NEW YORK - NHL Network™ U.S. drops the puck on the live 2009-10 NHL® regular-season schedule Friday, Oct. 2, when captain Sidney Crosby and the Stanley Cup® Champion Pittsburgh Penguins raise a new banner to the Mellon Arena rafters before opening the season against the New York Rangers. The action continues the next day, Saturday, Oct. 3, as NHL Network U.S. presents a quadruple-header of live games. In all, NHL Network U.S. will televise 77 live games this season, all in HD, with live game action spread over multiple days a week throughout the regular season.
NHL Network’s flagship show, “NHL On The Fly” will begin one hour earlier this season, 8 p.m. ET. Appearing nightly throughout the season starting Oct. 1, the program features up-to-the minute hockey information, live look-ins, extended highlights, overtime shootouts, real-time scores, interviews, pre- and post-game reports and news conferences. Hockey Hall of Famer Denis Potvin, along with NHL standouts Kevin Weekes and Pat Flatley, join the roster, which includes hosts Dan Pollard and Brian Duff and expert analysis from a variety of NHL veterans, including former GM Craig Button, Hockey Hall of Famer Larry Murphy, Gary Green, Dave Reid and more.
The schedule of live games in the U.S. focuses on games Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights. Starting April 1, NHL Network rolls out a new feature – the April Playoff Push. Eight games in 11 days highlight the final days of the regular-season as teams jockey for playoff position. Six “flex” games will guarantee viewers get the key matchups with playoff implications. Local blackouts will apply to all live games and game replays.
For the second year in a row, NHL Network U.S. will feature acclaimed programming from CBC’s “Hockey Night In Canada” every Saturday beginning at 6:30 p.m., ET. Fans in the U.S. will continue to see the 30-minute pre-game show “Hockey Tonight,” followed by an early game from the “HNIC” doubleheader including popular segments “Coach’s Corner” with Don Cherry and Ron MacLean and “The Hotstove.” On nights when the late “HNIC” game is not televised live on NHL Network U.S., the game, along with “After Hours,” will be telecast on the network Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m., ET, on tape-delay. The “HNIC” games not televised live on NHL Network U.S. will be available on NHL® Center Ice® and NHL GameCenter Live,™ the NHL’s digital subscription programming packages.
Highlights of the NHL Network U.S. schedule this season include:
- Friday, Oct. 2 –Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins raise a new banner to the Mellon Arena rafters before opening the season against Henrik Lundqvist, Marian Gaborik and the New York Rangers at 7:30 p.m. ET.
- Saturday, Oct. 3 – On a day when all 30 NHL teams are in action, viewers will be treated to an opening weekend quadruple-header. NHL Network presents coverage of Compuware/NHL Premiere™ featuring the Chicago Blackhawks and Florida Panthers from Helsinki, Finland, at Noon, ET, followed by the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues from Stockholm, Sweden, at 3 p.m., ET. The action continues that night when the Toronto Maple Leafs visit Washington to face Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals at 7 p.m., ET, followed by the Edmonton Oilers hosting the Calgary Flames at 10 p.m., ET.
- Thursday, Oct. 22 – The Boston Bruins featuring Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas travel to Philadelphia to face Jeff Carter, Chris Pronger and the Flyers in a preview of the 2010 Bridgestone / NHL Winter Classic® on New Year’s Day at Fenway Park.
- Wednesday, Nov. 11 – 2009 First-overall selection John Tavares and the New York Islanders travel to Washington to face 2004 No. 1 overall Ovechkin and the Caps at 7 p.m., ET.
- Wednesday, Dec. 2 – A clash of two of the NHL’s top netminders as Roberto Luongo and the Vancouver Canucks travel East to face Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils at 7 p.m. ET.
- Thursday, Jan. 14 – The top two teams in their respective conferences last season, the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks, face-off for the only time in the 2009-10 season in San Jose at 10:30 p.m. ET.
- Thursday, Jan. 21 -- Titans clash when the Crosby, Malkin and the Penguins host Ovechkin, Mike Green and the Capitals for the first of two games between these rivals televised this season on NHL Network U.S.
- Saturday, Jan. 30 – NHL Network once again brings U.S. viewers comprehensive coverage of CBC’s “Hockey Day In Canada,” including all three NHL match-ups.
- Wednesday, Feb 3. – Detroit and Anaheim renew their rivalry at 10 p.m., ET, when the defending Western Conference champions with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk visit Ryan Getzlaf and the Ducks.
- Sunday, Mar. 7 – Former Canadiens captain Saku Koivu welcomes his former team to Anaheim for his first NHL game against Montreal at 8 p.m., ET.
- Thursday, April 1 – NHL Network U.S. starts the playoff push with the first of six “Flex” games.
NHL Network is nominated for a 2009 Gemini Award in the Best Sports Analysis or Commentary Program, Series or Segment category for the “Brodeur: A Winner Above All” tribute program to New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur.
ABOUT THE NHL
The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the four major professional team sports leagues in North America. Today, the NHL consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League’s international makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters. According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other sport. The NHL entertains more than 100 million fans each season in-arena and through its partners in national television (VERSUS, NBC, TSN, CBC, RDS, RIS, ESPN America, ASN and NHL Network) and radio (NHL Radio™, Sirius XM Radio and XM Canada). Through the NHL Foundation, the League’s charitable arm, the NHL raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights Cancer™ and NHL Youth Development, and supports the charitable efforts of NHL players. For more information on the NHL, log on to NHL.com.