NBC Sports' NHL Schedule Features Usual Suspects, Plus Avalanche
NBC Sports released its '19-20 NHL broadcast schedule yesterday, and it indicates that the Avalanche, Stars and Devils have "become better entertainment options" for the league, according to Kevin Allen of USA TODAY. The Avalanche will be "featured 12 times, compared with six times last season." The Stars will appear six times, up from one last season, and the Devils have "gone from one appearance to four." The Stars will host the Predators in the Winter Classic at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, so it "makes sense to give them more games." The Senators are the "only team not on the television schedule." The '19-20 NHL season opens Oct. 2 with a "Wednesday Night Hockey" doubleheader featuring Capitals-Blues and Sharks-Golden Knights. Meanwhile, NBC Sports Exec Producer Sam Flood "isn't anticipating any changes" in the net's on-air talent this season. He said, "When you have Doc Emrick, you have the No. 1 player in the game. Our job is to get the puck on his stick in as many winning opportunities as possible" (USA TODAY, 8/7).
POWER PLAYERS: NBC SPORTS CHICAGO noted the Blackhawks will "appear on NBCSN" 12 times this season, as well as "two additional (non-exclusive) NBCSN games, bringing the total to 14" (NBCSPORTSCHICAGO.com, 8/6). In Boston, Christopher Price notes the Bruins are tied with the Predators and Capitals for the "sixth-most nationally televised games" with 12. They trail the Flyers (20), Penguins (16), Blues (15), Blackhawks (14) and Rangers (13) (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/7).
SHORT END OF THE STICK: In Las Vegas, Ben Gotz notes NBCSN will "carry five" Golden Knights games this season. The Golden Knights are "one of 21 franchises that didn't receive a game on NBC this season" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 8/7). In Raleigh, Chip Alexander notes the Hurricanes' playoff success -- they reached the Eastern Conference Final -- "didn't translate to more TV time" this season. The team again "will be shown on the NBC Sports Group just once, on March 5" for a road game against the Flyers. The Hurricanes have "gotten short shrift from NBC in recent seasons," appearing just once in each of the past two seasons (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 8/7).