Ottawa – The traditional northern fan-base for the Montreal Canadiens are breathing a sigh of relief now that the team’s French language regional broadcasts will be available in the area.

As Ginette Reno sang the anthem for the Habs home opener, news was spreading through the north that Eastlink will offer a French language package that lifts the NHL blackout on out-of-market games - which included Montréal’s regional broadcasts.

"I’ve been on the phone with the NHL, Eastlink, and RDS since the season opener” said Nickel Belt MP Claude Gravelle who’s been known to wear a Habs jersey around parliament hill. “The league found out it is best not to rile Canadiens fans or mess with our hockey history and culture in the north.”

Fans of the storied franchise realized a few weeks back that the league’s new Canadian broadcast rules would black out the French language regional broadcasts coverage of the team (RDS) in large parts of the country.  The switch in national broadcast rights and the decision of the new broadcaster to carry only a portion of the games left partisans feeling that the league had conspired to ban them from watching their favourite team. 

“It seems like the confusion around the new broadcast arrangement is settling and I am glad to see the cable companies are finding solutions for the fans,” said Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, MP Carol Hughes. “I understand there are a few areas where the technology needed to support this package doesn’t exist, but we hope that is fixed sooner than later.  People work hard and like to relax with the game of their choice.”

Eastlink is advising fans to contact them for the package which will be available as of today.   The pay to view package will feature 114 French regional broadcasts of both the Montreal Canadiens and the Ottawa Senators.