Hitmen game to be broadcast in Blackfoot

CALGARY – The Calgary Hitmen announced that it will be featuring a new and unique broadcast element in an upcoming game.

The Feb 1. matchup–which has been dubbed the “Every Child Matters” game–will be broadcast live in Blackfoot across the province on Windspeaker radio.

The game will be the first of it’s kind.

“People are so proud to be able to hear their own language on the air. To be able to hear it in relations to a hockey game like the Hitmen,” said Bert Crowfoot, Publisher and Founder of Windspeaker radio.

“It’s a big deal to a lot of our people.

Crowfoot added that the game will be an extension from last spring’s festivities between the Hitmen and Siksika.

The Hitmen traveled to the Siksika Nation for a practice and participated in cultural activities. The Hitmen, Flames and other NHL teams have had different events for First Nations people over the years.

“I think it’s going to help create a greater awareness to the Blackfoot language,” said voice of the Hitmen Brad Curle.

“Overall this could be a great day to expose more people to Blackfoot, with audio copies of the broadcast to be later shared with schools as a teaching tool.”

“I think it’s fantastic.”

“Hockey is for everybody, and anything that is done to shine a light on this great sport, in my mind is A+,” added Curle. “If this broadcast can help in any way at all preserve the Blackfoot language, then it’s a win-win.”

As well as the game being broadcast in Blackfoot, Sportsnet 960 the Fan will be continuing its regular broadcast with the game also being shown on Sportsnet TV.

The Hitmen have been leaders in the WHL, and the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League for years.

“Whether it was making the Teddy Bear Toss, this massive thing, their anti-bullying game that they’ve had, now this is just another amazing concept. Helping out a group of people that maybe don’t get a lot of attention,” said Program Director of Sportsnet 960 Kelly Kirch.

“It doesn’t surprise me that the Hitmen have done this. It’s amazing for them to do it and we’re proud to be part of it.”

This won’t be the first time the Hitmen have done a broadcast in another language.

In a game near the start of the season with the Hitmen hosting the Medicine Hat Tigers, the Hitmen broadcast the game in Punjabi–another first for the league.

In that game, Hockey Night in Canada’s Harnarayan Singh joined Gurneet Marwaha and Jagpreet Shergil to give the broadcast in Punjabi.

RELATED: Video: Host of Punjabi HNIC makes English NHL broadcast debut

The Hitmen took their Diwali celebration game 6-3.

Curle had a friendly piece of information for the new broadcast team–enjoy yourself.

“First and foremost, have fun. If you’re having fun, odds are the listener will as well,” he said.

“And one other nugget that Peter Maher, a hall-of-fame voice of the Calgary Flames, passed on to me is that you’re the eyes and the ears of the listener who can’t be at the arena. So be descriptive. If the goalie makes a save, just don’t say ‘made a save’. Was it a glove save, was it a blocker save, was it a diving paddle save? You’re the eyes, so be very descriptive.”

The Feb. 1 game against the visiting Red Deer Rebels will start at 1:30 p.m.

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