With the 2016-17 NHL season set to begin in eight days, NHL Network announced Tuesday that it will expand its live weekday studio programming with a new show, NHL Now, at 4 p.m. ET. Co-hosted by E.J. Hradek, Steve Mears and new NHL Network host Michelle McMahon, NHL Now will originate from two different NHL Network studios and make its debut on the opening night of the season, Oct. 12.
With fans gearing up for the night's action, NHL Now will have a fast-paced format that will include Arena Cam interviews from morning skates around the League, commentary from analysts and correspondents throughout the game, and interviews with players and team personnel. McMahon, who recently served as Fox Sports Carolina' pregame host of Hurricanes Live and as a rinkside reporter, has joined NHL Network and will serve as a co-host with Hradek and Mears. Longtime NHL reporter Chuck Gormley, who most recently served as a Washington Capitals insider for Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, will also serve as a regular contributor.
Two-time Stanley Cup champion Scott Gomez has joined NHL Network as an on-air analyst and will make his debut on Oct. 17. A 16-year NHL veteran and the 2000 Calder Trophy winner as the League's top rookie, Gomez joins NHL Network after serving as a guest analyst during the network's coverage of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs. A first-round draft pick of the New Jersey Devils in 1998, Gomez scored 756 points in 1,079 career games during 16 seasons with the Devils, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues.
Originating from the new studio, The Rink, NHL Network's flagship program NHL Tonight will return weekdays at a new, earlier time at 6 p.m. ET to feature comprehensive game previews, plus look-ins of live games, highlights, in-studio demonstrations. Following NHL Tonight, NHL Network's nightly highlights show On The Fly will recap every game from across the league.
In addition to three daily studio shows, NHL Network will feature live regular-season games throughout the 2016-17 season, beginning with a 10-game schedule in October. The schedule begins with an Atlantic Division matchup featuring the Boston Bruins visiting the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. ET. Nine Stanley Cup Playoff teams will be featured this month, including the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins facing the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. ET. Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, who ranked first on NHL Network's offseason countdown series Top 50 Players Right Now, will be in action twice this month, starting with a home game against the Calgary Flames, on Oct. 24 at 8:30 p.m. ET. NHL Network will also simulcast SportsNet's production of the Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic in the U.S. when the Winnipeg Jets host the Edmonton Oilers at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg on Oct. 23 at 3 p.m. ET.