The premiere Canadian prime time NHL ice hockey telecast program.




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Series cast summary:
Pat Quinn ...
 Himself (8 episodes, 2005)
Ed Belfour ...
 Himself (6 episodes, 2005)
Jarome Iginla ...
 Himself (6 episodes, 2005)
Markus Näslund ...
 Himself (6 episodes, 2005)
Daniel Alfredsson ...
 Himself (5 episodes, 2005)
Todd Bertuzzi ...
 Himself (5 episodes, 2005)
 Himself (5 episodes, 2005)
Eric Lindros ...
 Himself (5 episodes, 2005)
Ryan Smyth ...
 Himself (5 episodes, 2005)
Ed Jovanovski ...
 Himself (4 episodes, 2005)
Trevor Linden ...
 Himself (4 episodes, 2005)
Miikka Kiprusoff ...
 Himself (3 episodes, 2005)
Joe Sakic ...
 Himself (3 episodes, 2005)
Martin Brodeur ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 2005)
Chuck Kobasew ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 2005)
Mats Sundin ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 2005)
José Théodore ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 2005)


In this program, games played by teams of the National Hockey League are followed. In addition between periods, there are commentaries, interviews, documentary segments and various other items related to the sport. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <>

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Release Date:

1 November 1952 (Canada)  »

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Did You Know?


Originated on CBC Radio. See more »


Spoofed in Comedy Night in Canada (2003) See more »


Saturday's Game
Written by Howard Cable
Arranged by Jerry Toth
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User Reviews

An Institution That Makes People Glad To Be Canadian
16 April 2005 | by (Dundalk, Canada) – See all my reviews

It began as an extension of CBC's Saturday night radio coverage of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadians. Just to show how different programming policies were then, CBC didn't broadcast games until the start of the second period. Many fans had never experienced a first period until HNIC came to be televised in 1952.

In Toronto, games were broadcast by the father & son duo of Foster and Bill Hewitt. By the late fifties, Foster let Bill take over the reins and returned to radio. In Montreal, the play-by-play was handled by veteran sportscaster Doug Smith, then a former English teacher named Danny Gallivan. The fifties and sixties went on to be HNIC's golden age, as Leafs and Canadians ruled Saturday night, emerging into two of the best clubs in hockey.

Tired of being subject to CBC's nightmarish budget woes, Hockey Night in Canada went independent, incorporating itself as the Canadian Sports Network. They remained a fixture on CBC, Canada's public network, but later took HNIC to the Canadian (CTV) and Independent (based at CHCH Hamilton) Television Networks. Intermission hosts came and went over the years: Wes McKnight, Ward Cornell, Jack Dennett, Dick Irvin Jr., Frank Selke Jr., Ted Darling, Dave Hodge, Mike Anscombe, Dave Reynolds and Brian MacFarlane worked among these ranks.

Expansion changed HNIC, as well as the rest of hockey. In 1970, the Vancouver Canucks entered the NHL, adding the broadcast team of Jim Robson, Ted Reynolds and Bill Goode Jr. to the television mix. By the 1980s, the show had added Edmonton, Calgary and Winnipeg to their territory. Former NHL "Coach-of-the-year" Don Cherry became a popular color commentator, while veteran broadcasters Don Wittman and John Wells entered the scene. Ron MacLean began his tenure as host, which would see Cherry and himself become key fixtures.

The fermenting 'beer war' between Quebec Nordiques and Montreal Canadians, who were owned by rivals Carling-O'Keefe Breweries and Molson Breweries respectively, did not allow Quebec into the HNIC family, but the provincial rivalry went on to become one of hockey's finest ever. When the Quebec and Winnipeg franchises left for U.S. sites, a new Ottawa franchise retained the six-city face of HNIC. New faces like Chris Cuthbert, Kelly Hrudey, Scott Oake, Scott Russell, Steve Armitage and Harry Neale arrived on the scene.

Molson Breweries was a longtime sponsor for TV's longest running sports program, but dropped affiliation by the mid-nineties, when rival Labatt paid the bills. When the NHL canceled the 2004-2005 season due to the CBA lockout, CBC replaced it with "Movie Night In Canada." Ron MacLean was retained as host.

The NHL labor dispute was settled before late summer 2005 and Hockey Night in Canada made its return to CBC the following October. I find it hard to fathom that the Hockey Hall Of Fame waited until 2007 to induct the great Bill Hewitt into the hall as a broadcaster. Well deserved, albeit long overdue.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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