Missing The Game…and the People

There’s been much said about how Covid, and all the issues surrounding the virus, are making things extremely tough on all sports. This is obvious, as we all are more than aware of the banana skins that surround it all. Travel…not really possible. Getting together in an arena…not possible. Going to the pub to enjoy some live sport on TV…not possible. The list goes on and on…

I guess the issue less discussed, and that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately…because I’ve seen lots of social posts in the last few weeks on the subject…the issue of missing sports, but more importantly missing the people we enjoy it with.

Chris Ellis and Storm Coach Ryan Finnerty share a joke before an EIHL broadcast.

I’ve seen many folks lamenting how they miss their ‘hockey friends’ and the sense of community associated with taking in a game in Cardiff or Fife. This is an issue that’s not really measurable…but in my opinion just as disappointing and relevant as the dollars and cents that can be measured in losses to leagues and teams.

You see, in my EIHL travels the last few years for example, I’ve seen first-hand how the game of hockey is a social outlet, and familial experience for many hockey fans across Great Britain. It is their passion every weekend…for many it may be their social life, where like minded and lifelong friends keep each other company, and make each other laugh. When you hear mental health experts talk about the pandemic, they reference people feeling isolated, shut away from friends and family…and the negative toll that takes on all of us. I think a lot of hockey fans are feeling that as I type here.

Hockey in my experience can create joy and passion that cannot be replicated on zoom, or with old repeat games. I mean, these things are good, and certainly we must avail of such tools to keep ourselves going…but the real toll on sports for me – especially around hockey in Great Britain – is the toll of missing the joys and laughter of a night at an arena. Sharing a joint love of the game, or the joint fandom of your team. Sharing that sense of community and belonging…a sense of being a part of something brilliant.

Paul Adey and Murph getting ready for a live TV game.

Look at Team GB as another example. Hundreds of GB fans travelled to Budapest and Kosice for some of the best GB moments ever in IIHF history. These members of the ‘barmy army’ spent their hard earned cash on those occasions to be a part of the success of the national team. They used their valuable vacation days…they made GB their vacation – because of that unbridled joy that I speak of…that we all miss.

Where were you when Farmer scored that famous goal against Hungary? Where were you when Davies broke the hearts of French fans? For those that can say “I WAS THERE”, they know what I’m speaking of in this post. Yes, Covid has ravaged team and league finances…it has cost people jobs…devastating stuff, and to all those who are having bad times, I send positive hopes your way. It’s also taken away the laughter and passion of thousands of fans who miss their GB ‘family’ adventures, miss their EIHL friends. This social and mental health toll is tough on so many folks , and shouldn’t be taken for granted. No one affected in either of these ways should be taken for granted.

We all miss the game…it’s been a while since I’ve posted a note like this…but I wanted to let EIHL and GB fans know that they are certainly not alone in missing the games, the people, and ‘being there’. Let us hope that with vaccines, and time, we are all back in an arena soon…sharing some laughs and excitement…and more importantly sharing the experience of the special moments around the game together…be safe, and be kind.

Catching up with Cam…

A former New Jersey Devil and St. Louis Blue, Cam Janssen was a tough customer for all opponents he faced! With 336 NHL games played, and 774 PIM he was a warrior in his top-level career. He finished his playing days on this side of the pond in the EIHL with the Nottingham Panthers. Now a successful broadcaster in St. Louis, Janssen caught up with Murph to chat about his NHL and EIHL experiences, and all things hockey for FreeSports TV’s ‘Off The Ice’ programme June 3rd, 2020.

You can follow Murph on Twitter: @MurphOnIce

A Killer Chat…

In these uncertain times, and without sport to help us take our minds off the global health crisis, Murph decided a hockey chat might bring some positivity to a tough situation. He caught up with Cardiff Devils Managing Director Todd Kelman to discuss the EIHL season cancellation, the CHL and much much more! See the entire interview here:

Follow Murph on twitter here: @MurphOnIce


Bosses at the ten Elite League clubs have cancelled all matches with immediate effect.

League chiefs had hoped to complete the regular season and in the wake of last evening’s government guidelines, based on the up-to-the-minute scientific advice to allow sporting fixtures to continue, that seemed possible.

League bosses staged an emergency conference call after the Government’s latest announcement on the coronavirus outbreak. Impending restrictions on crowd sizes in Scotland were an issue that was being further considered overnight.

The 2019/20 Season has been cancelled as of March 13.

