The NHL on NBC crew reacts to the latest news, debates the hottest topics, and tells the best stories from their playing days. Plus – extended interviews with key figures from around the league.
Here's the Latest Episode from Our Line Starts:
Liam McHugh, Keith Jones, and Patrick Sharp break down the NHL's return to play format. They focus on a few intriguing Qualification Round series in each conference, discuss the hub city process, and debate the merits of bracket-style vs. re-seeding once the playoff field is down to 16 teams.
3:55-5:40 Is the Return to Play format fair?
6:45-8:05 Hub city discussion
8:05-10:50 Can Montreal upset Pittsburgh?
10:50-13:40 Intriguing Hurricanes-Rangers matchup
13:40- 15:50 Bracket vs Re-seed debate
16:30-18:45 What to make of Oilers vs Blackhawks
18:45-21:05 Coin flip between Coyotes & Predators
Full audio from last week's announcement on the NHL's return to play format. Hosted by Mike Tirico, this show features interviews with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr, plus analysis from the NHL on NBC broadcast team.
On the heels of live sports returning over the weekend, Liam McHugh, Keith Jones, and Brian Boucher provide their perspective on those events and what they might expect from hockey games with no fans. With the 24-team playoff appearing to be the frontrunner, the guys debate the pros and cons: is it fair? do Montreal and Chicago deserve to be in? Could this be the gateway to a permanent change to the system? Plus, a reaction to Matt Duchene's comments about wanting to maintain the integrity of the traditional playoff format.
0:45-4:30 Live sports are back!
4:30-8:10 What to expect from hockey games with no fans
12:00-21:00 24-team playoff: fair or not?
21:00-24:00 Reaction to Duchene’s comments
Liam McHugh and Keith Jones are joined by NHL Insider Darren Dreger, who provides updates on all the major topics of interest two months into the NHL's pause. How soon will players return to their home cities and resume training in their facilities? Are there frontrunners for "hub" cities or potential playoff formats upon return? Will the draft come before or after the season resumes?
0:30-4:45 When will Phase 2 of NHL's return begin?
4:45-7:35 Importance of testing, integrating families into restart plan
7:35-10:20 Long term future of salary cap, player compensation
11:15-13:35 Latest on hub city plan
13:35-14:35 24-team playoff format appears to be the frontrunner
14:35-17:00 Realistic target date to resume the season?
17:00-20:47 Will draft occur before season resumes, or after?
This week, Liam McHugh and Anson Carter are joined by New York Rangers head coach David Quinn. Among the topics: the incredible performances of Artemi Panarin and Mika Zibanejad this season, how Henrik Lundqvist handled a reduced role, and lessons learned from Bill Belichick while he was coaching at Boston University. Quinn also remembers his summer job delivering soda as a 1st round draft pick.
3:20-4:55 Quinn's assessment of NYR's season
4:55-7:30 Zibanejad & Panarin's 2nd half push for MVP
7:30-9:45 Lundqvist's demotion & the dilemma in goal
9:45-11:40 Learning from Bill Belichick
11:40-13:15 Taking over for the legendary Jack Parker
15:25-19:45 Quinn's memory of his draft day in 1984
19:45-24:10 Fallout from Quinn's hemophilia diagnosis
25:40-28:00 BU's crushing loss in 2015 NCAA title game
In this 2-part podcast, Bob McKenzie joins the Our Line Starts team to provide updates on a potential restart to the NHL season. Will the regular season get completed? When will the draft take place? Could the 2020-21 season begin as late as December? Following that conversation, Kathryn Tappen conducts the first-ever joint interview with Alex Ovechkin and Wayne Gretzky.
