It took just over an hour for Charles Barkley to solidify the 'NHL on TNT' broadcast as must-watch television.
The NHL is getting a fresh look with new deals from TNT and ESPN this season and one of the former’s biggest stars from their iconic NBA broadcasts joined in the action on the first night.
Of course, it needed to start off with a bang which involved the greatest hockey player of all time, Wayne Gretzky, shooting pucks on a bewildered Barkley, barely holding on to the goaltending equipment as the biscuits blasted by.
Even while getting ready and preparing for the segment, Barkley was putting on a show.
— NHLonTNT (@NHL_On_TNT) October 13, 2021
Nothing like two Hall-of-Famers in their respective sports suiting up and talking five-holes.
— NHL (@NHL) October 14, 2021
At least Chuck got to make one — albeit controversial — save on the greatest to ever play the sport.
Even before the shootout, Gretzky was getting roasted by the NBA legend for one of his few career fights being a loss to a guy with a perm.
"You lost to a guy with a perm??" pic.twitter.com/Eo2eHuZ8vK
— Internet #BlackLivesMatter (@cjzero) October 13, 2021
Four-time Stanley Cup champion, nine-time MVP, 894 career goals, 2,857 career points, and lost a fight to a guy with a perm; the legend of Wayne Gretzky.
There is simply nothing you can say negatively about Barkley’s appearance on the broadcast, and the rest of the internet agreed.
WAYNE GRETZKY AND CHARLES BARKLEY ARE FACING OFF IN A SHOOTOUT I AM DECEASED pic.twitter.com/Y2v9bXIHF8
— Jenna Harner (@JennaHarner11) October 13, 2021
this gretzky - barkley shootout during first intermission is already the best thing an nhl broadcast has ever done and it’s TNT’s first day on the job
— dom at the athletic (@domluszczyszyn) October 14, 2021
Barkley roasting Gretzky for losing a fight to a guy with a perm is amazing. TNT broadcast is really fun already
— Max Bultman (@m_bultman) October 13, 2021
TNT's pregame show was ... fantastic?
Please keep Charles Barkley.
— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) October 13, 2021
Charles Barkley roasting previous NHL tv deals lmaooo
"10 years ago... as rich as I am I didn't get Outdoor Network'
— HockeyStatMiner (@HockeyStatMiner) October 13, 2021
Loving TNT's analysis so far pic.twitter.com/lb0rxs1upe
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) October 14, 2021
— Jonathan McNamara (@JMUJONMAC) October 14, 2021
The chemistry between the two stars is already blooming — even if it might be a rare sight as the season progresses — and if the NHL broadcast is able to have a fraction of the entertainment value that 'NBA on TNT' produces, then it will be a smash hit.
So far, the new guys are nailing it.
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