HEN: Hockey Entertainment Network

Rarely do we break legit news here at The Royal Half, but someone has leaked a press release from NHL HQ that’s about to go public. To say that we’re concerned about the direction the league is taking would be an understatement. We have a hunch this is going to create a very ugly firestorm.

NEW YORK — Television is enjoying a Golden Age with award-winning shows airing on a nightly basis, creating water cooler talk across the United States.  Shockingly, the majority of that phenomenal programming can be found on cable networks, which has created ratings juggernauts that no one could have predicted.

While the NHL Network has been a source of amazing hockey coverage since 2007, we feel that there is tremendous room for growth in our ratings and can join other cable networks on that path towards ratings dominance. That is why, starting February 9, 2014, as the NHL takes an Olympic break, the NHL Network will be rebranding itself as HEN: the Hockey Entertainment Network.


We will continue to show occasional NHL games, but the majority of our dedicated hockey coverage will be placed on hiatus. In it’s place, we’re creating an entertainment-centric schedule featuring scripted comedies, dramas, documentaries and reality shows starring some of the NHL’s biggest and brightest stars as you’ve never seen them before!

We believe that within a matter of weeks, HEN’S new programming will make ratings waves that will cause aftershocks across the cable spectrum! So tune in on February 9th, 2014 to see what HEN has to offer. Here’s an example of what you can look forward to:

“THE CROSBY SHOW” – ½ hour, comedy – Sidney Crosby is a surgeon on ice as he tries to avoid hard checks that lead to head injuries.  But when gets home, his hands are anything but steady and he’s got headaches from his crazy family. Sidney and his wife (Phylicia Rashad) raise their family in Pittsburgh with their daughters, Denise, Vanessa, Rudy and son, Theo Peckham.

“MANHATTAN BEACH NINE-NINE” – ½ hour, comedy series – This new comedy takes place in 1988, as new police captain Wayne Gretzky is sent from his well oiled precinct up north down to a royally screwed-up precinct in the South Bay or Los Angeles. But will the new boss be able to wrangle this rag-tag group of cops or will his buddy, Marty McSorely, throw him an illegal curve?

“BREAKING BAD” – 1 hour, drama – Steve Stamkos is known for his chemistry on the ice with linemate Martin St. Louis, but a broken leg forces Stamkos to re-evaluate his life and turns to a life of crime as he begins selling “Lightning Blue Meth” to the Tampa area.

“TOFFOLI & ISLES” – 1 hour, drama – Crime is on the rise in the streets of New York, but watch out criminals, because the NYPD is hitting back. They’ve recruited the baby-faced Tyler Toffoli to come to New York and join the entire NY Islanders roster as they team up and fight crime. Why the entire Islanders roster? Because they’re awful at their job.

“AMERICAN HORROR STORY” – 1 hour, miniseries – A behind the scenes look at Bobby Ryan being ignored by Team USA and dealing with all his bros being in Sochi, Russia.

“ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT” – 1 hour, documentary series – A documentary featuring some of the greatest brains of our time attempting to figure out why the Oilers’ youth movement never works.

“FRASER” –1/2 hour, comedy – At home, in the Staples Center, Colin Fraser is one of LA’s toughest players, but at his home, in LA, Fraser’s got his hands full with his dad, his brother, Niles, and his dog, Eddie Lack.

“AMERICAN IDOL” – 1 hour, opinion – In this hour-long opinion program, Tim Thomas rants and raves on everything wrong with America – from the terrorists, to Obama, to the lack of Tim Hortons in the US.

“MAD MEN” – 2 hour, movie – Henry Winkler stars as John Tortorella in a recreation of Tortorella’s infamous invasion of the Flames’ locker room.

“ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK” – 1 hour, drama – Based on a true story, this drama stars former LA Kings left winger Dustin Penner as he tries to survive in the only place worse than prison: Anaheim.

“THE ‘EH’-TEAM” – 1 hour, action – A group Mounties were arrested for a crime they didn’t commit. They refused to apologize and are now out on the loose, surviving as soldiers of fortune. Can anyone stop this team of Don “Hannibal” Cherry, Patrick “Faceman” Sharp, Mike “Mur-Doc” Emmerick, and their tough guy, B.N. (BizNasty) Bissonnette?

“HANNIBAL” – 1 hour, drama – Hannibal Lecter, move over, because there’s a scary young winger who’s craving human flesh for dinner tonight: Dwight King.

“SUITS” – ½ hour, documentary – This half-hour long photo-montage features Jeff Carter wearing different suits.

“COMO SE DEFENSE” – ½ hour, variety – LA Kings’ Alec Martinez stars in this sketch/variety show as he tries to show any way possible that he can play D for Coach Darryl Sutter.

“THE BIG BANG THEORY” – ½ hour, comedy – A raunchy comedy starring the Drew Doughty as he tries to woo the ladies of the South Bay, but is constantly cockblocked by his nerdy roommates, Ben Scrivens and Jason Spezza.

“KEEPING UP WITH THE KADRI-SHIAN” – 1 hour, reality – Nazem Kadri may have no idea where he’s going to get traded to, but that doesn’t stop him from shopping for a new car with disastrous results. Kadri’s teammate, Dion, launches a new bow tie line, but will stress cause him to say enough’s Phaneuf?

“HOMELAND” – 1 hour, drama – The New Jersey Devils have a promising team, but double agents look to change that by destroying their structure from within before retreating to their homeland. Starring Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexei Ponikarovsky.

“PERRY & GETZ ‘LAF-IN” – ½ hour, variety – Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry co-host this irreverent and counter-culture variety show that’s bound to make viewers quack with laughter. Be on the lookout for a cameo by Gary Bettman shouting, “Sock It To Me.”

“THE CAREY DIARIES” – 1/2 hour, comedy – It’s 2003, and for the first time, a teenage Carey Price is playing away from his family in juniors. Lucky for Carey, he’s surrounded by his three best friends, P.K. (the Miranda), Max (the Samantha) and Brian (the Charlotte), and the four create a bond that will follow them to Montreal.

“THE WALKING RED” – 1 hour, drama – The Detroit Red Wings, or what’s left of them, try to survive as their team battles a mysterious plague that’s knocking their entire roster onto the IR and threatening to kill their season and their fanbase.

“THE BIGGEST LOSER” – 3 hours, sports – The Buffalo Sabres play the Edmonton Oilers in a regular season matchup.

Brian was born and raised in New Jersey, where the first things he was taught to say were his exit number, the lyrics to “Born To Run and “Rangers Suck!” After moving to LA 15 years ago and due to the time difference… he has spent far more time watching and following the LA Kings than the New Jersey Devils. On quiet nights, Brian pulls out his 1995, 2000 and 2003 Stanley Cup VHS tapes and smiles awkwardly You can follow Jersey Brian on Twitter @brianmccarthy1.