Hockey Night in Canada’s decision to snub the Calgary Flames in the first round of the playoffs is TSN’s gain, says the network’s vice-president of programming.

Fans hoping to watch their hometown heroes face off against the Chicago Blackhawks this week will have to turn the dial away from CBC and Don Cherry for the first time ever after the national broadcaster opted to choose both Vancouver and Montreal as the teams to follow in the first round.

“As part of the agreement we have with CBC they have certain rights and when the Vancouver and Montreal series were no longer on the table, it was a fairly easy choice for us,” said Stewart Johnston of TSN.

“The full weight of our network efforts will be placed on that series.”

Sherali Najak, executive director of HNIC, believes all the Canadian teams belong on the storied telecast but the new contract with the NHL forced them to choose.

And with the Flames playing a central team, CBC chose the two Canadian teams least likely to have their games overlap, he said.

“It kills us not to have Calgary on that schedule,” he said, noting the networks will re-draft after the first round is completed.

Flames fan Tony Wolfleg, 31, said it doesn’t matter to him what channel his team’s on, as long as he gets to watch. “It doesn’t take much to change the channel,” he said.

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