When I first read the news that Hockey Night in Canada had decided to add Mike Milbury to its on-air lineup, I have to admit that the announcement gave me a bit of pause. As I outlined this past season at The Sporting News, I wasn't exactly a fan of Milbury's work at NBC, and the thought of him joining the sport's flagship program on the CBC didn't exactly strike me as a gamebreaker.
Then again, after thinking about it a little more, I'm going to reserve judgment, and wait to see just how Milbury performs as a "regular contributor" on the broadcast's Satellite Hotstove segment. For those who aren't familiar with it, click here for a closer look.
So, why bother giving Milbury a chance after bashing him so hard? In this case, I think that Milbury was more or less a prisoner of an NBC broadcast that had to cater to the casual hockey fan, a fact of life that I think contributed directly to what I called an "embarrassing" interview with Washington Capitals winger, and soon to be league MVP, Alexander Ovechkin. Now that he's more or less freed from that role, I think we can expect to see more of the Milbury that appeared pretty regularly last year on TSN and NESN -- brash for sure, but insightful.