0:00-14:30 Bob McKenzie gives an update on resume to play scenarios
14:30-18:00 Reaction to Hawks firing their Pres/CEO John McDonough
18:00-End Kathryn Tappen interviews Ovechkin, Gretzky
Liam McHugh and Eddie Olczyk are joined by Joel Quenneville, head coach of the Florida Panthers. Q gives his take on this year's team, where they stand at the pause, and his vision for expanding the playoff field. He also reminisces about his time in Chicago, what it was like to coach Dustin Byfuglien, and his experience tailgating at Soldier Field after he was let go by the Hawks. Plus, he and Edzo tell stories about their shared off-ice passion: horse racing.
Start-5:40 Edzo becomes a father & Winnipeg Jet on the same day
5:40-9:40 Joel Quenneville hopeful hockey returns
9:40-11:20 Q wants to expand the 2020 playoffs
12:50-14:25 Q evaluates this year's Panthers
15:25-17:20 Coaching Dustin Byfuglien
17:20-20:25 Q chats horse racing, Kentucky Derby
20:25-23:25 Tailgating at Soldier Field; other Chicago memories
23:25-End The story behind "You Betcha"
Liam McHugh and Keith Jones are joined by Arizona Coyotes head coach Rick Tocchet for a wide-ranging and entertaining discussion. Tocchet provides updates on the health of the Coyotes who were injured at the pause, and also comments on the future of pending UFA Taylor Hall. Plus, don't miss Tocchet's best stories from his playing career, including an incredible toll-booth prank during his time in Philadelphia, admiring Gretzky and Lemieux, the 1987 Canada Cup, and what it was like participating in the Philly-Pittsburgh 5 OT game in 2000.
0:30-2:35 Jonesy tells Dale Hunter's legendary lottery ticket prank
2:35-5:10 Discussing neutral sites for potential playoff games
5:35-7:25 Rick Tocchet remembers an incredible toll booth prank
7:50-11:40 Coaching in self-quarantine; ARI's playoff hopes; team getting healthy
11:40-12:55 Tocchet addresses Taylor Hall's future
17:05-20:40 Tocchet on Gretzky, Lemieux, and the '87 Canada Cup
20:40-23:35 Tocchet & Jonesy playing in a 5 OT game
23:35-25:00 Jonesy's broadcasting advice
In this episode, Liam McHugh, Brian Boucher, and Patrick Sharp react to Gary Bettman's interview with Mike Tirico from Tuesday afternoon. Bettman addressed the conference call he and other sports commissioners had over the weekend with President Trump, and also said "nothing has been ruled out" regarding a possible return to action. Plus, Bouch and Sharpie remember playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time.
0:40-3:25 Bouch and Sharpie give their first playoff memory
3:25-14:40 Mike Tirico interviews Gary Bettman
14:40-17:20 Most fair way to build 16-team playoff right now?
18:00-24:50 For or against playoff games at a neutral site?
Liam McHugh, Patrick Sharp, and Keith Jones are joined by special guest Mary-Kay Messier, VP of Global Marketing at Bauer Hockey. Messier describes how the company has quickly pivoted from making hockey helmet visors, to creating medical face shields that will soon be implemented in hospitals across North America to combat the spread of COVID-19. Plus, Sharpie's experience playing a shortened NHL season, and a debate about which teams have the best rosters in the league right now.
0:00-14:00 Interview with Bauer's Mary-Kay Messier
14:00-19:30 Mixed opinions on resuming play w/ reg. ssn or playoffs
19:30-20:30 Sharpie remembers playing in the shortened 2012-13 season
22:15-24:15 The guys debate which 4 teams have the best rosters in the NHL
The Our Line Starts crew returns to action, with Kathryn Tappen, Brian Boucher, and Eddie Olczyk dialing in from across the country to chat hockey - and life - during the NHL's hiatus. NBC & Carolina Hurricanes announcer John Forslund joins the show to explain how he ended up in quarantine for two weeks, and what he did in his basement to pass the time. The gang also debates who should take home MVP if the regular season were to end at this point.
Start-6:00 Intros & life updates
6:00-11:50 John Forslund describes his 2 week quarantine
11:50-19:05 When might we see hockey return?
19:05- 22:45 Who should win MVP if season ended today?
