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Mike Milbury has spent over three decades in the NHL as player, coach and general manager. ((Mary Altaffer/Associated Press))

Hockey Night in Canada will welcome a familiar face and opinionated hockey mind next season, with Mike Milbury joining the show as an analyst.

Milbury, who has spent over 30 years in the NHL as a player, coach and general manager, will also be a regular contributor to the Hot Stove segment on HNIC.

"We're very pleased to welcome Mike to our talented broadcast team," HNIC executive producer Sherali Najak said in a statement. "His experience as an NHL player and executive is reflected in an entertaining on-air style.  We look forward to his honest opinions and knowledge on what's happening around the NHL on a weekly basis."

Milbury played 754 games over 12 seasons as a defenceman for the Boston Bruins, collecting 238 points and 1552 penalty minutes, and reaching the Stanley Cup final twice. He also coached Boston to a Stanley Cup appearance, in 1989-90.

Milbury, 56, then joined the New York Islanders, serving as coach, general manager and vice-president in nearly a dozen years with the organization.

He called it "a privilege" to join the most famous hockey broadcast.

"For more than half a century, CBC has brought hockey into living rooms across Canada with passion, insight and joy," said Milbury. "Hockey Night in Canada has been a chronicler and caretaker of the game and part of its history."

Coach-player with Big Bad Bruins reunite

Milbury will be reunited on the show with a familiar jousting partner, Don Cherry.

Cherry coached Milbury for three seasons in Boston. In Cherry's autobiography, Grapes, the colourful commentator recounted memorable arguments the pair engaged in en route to the team's practice facility.

Hockey Night in Canada will kick off its North American schedule in 2008-09 with a doubleheader on Thursday, Oct. 9. The Detroit Red Wings will unveil their Stanley Cup banner before taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Calgary Flames will face the Canucks in Vancouver.