The Rangers against the Bruins will be one of three games covered by NBC in the network’s first outing of the season on Saturday. There was a conference call yesterday that I unfortunately missed because I was jotting down assorted musings from the likes of Jagr, Shanahan, and others. But it seems that the network is hoping it has found a lightning rod in the outspoken Brett Hull, who will debut this week as a studio analyst.
I’ll throw in some Hull quotes below, but in the meantime, here’s hoping NBC gains some sort of traction this year. I think anyone who frequents this site regularly — myself included — loves hockey too much to see it marginalized the way it’s been of late. The game needs a network presence in the U.S., even if it’s only occasionally. And the only way the networks are going to stick with the game is if they can draw ratings at least higher than an infomercial on self-tanning spray.
HULL ON COMPARISONS TO CHARLES BARKLEY:
“I am Brett Hull. I started to hear rumblings about that when I signed on. I just thought back to when I was a young kid and I was always Bobby Hull’s son. I looked at myself one day and said ‘you know what, you’re never going to be Bobby Hull. No one will ever be Bobby Hull. And if you don’t figure out who Brett Hull is and develop your own game and your own style and your own personality, you’re not going to make it anywhere.’ That’s the way I decided to look at this and as much as I love Charles and I’ve known him a long time, I don’t know if we’re the exact same personality. Although we’re of the same vein of saying how we feel. I’m going to be me and when there’s something to be said, it’s going to be said. Whether someone’s going to be upset about it or someone’s going to feel real good about it.”
HULL ON PLAYERS BEING MORE QUOTABLE:
“I think we need more of it. You don’t have to be a jerk about it but if you’ve got a feeling and you feel that there’s an injustice in the game that you’re playing that you love, say it and there shouldn’t be any penalty for that.”
More from the morning skate in a bit….