22:45-25:00 Has Henrik Lundqvist played his last game as a Ranger?
25:00-end Sign off
Kathryn Tappen, Patrick Sharp and Anson Carter debate if the Flyers will win the Metro and discuss if Nathan MacKinnon's injury is going to be too much for the Avs to battle through. Anson explains why the Rangers have hope for the playoffs as long as they have Mika Zibanejad and Artemi Panarin. Sharpy and Ace detail how playing in empty buildings due to the coronavirus would impact players. Plus, Pierre McGuire sits down with Victor Hedman.
0:00-5:04 Intros, reactions to all-female broadcast
5:04-11:04 Who will win the Metro Division?
11:04-14:27 Can Avalanche overcome MacKinnon's injury?
14:27-17:57 Zibanejad, Panarin give Rangers hope for playoffs
17:57-23:40 How coronavirus is affecting the NHL
23:40-43:45 Pierre interviews Lightning's Victor Hedman
43:45-End Playoff race in Atlantic heating up
Liam McHugh, Keith Jones, and Eddie Olczyk discuss Leon Draisaitl's incredible run and debate whether he is the MVP front-runner. Eddie O explains why he's so high on the Golden Knights after their deadline moves. Liam, Jonesy and Edzo dive into the NHL's decision to keep the EBUG, and go in depth on the proposed changes to the offside rule. Plus, Pierre McGuire has a wide-ranging conversation with Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman.
1:32-7:35 Draisaitl the MVP frontrunner
7:35-14:34 Tampa, Vegas standing out after trade deadline
14:34-25:40 Reaction to GMs meeting
25:40-30:13 What's wrong with the Penguins?
30:13-49:34 Pierre interviews Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman
49:34-End Who will grab the Wild Card spots in the West?
Liam McHugh, Scott Hartnell and Mike Johnson react to one of the busiest NHL trade deadlines ever and reveal which teams they now feel dramatically different about. Will Ilya Kovalchuk fit well in Washington? Were the Lightning smart to go all in? Which teams should have done more? The crew also takes a look back at David Ayres' thrilling night and discusses the future of the EBUG. Plus, Mike Tirico sits down with Al Michaels to reflect on the "Miracle on Ice."
1:25-6:00 Initial deadline reactions
6:00-16:00 Deadline winners/losers
16:00-24:15 David Ayres' surreal night
24:15-48:40 Mike Tirico, Al Michaels reflect on "Miracle on Ice"
48:40-end Liam, Mike, Scott tell their Lake Placid stories
Bob McKenzie joins as a special guest to give all the latest as the Feb. 24 trade deadline approaches. Would the Avalanche make a blockbuster trade for Henrik Lundqvist or Carey Price? Are the Bruins willing to pay the price for Chris Kreider? Does the addition of Alec Martinez put Vegas over the hump? Plus, why Chuck Fletcher's deadline moves in his Minnesota days might mean he'll be more cautious this year in Philly.
Kathryn Tappen, Patrick Sharp and Ben Lovejoy react to Connor McDavid’s quad injury and wonder whether the Oilers can still make the playoffs. They analyze the Jason Zucker trade between the Penguins and Wild. Ahead of the Stadium Series game at Air Force, Ben shares an outdoor game story about having a front-row seat being a healthy scratch. Plus, a conversation with Golden Knights winger Max Pacioretty.
1:50-8:40 Oilers, Blue Jackets move on without McDavid/Jones
8:40-12:15 Did Penguins or Wild win the Jason Zucker trade?
12:15-18:20 Sharpy and Lovejoy tell stories about playing outdoors
18:20-26:00 Michael Farber interviews Max Pacioretty
30:00-end Patrick Kane, the greatest US-born player ever?
Liam McHugh, Keith Jones, and Patrick Sharp explain why the injury-depleted Penguins still have a chance win the Metro. Jonesy and Sharpy tell some funny stories about the etiquette of shooting high on goalies in practice. The guys also debate whether John Tortorella should be considered for Coach of the Year and discuss Jack Eichel's MVP case. Plus, an interview with Flames All-Star Matthew Tkachuk.
