released their 2010-11 Canadian Hockey League television schedule yesterday.
Once again, the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League got the short end of the stick and will have just three games broadcast nationally of Sportsnet and the French sports station RDS. The Ontario Hockey League will have 10 games broadcast while the Western Hockey League will have five. Some of the OHL and WHL matches will be aired regionally.
Despite being first overall in the QMJHL, ranked second in the country, and having over a handful of prospects for the upcoming National Hockey League Entry Draft, the Saint John Sea Dogs will not be seen on television this season.
Just to put salt in the wound, two of the three QMJHL games will feature the Moncton Wildcats – including one game from the Moncton Coliseum. Sportsnet broadcasting a regular season game from the Maritimes is about as rare as Hockey Night in Canada showing a Phoenix Coyotes game.
Here are the games that will be aired:
Sun. Jan. 9 – Rimouski Oceanic at Moncton Wildcats (National) – 7:00 pm Atlantic
Sun. Feb. 27 – Moncton Wildcats at Montreal Juniors (National) – 7:00 pm Eastern
Sun. Mar. 6 – Quebec Remparts at Drummondville Voltigeurs (National) – 7:00 pm Eastern
The Sea Dogs play the Wildcats twice in the second half on Sunday’s – they were both omitted. Saint John plays the Quebec Remparts on Sunday, Januray 23 in a battle of two contending teams – it was left off the schedule. The Dogs also play in Shawinigan on Sunday, February 27 in a match of two serious contenders for the 2012 Memorial Cup – not on the schedule.
Ratings probably aren’t as high for QMJHL games, but it would be nice to see the league get the same exposure as the other junior leagues. Sportsnet could, at least, include the QMJHL on their wibsite:
Sportsnet featured the Sea Dogs last year in a meaningless late season game against the Wildcats.
Maybe leaving the Dogs off national television is for the better. Earlier this season, TSN had a feature on Tomas Jurco’s epic shootout goal that involved a slight insult to Saint John as a junior hockey market, incorrect stats, and the misspelling of Gerard Gallant’s name.
Sportsnet will once again be broadcasting the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game which will likely feature four or more Sea Dogs.