In one week, more than 125 National Hockey League players will head to Salt Lake City, Utah to take part in the most-watched international sports competition in the world, the Olympic Games. The NHL will suspend regular-season play from February 14 through February 25, allowing NHL players to represent their countries in what is being billed as a “dream tournament.”
Because of the NHL’s international player scope, with as many as 17 countries represented in team rosters, six world-class Olympic teams will be comprised mostly of NHL players. They are Teams Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, Sweden and the United States. A host of nations competing in the preliminary round – Belarus, Germany, Latvia, Slovakia, Switzerland, Ukraine – are likely to have NHL players on their rosters as well. The Czech Republic, led by Detroit Red Wings goaltender Dominik Hasek and Washington Capitals right wing Jaromir Jagr, is the defending gold medalist.
NBC Networks will cover the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and will provide more comprehensive, live coverage of hockey than any team sport has received at any Olympics – Summer and Winter – by any broadcaster. Thirty of 32 men’s hockey games, excluding the three consolation games, in the Olympic tournament will be broadcast live, including each of the final round games after the NHL players arrive on February 15 through the gold medal game on February 24.
While “CNBC: The Hockey Channel,” which reaches 83 million U.S. homes, will provide viewers with wall-to-wall live hockey during the Salt Lake Olympics, seven games are scheduled to appear on NBC, including the men’s gold and bronze medal games. MSNBC, which reaches 74 million U.S. homes, also will air selected games. 11 of 16 women’s games will be televised, beginning February 11 and continuing through the gold medal game February 21.
CBC will provide extensive coverage of the men’s and women’s Canadian ice hockey teams. The blanket coverage of the men’s ice hockey tournament featuring NHL players begins on February 15, when CBC will cover four games, including Russia versus a preliminary-round qualifier; Canada versus Sweden; Czech Republic versus a preliminary-round qualifier; and Finland versus U.S.A. CBC also will provide full and live coverage of the medal-round match-ups. For this completye story, visit www.nhl.com.