasts on a chain of channels that would one day become the Global Television Network. The deal between Carling O'Keefe and the Canwest/Global consortium (with a few CBC and CTV affiliates sprinkled in for good measure) came just in time for Game 6 of the Montreal-Quebec series (April 30).

It must be stressed that Global technically, didn't become a national network until 1997. During the 1980s, Global consisted of a single station in Toronto with some rebroadcast transmitters through Ontario. As previously mentioned, the NHL broadcasts were part of a syndicated package that Carling O'Keefe distributed. Also as previously mentioned, the Global Television Network broadcasts were aired under the names Stanley Cup '87 and Stanley Cup '88, before a merger between Carling O'Keefe and Molson (the presenters of Hockey Night in Canada on CBC as previously mentioned) put an end to the competition.

In 1987, coverage also included all 5 games of the Campbell Conference Final between Edmonton Oilers and Detroit Red Wings, and Games 3, 4, and 5 of the Finals between Oilers and Philadelphia Flyers.

In 1988, coverage included the Smythe Division Final between the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames (which Global carried nationally, except for the Edmonton and Calgary markets, where the CBC retained exclusive rights), Game 5 of the Norris Division Final between the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues, the Campbell Conference Final between the Oilers and Red Wings, and Games 1 and 2 of the Finals between the Oilers and Boston Bruins. They also had the rights to the sixth and seventh games of the Finals, which were not necessary.

Unlike the split CTV/CBC coverage of 1984–85 and 1985–86, the Canwest-Global telecasts were network exclusive, except for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals if they were necessary. When CBC and Global televised Game 7 of the 1987 Stanley Cup Finals, they used separate production facilities and separate on-air talent.

Commentators Edit

  • Dan Kelly – (play-by-play)
  • John Davidson – (color commentary)
  • Dave Hodge (host)
  • Jim Robson – (fill-in play-by-play)
  • Jim Tatti – (ice level reporter/host)
Year Round Series Games covered Play-by-play Color commentators
1987 Divisional finals Montreal–Quebec Game 6 Dan Kelly John Davidson
Conference finals Edmonton–Detroit Games 1-5 Dan Kelly John Davidson
1988 Divisional finals Detroit–St. Louis Game 5 Dan Kelly John Davidson
Edmonton–Calgary Games 1-4 Jim Robson John Davidson
Conference finals Edmonton–Detroit Games 1-5 Dan Kelly John Davidson

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