Hockey Central (Versus)

Hockey Central (Versus)

"Hockey Central" is a show that Versus airs after every National Hockey League game the network televises as part of "The NHL on Versus".


"Hockey Central" first aired on October 5, 2005. Given the limited time to prepare the studio after OLN won the broadcasting rights of the NHL in the summer of 2005, the first set was extremely spartan. This served as the temporary home to Hockey Central until a permanent set could be built midway through the first season. The show is hosted by Bill Patrick and a rotating panel of analysts as they break down highlights of other games, show special features on NHL players, and debate key issues in the NHL. The format is similar to TNT's "Inside the NBA". Sometimes, VERSUS airs a pre-game edition of the show, usually prior to a double-header. The show originally did not air after double-headers, instead it usually took place between games, but starting with the 2007–08 season, aired both in between and after doubleheaders. It is also known as the "Hockey Central Post Game Report" or just "Hockey Central".

The show was sponsored by eSurance during the 2006–07 season, and is now sponsored by Bud Light.

Hockey Central was first broadcast in HD on October 3, 2007.


"Hockey Central" is recorded live from Versus' Stamford, Connecticut studios. At times, the studio has gone on location for special events. VERSUS' on location studio shows have aired from:

*Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan: February 12, 2006

*RBC Center, Raleigh, North Carolina: June 5, 2006; June 7, 2006

*American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas: January 24, 2007

*Honda Center, Anaheim, California: May 28, 2007 and May 30, 2007.

*Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan: May 24, 2008 and May 26, 2008.



* Jack Edwards Host (2006–present)
* Brian Engblom Analyst (2005–present)
* Keith Jones Lead Analyst (2005–present)
* Mark Messier Analyst (2006 - present)
* Ed Olczyk Analyst (2005–present)
* Bill Patrick Lead Host (2007–Present)
* Al Trautwig Host (2006–present)


* Bill Clement Lead Host (2005 – 2007)
* Pierre McGuire Lead Analyst (2005 – 2006)
* Neil Smith Lead Analyst (2005 – 2006)
* P.J. Stock Analyst (2005)


* Rick DiPietro Analyst (2006 & 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
* Tom Fitzgerald Analyst (2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
* Mike Knuble Analyst (2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
* Ken Hitchcock Analyst (2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
* Peter Laviolette Analyst (2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
* Ted Nolan Analyst (2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
* Aaron Ward Analyst (2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
* Doug Weight Analyst (2007 Stanley Cup Playoffs)
* Manny Legacé Analyst (2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs)

Breakdown of studio team


Regular season

During the 2005–06 NHL season, former NHL forward Keith Jones and then-former NHL GM Neil Smith were the regular analysts on the show. On Monday nights, they were joined by Pierre McGuire. Sometimes, Smith or McGuire would be on assignment for TSN, and a rotating cast of analysts would replace them, including Brian Engblom, Eddie Olczyk and P.J. Stock.


During the playoffs, they brought in current NHL players Flyers' Mike Knuble, the Islanders' Rick DiPietro, and the Bruins' Tom Fitzgerald. Lastly, hockey great Mark Messier was a guest analyst during the 2006 Stanley Cup Finals.


For the 2006–07 season, Jones and Engblom were brought back as regulars, while Clement remained as the primary host. The network also brought back Olczyk, but he was not used as often due to his commitments to the Chicago Blackhawks. Pierre McGuire and Neil Smith did not return to the network.


Clement left the network prior to the 2007–08 season, and former "SportsCenter" host and USA Network PGA Tour play-by-play man Bill Patrick replaced him. Both Jones and Engblom are returned to the show, which moved to Versus' new in-house, HD studio in Connecticut.

ee also

Hockey Central (Sportsnet)

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