The return of Making the Cut
A report from The Daily News in Halifax last week has the hockey reality series, Making the Cut, making a return this fall.
Instead of being bankrolled by the CBC, however, it's going to be Canadian network Global picking up the series. The same production company, Network Entertainment Inc., is producing the show, so one expects it will look fairly similar to the 2004 series of the same name.
Filming will begin today in Vernon, B.C., with an aim for an early September air date.
The first go-around of Making the Cut received mixed reviews, and may have been hindered by the fact it took place during the lockout year. (I can't help but think that a series that followed an NHL team's training camp, like the one the Boston Bruins will be holding, would be far more interesting — if only because we'd be privy to a big-league club's evaluation process.)
Six players were drafted and received a tryout with the Canadian NHL clubs from the orginal series, and they all went on to mixed success in various minor-pro leagues last season. (I'd once dubbed the program 'Making the ECHL', which doesn't appear to be that far off.)
James DeMone: Big defenceman played 55 games for the AHL's Manitoba Moose and 10 games for the ECHL's Columbia Inferno.
Matt Hubbauer: Ended up in the Maple Leafs system, where he centred St. John's (AHL) fourth line in 2004-05. He played in Germany last season.
Jordan Little: Played just four games in Edmonton's system for the Roadrunners (AHL) in 2004-05, then saw limited action in the ECHL last season with Greenville and Bakersfield.
Dominic Noel: Played a third year of Canadian university hockey (CIS) with Dalhousie during the lockout, but turned pro last season. Played mainly in the ECHL (Pensacola and Dayton), but did get in five games with Rochester (AHL).
Mike Mole: Goaltender also chose to play another year of CIS hockey with St. FX, but made the jump to the ECHL last season (Phoenix and San Diego) where he was a starter and got into 57 games. Still just 23 years old.
Kevin Lavallee: Defenceman didn't get a shot with the Habs and instead played in Germany during the lockout. Saw limited time in the ECHL last year (Florida and Charlotte) but played mostly in Germany with Augsburg.
I'm afraid it's not very thrilling. Step 1 for Round 2 of the program is going to have to be getting a higher calibre of players for the show. A collection of bubble players battling for spots in the NHL would be interesting; undrafted junior players looking for third-line gigs in the ECHL simply isn't.