Rob Corte says he found himself getting emotional when an NHL game was broadcast in Cree on APTN last season.
“There were some tears. It had been something that they had wanted for so long and to see it actually happen, it was very emotional and I found myself getting emotional as well,” said Corte, vice-president of Sportsnet and NHL productions.
So it was a “no-brainer” to bring it back and not just for one more game.
“This is not a one-off,” said Corte. “We felt a minimum of six games and a three-year contract was a really good start to get a really strong foundation, lay the ground work and then we can build from there.”
Corte was at the Enoch Cree Nation when the Montreal Canadians were defeated by the Carolina Hurricanes last season on APTN.
“It was tremendous,” he said. “Just seeing everybody’s faces, how proud they were.”
The first broadcast will feature the Winnipeg Jets facing off against the Chicago Blackhawks on Jan. 19, 2020.
February will feature two more matches, beginning with a Jets-Blackhawks rematch on Feb. 9, followed by a Calgary Flames versus Detroit Red Wings game on Feb. 23.
On March 1 the Vancouver Canucks will face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets, followed by a Jets-Canucks match on March 15, and a showdown between the Anaheim Ducks and Edmonton Oilers on March 29.