NHL fans will get a free gift to start the season -- NHL Center Ice will be offered free by cable systems across the country for the first 18 days of the season.
From Oct. 7-24, fans will be able to watch up to 40 out-of-market games per week, as well as see the numerous innovations that are part of the 14-channel package.
Among the features are a multi-screen mosaic, featuring all the current action, with score and clock, available on the first channel of the package. There also will be a stats channel, and when possible dual feeds, featuring home and road broadcasts of the same game on separate channels. The package also will offer up to 12 games per week in high definition.
Participating cable companies are: Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Bright House Networks, Cablevision Systems, Bresnan Communications, Charter Communications, Midcontinent and Verizon FiOS, plus a number of independent affiliates.
Fans who purchase a full season of NHL Center Ice by Oct. 31 will receive the Early Bird price of $171.80.
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