However, since then two teams have now reported they have players in self-isolation purely as a precaution but the health and safety of our fans, players and staff has to be paramount.

In the wake of that news the Elite league has no choice but to shut down the rest of the season and whilst the outcome is sure to disappointment fans across the country there was no alternative in these unprecedented times.

We are confident everyone will understand the rationale behind the league’s decision.

Further announcements will follow next week.

Watch the Premier Sports Challenge Cup!

Premier Sports will have exclusive live coverage of the EIHL Challenge Cup Final between Sheffield Steelers and the Cardiff Devils on Sunday 8th March.

Coverage gets underway on Premier Sports 1 from 3.30PM with Aaron Murphy and Paul Adey bringing you all the action from the Viola Arena in Cardiff.

New Premier Sports customers will be able to watch the EIHL Challenge Cup and the 2020 Premier Sports Playoff Final, a whole host of NHL games in the run up to the Stanley Cup Finals, LaLigaTV, Serie A and lots more via Sky, Virgin TV and the Premier Player.

How to watch on TV in the UK

– Sky customers signing up at www.premiersports.com Premier Sports HD on channel 412. New customers can subscribe from just £9.99 per month with no connection fee or £99 annually.

– Online (Web, iOS App, Android App): www.premierplayer.tv Premier Player from just £9.99 per month (or £99 annually) with no connection fee. If using App please set up an account first on web browser before downloading the App.

– Virgin customers: Premier Sports channel 551. You can subscribe for £9.99 per month via the provider with no connection fee or minimum contract. Call 0845 840 7777 or set up viewing via box. (Press Home > Apps and Games > All Apps > TV Upgrades.)

Please note Sky, Premier Player customers must give at least five working days’ notice to cancel the recurring monthly subscription if paying by card. Direct debit customers, please give 15 working days’ notice to cancel service. Virgin Media customers please contact provider to cancel.

Full Terms and Conditions available at premiersports.com

A moment for the ages!

Team GB in their biggest ever game at the IIHF World Championships, had a final game showdown against France on May 20th, 2019. The winner would stay in the top pool of world hockey…loser would be relegated! Murph had the call live from Steel Arena in Kosice on FreeSports TV. All the action and drama can be enjoyed again here:

You can follow Murph on twitter: @MurphOnIce

Incredible Hockey Content all season long!

What a great season of hockey in the UK and Ireland! Premier Sports and FreeSports TV have you covered with all the top leagues and content.

This season Premier Sports and FreeSports TV have viewers in the UK and Ireland sorted with all the best games from all the great leagues! NHL, KHL, SHL and EIHL all have live games across the networks, and the CHL and IIHF tournaments will also feature. So whether its the best from Canada and the USA you’re looking for, or the top European competitions, there’s something for all hockey fans this season.

You can follow Murph all season long on twitter: @MurphOnIce

Free Ice Hockey on FreeSports TV – 2019/20 EIHL broadcast schedule.

FreeSports will once again be showing live Elite Ice Hockey League and Cup games during the 2019/20 season.

The free-to-air channel began showing the EIHL last season, and after a successful experience for both the broadcaster and the league, we are pleased to confirm that 17 games will be shown live during the new season.

Murph and Paul Adey will once again call EIHL games on FreeSports, with Chris Ellis rinkside.

“We can’t wait to get started with the new hockey season on FreeSports. It’s an exciting time with Sky UK viewers now able to see the games in HD as well!” said commentator Aaron Murphy. “After a thrilling journey last year, we’re hoping that this season will be even better. And on the back of two EIHL teams being shown live in the CHL too, there’s plenty of coverage on FreeSports. There’s so much to look forward to, and I’m delighted to present the broadcasts again with Paul Adey and Chris Ellis to even more viewers in the UK.”

“We’re delighted that Elite League games will be shown again live on FreeSports this season, and we look forward to exciting matches going live into people’s homes across the country. As before, there had to be suitability from the venues and the teams, and also for FreeSports themselves, when it came to choosing games for TV,” explained League Chairman Tony Smith. “The games we’ve selected for live broadcast reflect the factors that needed to be considered for the benefit of all involved. I would like to thank Richard Webb and everyone at FreeSports for their support, and I’m looking forward to working with them again this season.”

