HBO 24/7 to start on Dec. 14, Canadians to be protected from F-bombs


The good news for hockey fans is that we’re now just 51 days away from the debut episode of HBO 24/7 Red Wings/Maple Leafs: Road to the NHL Winter Classic.

The bad news is reserved for Canadian TV subscribers that like swearing and uninterrupted programming.

On Thursday, the NHL and HBO announced they’re joining forces with Sportsnet to air the highly-popular show in Canada this year. Previously, the show was only available in Canada through HBO Canada, which had roughly 1.1 million subscribers — a small number compared to Sportsnet, which has 8.8 million.

But while Sportsnet will be bringing 24/7 into more Canadian homes than ever, it won’t be bringing the swears.

“We’re not going to sanitize it at all,” Rogers Media broadcasting president Scott Moore told The Globe and Mail. “With one exception – we will bleep out the f-bombs.

“We won’t edit anything else out or sanitize it, because viewers these days are used to that type of thing.”

There will be two other significant differences between the HBO and Rogers broadcasts. One, HBO will broadcast the debut episode on Dec. 14, whereas Sportsnet will air it on Dec. 15.

Two, Canadians will get advertisements!

Here’s more, from the Globe:

There will be one other difference – the series will feature advertising for the first time. Sportsnet said it sold out the series quickly, with Molson Canadian, Tim Hortons, Recharge with Milk and Ford F-150 signing on as title sponsors.

Americans will still see the show on HBO, with plenty of swearing and no commercials. That channel isn’t available in Canada – HBO Canada does not own the broadcast rights.

I think Molson and Tim Hortons signed on just to keep every imaginable Canadian stereotype alive. All that’s missing is a sponsorship from Politeness.

Torres offered in-person hearing, potentially setting up long suspension

Torres hit
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What will Raffi Torres get this time?

The 33-year-old forward that has become known primarily for his controversial hits has once again put himself in the sights of the NHL’s Department of Players Safety. They confirmed that he was offered an in-person hearing following his hit on Jakub Silfverberg Saturday night. He declined the opportunity to meet with them face-to-face, but the offer itself is an important detail because it gives the league the option to suspend him for more than five games.

It certainly seems like the stage is set for a lengthy suspension. While Torres is not considered a repeat offender as his last suspension came more than 18 months ago, the NHL still retains the right to consider his history when deciding on this matter.

Among other incidents, he was once was banned from 25 games for his hit on Marian Hossa in 2012, although it was later reduced to 21 contests after an appeal. The NHL found that Torres was guilty of breaking three rules for that hit; namely interference, charging, and illegally hitting the head. The NHL is reviewing Torres’ latest incident for the same three violations.

You can see the hit below:

And here it is slowed down:

Torres got a match penalty and Silfverberg left the game. Fortunately, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said that Silfverberg could have returned, but was kept out for precautionary reasons.

Flames acquire Freddie Hamilton, brother of Dougie

Freddie Hamilton
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Roughly three months after acquiring Dougie Hamilton, the Calgary Flames have brought his brother on board too.

Freddie Hamilton was pried away from the Colorado Avalanche for the cost a 2016 conditional seventh-round draft pick, per the Avalanche’s website. The Flames announced that he will report to AHL Stockton.

Freddie, who is the older of the two at 23, is a center that excelled offensively in the OHL and has chipped in at the AHL level. However, he has just one point in 29 contests with Colorado and the San Jose Sharks.

This is obviously not a big trade, but perhaps Freddie will eventually become a solid member of the Flames’ supporting cast. If nothing else, it didn’t cost Calgary much to reunite the brothers. The duo previously played together with the Niagara IceDogs.