NEW YORK (August 31, 2005) –The National Hockey League (NHL) today announced the U.S. national television network schedule for the 2005-06 regular-season. New television partners OLN and NBC will highlight the national television debuts of teen-age Pittsburgh phenomenon Sidney Crosby, Phoenix head coach Wayne Gretzky, and Philadelphia superstar Peter Forsberg.
OLN, the exclusive cable partner of the NHL, begins its 58-game schedule Opening Night (Oct. 5, 7 p.m., ET) when the re-vamped Philadelphia Flyers, led by scoring sensation Peter Forsberg, host Atlantic Division rival, the New York Rangers. On Monday, Oct. 10 (7 p.m., ET), U.S. fans will see Crosby’s national television debut when the Penguins visit Buffalo. The following night, Tuesday, Oct. 11 (7 p.m. ET), Wayne Gretzky will be behind the Coyotes’ bench as Phoenix faces a Pacific Division foe, Dallas.
OLN’s exclusive NHL coverage, which spotlights the new rivalry based-schedule, continues throughout the season on Monday and Tuesday nights. Featured are such games as Boston vs. Montreal (Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m., ET), Chicago vs. Detroit (Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m., ET), Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia (Nov. 16, 7 p.m., ET), Anaheim vs. Los Angeles (Jan. 23, 10:30 p.m., ET) and Colorado vs. Detroit (Feb. 12, 5 p.m., ET).
NBC Sports’ broadcast season begins Saturday, Jan. 14 with three regional games, highlighted by Forsberg facing his former team, Colorado, for the first time. Other games include marquee matchups between the Rangers and Detroit Red Wings, and Mike Modano and the Dallas Stars visiting Joe Thornton and the Boston Bruins.
NBC will preview the NHL season, and examine how the new rule changes will transform the game, with a half-hour show on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 2 p.m., ET.
NBC Sports will present six weeks of Saturday afternoon regular-season action: Jan. 14, Jan. 21, Jan. 28, Feb. 4, April 8 and April 15. Schedule highlights include Crosby, Pittsburgh owner and captain Mario Lemieux and the rest of the Penguins hosting the Flyers on Jan. 21, and the Red Wings visiting their Conference rivals, the Avalanche, on Jan. 28.