2:35-6:55 Can the Penguins win the Metro Division?
6:55-10:10 Unwritten rules about shooting high in practice
10:10-15:40 Can John Tortorella win Coach of the Year?
15:40-19:10 Goalie fight takes Battle of Alberta to next level
19:10-30:20 Interview with Flames All-Star Matthew Tkachuk
30:20-end Can Jack Eichel win MVP if Sabres miss playoffs?
Liam McHugh, Anson Carter, and Keith Jones give their impressions of All-Star Weekend, including rave reviews on St. Louis as a host city. Pierre McGuire interviews Dallas GM Jim Nill, and Anson tells you what Rodney Dangerfield and Ben Bishop have in common. Plus, the guys handicap the uber-tight Pacific Division entering the stretch run.
1:50-8:00 Reaction to All-Star Weekend
8:00-14:45 Battle of Alberta heats up again
14:45-26:30 Pierre interviews Jim Nill
26:30-32:35 How far can Stars go?
32:35-end Handicapping the Pacific Division
Kathryn Tappen, Keith Jones and Ben Lovejoy analyze Alex Ovechkin’s hot streak; can he catch Wayne Gretzky on the all-time goals list? They react to Patrick Kane’s 1000th point, Jonathan Toews and Duncan Keith fighting each other, as well as Elvis Merzlikins leading Columbus’ recent run of success. Plus, Pierre McGuire interviews Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold, who talks about his favorite memory with the team, and the lessons learned from the 2017 expansion draft.
1:34-10:15 Ovi’s recent hot streak; Caps favorites in East?
10:15-20:36 Kane’s 1,000th point; Blackhawks fighting for playoffs
20:36-38:00 Pierre interviews Craig Leipold
40:05-end Elvis Merzlikins fueling Blue Jackets’ hot streak
Kathryn Tappen, Keith Jones and Anson Carter break down the incident between Matthew Tkachuk and Zack Kassian. They react to the firing of GM Ray Shero and discuss how the Devils can turn things around. Jonesy also tells a wild story about being his own agent, but explains how it didn't work out as well as it did for Nicklas Backstrom. Plus, a conversation with Avs rookie Cale Makar.
1:21-11:25 Tkachuk vs. Kassian: Who was in the wrong?
11:25-22:30 Reaction to Devils firing GM Ray Shero
22:30-32:40 Interview with star Avs rookie Cale Makar
32:40-end Jonesy's wild story negotiating his own contract
Paul Burmeister, Keith Jones and Patrick Sharp discuss the Predators firing Peter Laviolette and whether new coach John Hynes can boost them into the playoffs. The guys debate if Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl can carry the Oilers into the postseason, as well as evaluate a handful of teams on the playoff bubble. Plus, Pierre McGuire sits down with Rangers president John Davidson.
1:42-14:40 Laviolette out, Hynes in for Nashville
14:40-34:30 Pierre interviews John Davidson
34:30-39:40 How far can McDavid & Draisaitl carry Oilers?
39:40-end Evaluating teams on playoff bubble
Paul Burmeister, Jeremy Roenick, and Anson Carter analyze the Taylor Hall deal. Does he make the Coyotes a Cup contender? Where does New Jersey go from here? The guys also reveal their All-Decade forward selections. Plus, Pierre McGuire interviews Brendan Shanahan, who talks about his relationship with Mike Babcock, and how coming up short in the Olympics in 1998 fueled him en route to gold in 2002.
1:50-15:30 Breaking down the Taylor Hall trade
15:30-47:45 Pierre McGuire interviews Brendan Shanahan
47:45-End JR & Ace pick forwards for the All-Decade team
Kathryn Tappen, Keith Jones and Patrick Sharp discuss the surprise firing of Stars coach Jim Montgomery. The guys also give their takes on Gary Bettman's four-point plan to handle abuse. Pierre McGuire sits down with Sabres coach Ralph Krueger to talk about his time in Europe and his path from the Premier League back to the NHL. Plus, Jonesy and Sharpie reveal their top defensemen and goalies of the decade. Do you agree with them?