FreeSports’ will begin their live EIHL coverage from October. Each week when there is no live EIHL game, FreeSports will instead broadcast a highlights show. The schedule is as follows:

Wednesday 30 October
7pm on air, 7:30 faceoff – Fife Flyers vs. Belfast Giants

Wednesday 13 November
7pm on air, 7:30 faceoff – Glasgow Clan vs. Cardiff Devils

Wednesday 20 November
7pm on air, 7:30 faceoff Challenge Cup ‘Play-In’ round – Coventry vs. Manchester

Wednesday 27 November
7pm on air, 7:30 faceoff – Sheffield Steelers vs. Belfast Giants

Wednesday 11 December
7pm on air, 7:30 faceoff Challenge Cup Quarter-Final 1st Leg – Belfast vs. Cardiff

Wednesday 18 December
7pm on air, 7:30 faceoff Challenge Cup Quarter-Final 2nd Leg – Cardiff vs. Belfast

Tuesday 31 December
3:30pm on air, 4pm faceoff – Nottingham Panthers vs. Sheffield Steelers

Wednesday 15 January
7pm on air, 7:30 faceoff, Challenge Cup Semi-Final First Leg – Glasgow vs. Sheffield

Friday 24 January
7pm on air, 7:30 faceoff – Dundee Stars vs. Glasgow Clan

Wednesday 29 January
7pm on air, 7:30 faceoff, Challenge Cup Semi-Final Second Leg – Nottingham vs. Cardiff

Wednesday 19 February
7pm on air, 7:30 faceoff – Cardiff Devils vs. Fife Flyers

Sunday 8 March
3:30pm on air, 4pm faceoff, Challenge Cup Final – Sheffield vs. Cardiff

Wednesday 18 March
7pm on air, 7:30 faceoff – Cardiff Devils vs. Coventry Blaze

Sunday 29 March
1800 One of the final day fixtures

FreeSports will also show a Playoff First Leg, Playoff Second Leg and the Playoff Final.

Champions Hockey League

As well as the EIHL, Belfast Giants’ & Cardiff Devils’ Champions Hockey League games, which begin on 29 and 30 August respectively, will be shown in the UK exclusively on FreeSports. The channel will also cover the competitions as it extends beyond the group stage.


FreeSports is currently available via Freeview (64), Sky (422), Virgin (553) FreeSat (252), TalkTalk (64), BT Vision (64) and online via the TVPlayer.

For more information, visit www.freesports.tv

Facebook: @freesportsuktv

Twitter: @freesportsuk

A Grand Final Indeed!

The Cardiff Devils and Belfast Giants went head-to-head in the 2019 EIHL Playoff Final. It was Number 1 Belfast vs. Number 2 Cardiff in an epic encounter from Nottingham, April 14 live on FreeSports TV.

You can follow Murph on twitter: @MurphOnIce


FreeSports will be the place to follow Great Britain at the World Championship in Slovakia as they continue their multi-year deal to cover the national side.

All seven of GB’s games will be live on the free-to-air television channel and FreeSports will be airing another 18 games from the World Championship in May.

GB will play in the top flight of world ice hockey for the first time since 1994 and they were drawn in Group A in Kosice.

Games will be played in the Steel Arena and they begin their campaign against Germany on Saturday 11th May.

The mouthwatering match-up with Canada follows on Sunday 12th May and after a rest day, GB meet Denmark on Tuesday 14th May before facing USA on Wednesday 15th May.

Finland are the opponents on Friday 17th May, while Pete Russell’s side meet hosts Slovakia on Saturday 18th May. Britain complete their group campaign against France on Monday 20th May.

Paul Adey, who won 55 caps for GB, scoring 28 goals and contributing 24 assists for 52 points, will cover the games for FreeSports alongside four-time Olympic broadcaster Aaron Murphy.

Adey said: “Working at any World Championship is special but this is very special indeed.

“I was lucky enough to play in a number of World Championship tournaments for GB, but was injured for the tournament in 1994.

“To compete against the best nations in the world is going to be amazing experience for GB.

“It will be the biggest moment of their careers and I know many are thinking they would come straight back down, but I think they can spring a surprise or two.

“They have a great roster and a great spirit. It is going to be an amazing few weeks that’s for sure.”

FreeSports will also be showing every GB Women’s game live at next week’s World Championship Division II Group A in Dumfries.

In addition, they will be showing five games from the men’s World Championship Division I Group A in Kazakhstan at the end of April and early May.

FreeSports is available free on Sky Channel 422, Virgin Media Channel 553, on Channel 64 on Freeview and BT and on Freesat Channel 252.

You can follow Murph during the World Championships here: @MurphOnIce