Tomorrow (Nov. 1), Michael McKinley's new book Hockey Night in Canada: 60 Seasons arrives on the shelves. To celebrate, we thought we'd ask our favourite Hockey Night stars to share their best HNIC memories.
Sports Weekend host Scott Russell says his favourite HNIC moment was December 27th, 2000, the day Mario Lemieux returned to the NHL to play against the Leafs. It was the absolute delight of Bob Cole, former HNIC play-by-play announcer, which made a particular impression on Russell, sticking with him twelve years later.
Here's NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman talking about his love of HNIC:
Former GM of the Leafs and current host of HNIC Radio on SiriusXM, Gord Stellick, was thrilled to be interviewed by Dave Hodge, former HNIC host, during a game in 1982, about being a new young Leaf front office executive - despite being certain that it was probably "the shortest interview in HNIC history."
Jim Hughson's favourite moment as lead play-by-play announcer was during the 2011 play-offs, when the Vancouver Canucks were on a run to the final. Hughson recalls the whole city being euphoric after each game, united in a two-month long celebration over hockey; "it was like Hockey Day in Canada every second day," says Hughson.
Commentator Cassie Campbell-Pascall remembers watching Bob Cole and Harry Neale on HNIC every Saturday night with her family. Her family memories of HNIC made Cassie's first day on the job at HNIC a nerve-wracking and overwhelming experience; but, she says, "the crew and players treated me so well and made it such a special night."
If you want to hear from Don Cherry and the HNIC production team, check out our video for a better idea of how they produce such a great show:
And here's your personal invitation to the book launch! The event, hosted by CBC's Daryn Jones, gives guests the chance to hear from Hockey Night in Canada broadcast team members Ron MacLean, Dick Irvin, Elliotte Friedman and Andi Petrillo as they discuss their favourite stories and experiences. The special event will be held on Thursday, November 1 from 12:00 PM - 2 PM at the CBC's Barbara Frum Atrium (250 Front St. W. in Toronto). See you there!