The explanation? "We have rights-holders," says NHL vice president for media relations Frank Brown. "CBC has aired 'Hockey Night in Canada' on Saturday night for 50 years."
Right. Protecting that Saturday night time slot didn't seem to be too big a concern last weekend, when the Red Wings' series clincher against Dallas was played on the Saturday afternoon of a holiday weekend in Canada.
You have our deepest apologies for not bringing this to everyone's attention sooner; it's almost like after a while, you build up an immunity to the hamhandedness of Gary Bettman. Five days between the end of the conference finals and the start of the final is also ridiculous; they should be playing Games 1 and 2 Thursday and Saturday, take two days off, and resume on Tuesday, to avoid the conflict with the NBA.
(Something else hockey-related is the blog being maintained by Chris Botta, the former media relations head for the New York Islanders. He's got some not-so-nice things to say about Kirk Muller and hockey writers from a certain Canadian city, please don't shoot the messenger.)
Pistons or Wings? Cups finals schedule forcing fans to take sides (Eric Adelson, ESPN.com; via Mirtle, who should have a lively thread going)