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Embracing Diversity: Hockey Night Punjabi Lights Up Canucks’ Diwali Event

Photo Credit Jagraj Lalli

Given the ever changing world I have the privilege to deal with various sport groups and individuals who are focused on promoting their sport as well as their community.

The world continues to change with far too much unrest from various cultures as well as each society that only creates hatred which has to change for the betterment of society.

Over the past I have come to know the Punjabi Hockey Night In Canada Hosts have introduced the way in which many watch the weekly game.

It’s fair to say that the way in which they not only bring the game to the viewer is not only unique but extremely professional for all broadcasts.

The future of the broadcast world depends on showing the game to everyone and over the past while I am proud to say that I can call the “team” friends of Sportswave and wish them nothing but success moving forward.

One such person who is making his mark in the industry is Jagraj Lalli who is currently attending the BCIT Broadcast Journalism class and is calling various games.

I asked if he would put an article together for Sportswave on the recent game hosted by the Vancouver Canucks which is below.

Enjoy the read:

Amidst a dazzling Diwali celebration, the Vancouver Canucks showcased their resilience with a remarkable 4-3 overtime victory against the New York Islanders. 

The game was a rollercoaster ride, starting with the Canucks trailing by two goals before mounting a thrilling comeback. 

Quinn Hughes emerged as the hero, firing a precise wrist shot past Ilya Sorokin at 2:36 of overtime, securing the Canucks’ triumph. 

Thatcher Demko’s outstanding performance, stopping 30 of 33 shots, proved pivotal in their victory.

However, the hockey heroics were just one part of the vibrant festivities. 

The Canucks transformed the arena into a lively hub of Diwali celebrations, blending sports with cultural enthusiasm. 

The atmosphere was alive with a myriad of performances. DJ Heer, Rangla Punjab Arts Academy dancers, and the rhythmic beats of Dhol Nation Alliance drummers set the stage abuzz at the Diwali Party on the Plaza. 

Club Mumbai’s DJs added a modern spin to the traditional celebrations, keeping the crowd grooving. Anthem performances by artists like Jugpreet Bajwa and in-game bhangra performances further ignited the joyous ambiance.

The concourse was decorated with the Diwali Market, offering a delightful array of South Asian culinary delights from Metro 1 Catering and other amenities from local vendors like Dudh Soda & Roshni Wellness. 

Notably, community groups such as Apna Hockey & Guru Nanak Free Kitchen added a heartwarming touch, embodying the spirit of unity and generosity. 

Adding to the excitement was the presence of the Hockey Night Punjabi Crew, who have played a significant role in broadcasting NHL games in Punjabi. 

Their journey, from inception to establishing a dedicated Punjabi broadcast team, mirrors a tale of passion and inclusivity in the world of hockey broadcasting.

Their journey began before the 2010 Winter Olympics, when Harnarayan Singh, a CBC reporter based in Calgary at the time, was approached by Joel Darling, the executive producer of Hockey Night in Canada to begin calling games in Punjabi. 

In Vancouver, Bhupinder Hundal and Nathen Sekhon pitched the idea at OMNI B.C, the station where they had worked as assignment editor and producer respectively. 

Their persistence paid off during the Vancouver Olympics when they earned the opportunity to call preliminary-round games for Canada’s teams, leading up to the gold medal game. 

The turning point arrived in 2013 when Rogers secured long-term NHL broadcasting rights. 

This prompted Hundal and Sekhon to pitch for Hockey Night Punjabi at OMNI and Sportsnet, aspiring to elevate the program with a studio, high-definition broadcasts, and on-screen graphics. That same year, with Sportsnet President Scott Moore’s support, they revamped Sportsnet Pacific’s studio in Vancouver for Hockey Night Punjabi. 

The team also expanded over the years, adding Randip Janda, Amrit Gill, Harpreet Pandher, Gurpreet Sian, Mantar Bhandal, and Taqdeer Thindal. 

To this day, they continue showcasing hockey in Punjabi, diversifying the sport and honoring their language, standing as a testament to inclusivity in hockey broadcasting.

The Canucks’ win, along with the festive Diwali celebrations, showed unity and perseverance.

The Hockey Night Punjabi team, by sharing hockey in Punjabi and including diverse voices, reflected the spirit of Diwali—a celebration of community, success, and never giving up.


About Sportswave



Sportswave Productions is located in Delta, BC.
Sportswave promotes/broadcasts Amateur Sports within the Lower Mainland.
He was recognized by Ravi Kahlon, BC’s MLA Minister for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation in September 11, 2017.
In December 2022 he was Awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Pin.
Awarded Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award for tangible for significant assistant given for the better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world.
SportsWave offers services that extend from sports articles, to interviews with on location webcasts on
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