0:45-7:25 Reaction to Dallas firing Jim Montgomery
7:25-14:10 Gary Bettman & the NHL's 4-point plan
14:10-32:50 Pierre interviews Sabres coach Ralph Krueger
36:05-End The guys begin to draft their All-Decade Team
Paul Burmeister, Jeremy Roenick and Anson Carter discuss hot starts from the Blues and Bruins. Will David Pastrnak hit the elusive 50 in 50 mark? The guys also give their initial reactions to the Devils firing coach John Hynes. Plus, Bryan Berard calls in to talk about his new book "Relentless" that includes stories about losing sight in one eye, as well as helping the FBI take down the investor who stole millions from him.
1:45-8:20 Blues, Bruins, and Pastrnak on fire
8:20-11:05 Arizona Coyotes a pleasant surprise
11:10-17:30 Hynes fired; Taylor Hall's future in doubt?
17:30-21:10 JR still has faith in the Predators
21:10-End Bryan Berard on his new book & playing for Mike Milbury
Kathryn Tappen, Anson Carter, and Keith Jones address the accusations against Flames coach Bill Peters, and Anson reflects on his experience as a black player in the NHL. Pierre McGuire interviews Blues head coach Craig Berube, who talks about getting scouted by Bobby Clarke and when he knew that Jordan Binnington was "the guy." Plus, Brian Boucher calls in to analyze Robin Lehner's struggles in the shootout.
0:40-18:10 KT, Anson, and Jonesy on Bill Peters
18:10-28:30 Pierre interviews Craig Berube
32:30-end Bouch weighs in on Lehner's shootout struggles
Kathryn Tappen, Mike Milbury, Keith Jones, and special guest Bob McKenzie react to the breaking news of Mike Babcock's firing on Wednesday. Why now? What's next? All your questions answered. Plus, Pierre McGuire interviews Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley
Paul Burmeister, Keith Jones, and Patrick Sharp discuss how Pittsburgh and Toronto will be affected by the injuries to Sidney Crosby and Mitch Marner, and offer their reaction to Jim Montgomery calling out Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin. Pierre McGuire interviews Arizona head coach Rick Tocchet, whose story from his rookie year under Mike Keenan got Sharpie and Jonesy reflecting on unique motivational tactics implemented by their old coaches
1:50-4:25 How will Toronto handle Marner's absence
4:25-9:30 Crosby the latest Pens casualty
9:30-16:55 Jim Montgomery rips his top players
16:55-30:55 An early look at 2020 Hall of Fame candidates
30:55-42:25 Pierre McGuire interviews Rick Tocchet
44:30-End Unique motivational tactics from old coaches
Liam McHugh, Keith Jones, and Patrick Sharp react to Milan Lucic defending the sucker punch that got him suspended. The Blues keep winning without Vladimir Tarasenko; are they built to contend for another Cup? Plus, an interview with Mathew Barzal of the Islanders, who talks about the influence of Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz, the challenge of having two home arenas, and his detailed recollection of Josh Bailey's OT goal against the Penguins last year. The guys also take a surprise call from a mysterious Dominik Hasek impersonator.
2:00-7:40 Milan Lucic defends his sucker punch
7:40-13:20 Blues winning without Tarasenko
13:20-16:45 The guys reveal their favorite goals of all-time
17:00-25:35 Michael Farber interviews Mathew Barzal
25:35-31:55 Reaction to the Isles' 10-game winning streak
31:55-end Mystery phone call from "The Dominator"
Patrick Sharp makes his podcast debut along with Kathryn Tappen and Keith Jones. They discuss the pros and cons of Roman Josi's massive extension, whether Alex Ovechkin hit a nerve with his comments about the Leafs, and the recent trend of veteran players getting healthy scratched. Pierre McGuire sits down with Lightning GM Julien BriseBois, who has an interesting story about how he ended up working in sports. And finally, Jonesy and Sharpie tell their best Halloween stories, including a certain player in Dallas practicing in his Conan O'Brien costume from the night before.
