NEW YORK (December 23, 2010) – Through its media and social networking platforms -- NHL Network™, NHL.com, NHL Radio™ and NHL Mobile -- the National Hockey League will provide fans with the most complete coverage surrounding the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Washington Capitals at Heinz Field on New Year's Day.
Star-laden lineups, fierce rivalries, a spectacular outdoor venue, unpredictable weather and a sold-out crowd of more than 65,000 passionate fans from Pittsburgh, Washington and beyond will combine to make the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic a highlight on the North American sports calendar. In special programming over the days leading up to and following the main event, the League's media platforms will cover the wealth of storylines and convey the on-site excitement.
The build-up begins tonight on NHL Network U.S. when Washington and Pittsburgh meet for the last time before the New Year’s Day extravaganza. NHL Network will have pre-game coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET and live intermission studio reports from NHL On The Fly™. Below are programming notes for NHL media platforms at the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic:
NHL Network will have nightly coverage originating from Heinz Field on its signature show, NHL On The Fly -- including media briefings, on-site reports, construction progress from the time-lapse camera and weather predictions for game day. The panel will preview the highly-anticipated New Year’s Day match-up between the Caps and Pens and re-live some of the unforgettable moments from past NHL Winter Classic games.
The NHL Winter Classic has become a holiday tradition and, on Christmas Eve, fans will have a chance to re-live past games when NHL Network U.S. airs a NHL Winter Classic triple-header beginning at 6 p.m. ET. All three games -- the inaugural game at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo in 2008, the contest at Wrigley Field in Chicago in 2009 and last year’s match-up at Boston’s Fenway Park --will be shown in their entirety from the opening face-off to shoot-out heroics.
The puck will drop on live on-site coverage starting on December 30 – with more than 16 hours of extensive programming. Broadcasting from field level at Heinz Field, the NHL Network team of David Amber, Bob Errey, Deb Placey and Kevin Weekes and a lineup of NHL Insiders will take fans behind the scenes for interviews and in-depth coverage -- including a look at the predicted weather forecast leading up to the game. CBC‘s Glenn Healy and NBC’s Eddie Olczyk will also make special appearances throughout the coverage.
Penguins owner and Hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux will host an Alumni Game at 9:30 a.m. on December 31. The Pittsburgh lineup that includes the likes of Paul Coffey, Ron Francis, Bryan Trottier and Bill Guerin will take on a Caps team led by Peter Bondra, Scott Walker, Don Beaupre and Nick Kypreos. The game and field activities will be streamed live on NHL.com beginning at 9 a.m. On January 5, leading into its World Junior Championship gold medal game coverage, NHL Network U.S. will also host a one hour special at 6:30 p.m. to recap the Alumni Game and relive all of the memorable moments.
Both the Penguins and Capitals will take to the ice and brave the elements for the first time on December 31 when team practices get underway at 11 a.m. ET. Special interviews with players, coaches and the grounds crew at Heinz Field will bring fans up to speed on the preparations for the big game.
Game Day finally arrives on January 1, 2011, and in the main event, Sidney Crosby
and the Pittsburgh Penguins will take their game to the frozen pond to meet Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals at 1 p.m. ET (NBC, CBC, RDS). Beginning at 9 a.m., NHL Network will be field level to soak up the atmosphere and discuss the all-important weather factor leading into its pre-game show at 11 a.m. NHL On The Fly at the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Post-Game Show will be on the air immediately following the games conclusion.
NHL Network’s simulcast of the daily radio show, NHL Live!, is another way fans can be part of the action and excitement of the NHL’s outdoor game mystique. Host Don La Greca will recap the previous night’s NHL action, preview the day ahead and bring viewers up close and personal to the preparations and weather conditions from the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. NHL Live! will have pre-game programming on a special day and time -- Saturday, Jan. 1 from 9-11 a.m. -- leading up to the puck drop at Heinz Field. NHL.com
NHL.com will provide extensive coverage from Pittsburgh with daily reporting by top writers and exclusive, behind-the-scenes features. The 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic microsite, www.nhl.com/winterclassic is already in full game-day mode and loaded with in-depth stories and video on the Capitals-Penguins rivalry, the teams’ top stars, weather-related elements, history of past outdoor games and much more.
The rink construction webcam will come to life on December 23 and fans can find a daily time-lapse video along with day-by-day blogs on team preparations. NHL.com also will be streaming the Alumni game live beginning at 9 a.m. followed by team practices at Heinz Field on December 31. NHL Radio
NHL Live!, the NHL’s daily radio show -- broadcast live on Sirius XM Radio, streamed on NHL.com and simulcast on NHL Network -- will air a special extra edition on Saturday, January 1 from 9 -11 a.m. ET. La Greca will set-up the game and feature interviews with players and insight from NHL Insiders. As always, fans are welcome to call-in or email their comments. NHL Mobile
NHL GameCenter’s complete roster of mobile applications will provide fans yet another way to connect to the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Spectators attending the game can take advantage of the fan guide to find their seats and get the relevant game day information while fans at home can check out all the latest NHL news, scores and broadcast details.
Other application highlights include access to the live webcam and daily time-lapse videos, Winter Classic photo gallery, video highlights and an online shopping experience at shop.nhl.com to purchase Winter Classic jerseys and merchandise.
The GameCenter mobile application will also carry exclusive video from HBO’s “24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic” series. NHL Social Media
The National Hockey League and NBC Sports are integrating Facebook into the New Year’s Day broadcast of the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic (1 p.m. ET, NBC). The “Watch And Win” promotion will allow viewers a chance to win great prizes such as a Honda CR-Z sport hybrid coupe, and trips for four to both Universal Orlando Studios and the 2011 NHL All-Star Game. Fans can register to play by signing up at www.Facebook.com/NHL and clicking on the “Watch And Win” tab. NHL Network Special Programming (all times ET)\
Thursday, Dec. 24
2008 NHL Winter Classic (Pittsburgh vs. Buffalo): 6 p.m.
2009 NHL Winter Classic (Detroit vs. Chicago): 8 p.m.
2010 NHL Winter Classic (Philadelphia vs. Boston): 10 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 30
NHL Live! from the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic: Noon – 3 pm
NHL On The Fly at the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic: 5:30 p.m. – 7 pm.
Friday, Dec. 31
NHL On The Fly at the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Practice Day: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
NHL On The Fly at the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic: 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 1
NHL Live! from the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic: 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
NHL On The Fly at the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Pre-Game Show: 11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (U.S.)
NHL On The Fly at the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Pre-Game Show: 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (CAN)
NHL On The Fly at the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic Post-Game Show: Following the game
Wednesday, Jan. 5
Winter Classic Alumni Game Show: 6 p.m. (CAN) / 6:30 p.m. (U.S)