The world’s oldest sports-related television program jumps into the nation’s living rooms this Saturday as the venerable Hockey Night in Canada airs in 3-D for the first time.

“It’s like dabbling your toes in the water and trying to get a feel for it,” said Jim Hughson, CBC’s play-by-play announcer of Saturday’s early game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs. 

The late game, between Vancouver and Tampa Bay, will be in regular 2-D, as will Coach’s Corner with Don Cherry.

Hughson, a longtime voice of Vancouver Canucks broadcasts on radio and television, was a skeptic who turned believer after watching the 2010 NHL Winter Classic in 3-D.

“I put the glasses on and was absolutely blown away,” Hughson said.

HNIC executive producer Trevor Pilling called the broadcast a bit of a “science experiment.” He said viewers can expect less cutaway shots and abrupt camera movements, as the 3-D cameras are built to focus on the movement of the players.

The next 3-D game on CBC will be February’s Heritage Classic, an outdoor game between the Calgary Flames and the Montreal Canadiens.

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