1:50-6:20 Roman Josi's massive extension
6:20-13:20 Alex Ovechkin comments on the Leafs; Mike Babcock agrees
13:20-18:50 What's up with the rise in "trick goals" throughout the league?
18:50-26:20 Brent Seabrook headlines group of veterans being healthy scratched
26:20-46:55 Pierre McGuire interviews Lightning GM Julien BriseBois
46:55-End Jonesy and Sharpie tell their best Halloween stories
Kathryn Tappen, Mike Milbury, and Keith Jones analyze the Sabres' hot start, discuss whether this is finally the year John Carlson wins a Norris Trophy, and break down why the Maple Leafs have been slow out of the gate. Plus, Kathryn remembers when Mike walked off the set during a show and asks for his side of the story. Pierre McGuire sits down with Devils GM Ray Shero, who talks about how a vending machine played a key role in the P.K. Subban trade this summer. Mike and Keith also tell their best stories about morning skates gone wrong.
1:15-3:00 Mike walks off the set during a show
3:30-7:20 Buffalo's hot start
12:35-15:50 John Carlson leading the way for Washington
15:50-22:30 Are the Maple Leafs in trouble?
22:30-46:15 Pierre McGuire interviews Devils GM Ray Shero
46:20-49:30 Is New Jersey a playoff team?
49:30-End Mike and Keith tell their best morning skate stories
Jeremy Roenick and Anson Carter reflect on Patrick Marleau re-joining the San Jose Sharks and take a closer look at top picks Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko on the eve of their 1st NHL meeting. Pierre McGuire interviews Montreal Canadiens Owner Geoff Molson, and Eddie Olczyk calls in to break down the fast starts for Edmonton and Colorado. Plus, Edzo tells stories from his newly published memoir: Beating the Odds in Hockey and in Life
1:20-6:05 Anson’s powerful hockey story from his recent trip to El Paso
6:05-9:40 Patrick Marleau’s impactful return to San Jose
9:40-11:40 Breaking down Jack Hughes & Kaapo Kakko before 1st NHL meeting
11:40-12:40 “Hungover in a snowstorm” - the story behind JR’s first NHL goal
12:40-14:25 How being on the toilet seat led to Anson’s first NHL goal
15:50-17:45 “Video games and pop tarts” – Anson’s story from Joe Thornton’s rookie year
18:00-36:00 Pierre McGuire interviews Montreal Canadiens Owner Geoff Molson
36:55-41:10 Eddie Olczyk encouraged by Oilers fast start
41:10-45:00 Edzo thinks the Avalanche could win the West
49:50-59:50 Stories from Edzo’s new book
In the debut episode, Pierre McGuire interviews George McPhee of the Vegas Golden Knights, while Jeremy Roenick and Keith Jones react to the biggest news from Week 1 in the NHL. Is the sky falling in Tampa? Can the Penguins overcome Evgeni Malkin's long-term injury? Jonesy & JR also dive into the Matthew Tkachuk-Drew Doughty rivalry and talk about the best individual battles of their careers.
1:10-4:35 Pressure already mounting in Tampa Bay
4:35-9:20 Is Pittsburgh’s playoff streak in jeopardy?
9:20-12:25 Drew Doughty-Matthew Tkachuk rivalry
12:25-14:45 JR’s battle with Craig Berube
14:45-18:00 Jonesy gets under Steve Thomas’ skin
18:00-20:05 “Would you fight Tie Domi”?
20:05-35:30 Pierre McGuire interviews George McPhee
35:35-42:30 Patrick Roy impersonator trash talks the guys
A snapshot of what to expect from the NHL on NBC's new hockey podcast