SUN Hockey Pool

Clark, Heaney charting new territory

LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

A male and female player well associated with the maple leaf have been invited to be part of a new Hockey Night In Canada intermission feature geared toward kids.

Former Maple Leafs captain Wendel Clark and Canadian women's team veteran Geraldine Heaney are among a 15-member advisory board HNIC is assembling for a segment highlighting skills and positive reinforcement.

"We're developing a two-year project that will give a tip or message twice nightly during broadcasts," said HNIC executive producer Joel Darling.

Darling intends to have about 15 members of the hockey community on the panel, including junior coaching legend Brian Kilrea.

It's hoped participants such as Clark and Heaney also will appear on camera, but details will be released tomorrow.

Regular HNIC features such as Coach's Corner, Satellite Hot Stove and Behind The Mask will return in October.

With last year wiped out, HNIC has three years remaining on its NHL contract. It will have the lion's share of Leafs' games, followed by TSN and Rogers Sportsnet, with a new player, Leafs TV, in for 12 games and all exhibitions.

Depending on technical, budgetary and labour issues, HNIC hopes to broadcast every 7 p.m. game in high definition, having just cut the ribbon on a new mobile, state-of-the-art unit for that purpose.

BRIEFLY

The NHL likely will allow players to doff their helmets during overtime shootouts, but has not made it official ... The Los Angeles Kings re-signed 39-year-old forward Luc Robitaille to a one-year deal yesterday and announced they are reducing season-ticket prices by 5% ... The Calgary Flames will name Ryan McGill the first head coach of their AHL affiliate in Omaha ... The NHL's board of governors has unanimously re-elected Flames owner Harley Hotchkiss to a sixth consecutive two-year term as chairman.


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