NEW YORK / TORONTO – NHL Network today announced it has reached a one-year extension for broadcast rights to games from the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA), Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA), and Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC Hockey).
The broadcast package provides NHL Network with 19 'Game of the Week' match-ups that will air Friday nights through the remainder of the season. The deal also includes the ECAC Hockey Semifinals and Final.
"College hockey not only provides a glimpse of future NHL stars, but the unique excitement and competition of interscholastic rivalries," said John Shannon, Executive in Charge of Programming and Production for NHL Network. "Covering Division I college hockey is an important step for the NHL Network to truly become the Home of Hockey."
"The leadership of U.S. college hockey has continued to explore meaningful ways to work with the NHL to raise the profile and scale of college hockey and the sport in general," said Tom Anastos, CCHA Commissioner and President of the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA). "This distribution agreement with the NHL Network will serve as another building block in that effort."
"We are excited to once again partner with the NHL Network to showcase our championship finals," said Steve Hagwell, Commissioner of ECAC Hockey. "This partnership gives our League tremendous exposure because it not only provides access to fans within our footprint but to those across the United States and Canada. We are thrilled with this relationship."
"We are proud and happy to be part of the NHL Network's exciting new coverage of college hockey," said Bruce McLeod, WCHA Commissioner. "This new agreement with the NHL Network will increase the exposure of our game to fans across the United States and Canada and will also provide a boost in our efforts to continue to recruit the best players to play college hockey. We look forward to showing off our quality of play, our beautiful buildings, and our enthusiastic crowds."
NHL Network's 2008-09 U.S. College Hockey broadcast schedule is as follows:
Friday, Oct. 31 Wisconsin @ North Dakota 8:30 PM ET
Friday, Nov. 7 Ferris State @ Miami (Ohio) 7:30 PM ET (US only)
Friday, Nov. 14 Alaska Anchorage @ North Dakota 8:30 PM ET (US only)
Friday, Nov. 21 Michigan @ Miami (Ohio) 7:30 PM ET
Friday, Nov. 28 Cornell @ North Dakota 8:30 PM ET (US only)
Friday, Dec. 5 St. Lawrence @ Colgate 7:00 PM ET
Friday, Dec. 12 Notre Dame @ Bowling Green 7:00 PM ET
Friday, Dec. 19 Clarkson @ Bowling Green 7:00 PM ET
Friday, Jan. 9 Minnesota Duluth @ St. Cloud State 8:00 PM ET
Friday, Jan. 16 Cornell @ Union 7:30 PM ET (US only)
Friday, Jan. 23 Brown @ Colgate 7:30 PM ET
Friday, Jan. 30 Bowling Green @ Miami (Ohio) 7:30 PM ET (US only)
Friday, Feb. 6 Denver @ Minnesota Duluth 8:00 PM ET (US only)
Friday, Feb. 13 Yale @ Union 7:30 PM ET
Friday, Feb. 20 Denver @ Wisconsin 8:00 PM ET
Friday, Feb. 27 Ohio State @ Miami (Ohio) 7:30 PM ET
Friday, Mar. 20 ECAC Hockey Semifinal #1 4:00 PM ET
Friday, Mar. 20 ECAC Hockey Semifinal #2 7:30 PM ET
Saturday, Mar. 21 ECAC Hockey Final 7:00 PM ET**
We want to make sure that whoever makes our team really makes our team by earning it and not putting them in situations where they get preference because of their status as a first-round pick or whatever it might be. That's not going to happen. Everybody has to earn their way on our team.
— Columbus Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen on the team's prospects at development camp