NHL Will Highlight Top Players With Live Awards Presentation Produced By NBC, CBC
The NHL will not have a stand-alone, red carpet awards gala live from Las Vegas this season, but that does not mean the league will curtail the excitement around announcing the winners. The ’13 NHL Awards will be co-produced and co-hosted by NBC and the CBC as a lead-in to Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, and both networks said the award-winning players will be on set in Chicago to receive their trophies and participate live in the broadcast. Both networks prior to Saturday night’s game will come on the air and open their shows independently of one another at 7:00pm ET, and after the first commercial break the broadcasts will sync up to present together the five major awards -- the Calder, Hart, Norris and Vezina trophies as well as the Ted Lindsay Award. Liam McHugh will be the lead presenter for NBC, while Ron MacLean will handle hosting duties on the CBC side. Once a winner is announced, that player will come on set to receive their trophy and be interview by either McHugh or MacLean. CBC Sports Head of Programming Trevor Pilling said the awards program will be “a good opportunity for us in the shortened season to tell the great stories of some of the players and their great performances this year.” NBC Sports Coordinating Producer for the NHL Mark Bellotti noted the advantage of having players on the set while the Final is being played, saying, “The season is still going on, and there’s still a series, it (will be) interesting to get some these great players’ perspective on what they’ve seen in the playoffs while it’s still relevant.” The league’s eight other awards will be presented during a telecast on NHL Network Friday at 5:00pm.
VIVA LAS VEGAS: The NHL struck a deal with the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority in ’09 to begin hosting the season-ending celebration. But due to the lockout pushing the start of the season to January, there was not sufficient time between the potential end of the Stanley Cup Final and the NHL Draft to put on a full-scale awards gala. Pilling said, “While it is a different way of doing the show, it’s going to be a nice way of doing the show. One of the opportunities that we have here is we’re going to be able to co-promote the NHL Awards along with Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, which is really nice to be able to leverage the audience that will naturally come along with that.” Viewers can expect to see commercial spots for the NHL Awards program tonight during Game 1 of the Bruins-Blackhawks series, as well as hear plenty of mentions of the show throughout the intermission and pre- and postgame reports. Bellotti said, “Our feeling is that the interest level is sort of at an all-time high. So let’s take advantage of that and try to bring some of the biggest stars in the game to that venue and to that site when there’s so many eyeballs on it as opposed to a little bit later in the summer when naturally people’s attention gets turned to other things.” The NHL has two more years left on its agreement with the LVCVA, and will honor those starting again next season.