NHL 2.0: The Top 10 Hockey Podcasts
As new media continues to mesh with traditional media, hockey fans are constantly looking for more sources of information and entertainment to quench their thirst for the game. Gone are the days of sitting in front of the TV waiting for the highlights or listening to talk shows on live radio.
Whether it is Twitter, NHL.com gamecasts or recording your favorite team on Tivo, fans are experiencing hockey like never before. It has now become a fan controlled and driven market, and people now have the ability to tailor their passion for all things hockey around their lives, rather than the other way around.
Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to provide 10 more sources of hockey talk for fans to put on their iPod or download onto their computers. Podcasts are quickly becoming a great way to get your hockey fix on your way to work or school. If you prefer to listen to them on your treadmill or running errands, podcasts are great for that, too.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 hockey podcasts for your listening pleasure...
10. Mike Milbury
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In the first of a few podcasts on this list available from NHL.com is everybody's favorite straight-shooter Mike Milbury. He appears on NHL Live Radio once a week, and his interview is on the league's official site ready for download in MP3 format.
Many people believe half of his disgruntled act is part of a shtick, but Milbury really is the way he is according to people close to him. If he doesn't agree with something someone says or does, he will say so without worrying about political correctness or job security.
He will be sure to rub you the wrong way if you listen to enough of him, but he's a refreshing voice in the NHL community full of suck-ups and media members worried about offending anyone.
9. Bob McKenzie
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Bob McKenzie joins Mike Milbury as an available podcast on NHL.com to offer his weekly opinions on all things hockey. There aren't a lot of "insiders" in this league, but he ranks up there among the best. He has contacts all over the league and is usually on all the latest stories first.
His podcasts are only about 10 minutes per interview, but it's a good listen and worth the download.
8. The Melrose Line
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Next up on the list is The Melrose Line, ready for download on the ESPN.com Podcenter page. He usually does a half an hour episode once a week with host E.J. Hradek as they cover all the news and results around the NHL.
I have to admit, Barry Melrose isn't the most insightful person in the media, but he does offer an old-school and colorful opinion. Many fans think of him as Don Cherry with a mullet, but I don't see the comparison. Having said that, he does bring something more than your average media member because of his experience in the league.
If nothing else, some of his stories are pretty funny.
7. The Capitals Report
Another podcast available on NHL.com is the Caps Report. It isn't a podcast that will appeal to everyone, but if you want a taste of what a good team podcast should sound like, this is it. A few local Washington media members who are also fans (or it could be the other way around) get together each week and talk about the team.
They answer questions from listeners, have access to the team, and go more in depth with the ins and outs of the organization. Whether it is stories about traveling with the team or prospect news from the minros, these guys cover it.
Not every team has a podcast to listen to, but if they did they should use this one as their template.
6. The Hockey Guys
For the more diehard hockey fan, The Hockey Guys podcast offers a whole lot more bang for your buck. Their weekly podcast usually runs about two hours long and have a wide range of content to offer. From what I have heard so far, they have interviews with various NHL players and hockey insiders to go along with their own musings on the hockey world.
Their hockey knowledge is great and they debate all of the most of the current topics and questions in the league today. Most NHL radio shows and podcasts cover things on a surface level, but this podcast delves into the nitty gritty.
5. The NHL Hour
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Every Thursday, commissioner Gary Bettman hits the radio waves and talks to the fans. Love him or hate him, he deserves credit for doing something no other major league commissioner is willing to do. The NHL knows that they must engage their fans and if you can make it past their screeners, you'll get the chance to ask the NHL boss a question.
Unfortunately for most fans, Gary Bettman has a legal background and knows how to dance around any topic. It isn't very often you hear him get put on the spot without a reasonably good explanation for something.
Having said this, I believe he has the best interest of the game at heart and it is always an insightful listen. His hour-long podcast can be found on the league's official website and I recommend you check it out. On top of taking calls from fans, he also has a guest each week that can range from an owner of a team to one of the general managers in the league.
4. NHL Live!
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Not all hockey fans have access to the NHL Network, but if you don't there is no reason to miss out on many of the interviews that NHL Live! have on their show everyday. The network uploads all of the daily interviews onto NHL.com for download.
Most of the interviews are with players, but coaches, media members and other various hockey personalities are featured on the show. The files are usually ready for download the same day, which is good news for people looking to keep up with current content.
3. Sports Roundtable at The Globe and Mail
The Sports Roundtable podcast available on The Globe and Mail website is one of the best hockey podcasts on the internet for fans looking for informed and insider discussion. Various Canadian media members get together each week to talk about the latest events and bring something more than senseless banter and trivia questions of the day.
The podcast runs about 25 minutes long and a must download for those looking for more serious hockey talk.
2. The Hockey News
Coming in at a close second is The Hockey News podcast. Like most of the others on the list, it is a weekly show with insider Adam Proteau and runs about an hour long. They format the show in three periods, allocating time towards general discussion, interviews with NHL personalities and listener questions.
This podcast does a good job at balancing everything you'd want to hear in a hockey show. They cover all the latest news, interact with fans and provide informed insight into the game we all love.
If you don't have time to listen to all of the shows on this list, this is one that should be high on the priority list.
1. The PuckPodcast
Topping the list is not only one of the longest running podcasts on the internet, but also the most consistent. When most of the media and fans are enjoying the sun in the summer, these guys continue pumping out two-hour shows on a weekly basis.
The format has changed a bit over the years, but the themes remain the same. Doug and Eddie are regular hockey fans like you and I who share their love for the game week in and week out. If there was an Ironman award for hockey shows, these guys would win it. At least one of them (but usually both) have produced an episode every week since their inception.
Most of the time they are recapping the week that was in the NHL and add their thoughts on everything that unfolds on and off the ice. They have a great rapport (most of the time) and neither of them are scared to give their opinion despite having a healthy relationship with foxsports.com.
For their dedication, love and knowledge of the game, the PuckPodcast easily ranks as the best hockey podcast available today. A lot more of these shows are popping up all the time, but it won't be easy to knock this one from the top spot.