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Sportsnet place to be for extensive Sens coverage

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Milan Michalek and the Senators will get a combined 52 games worth of airtime on Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet Sens during the 2011-12 NHL season, which begins Oct. 7 (Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images).

It might be suggested Rogers Sportsnet is going almost wall to wall with its Ottawa Senators coverage in the season ahead.

The regional sports network will be there when the Senators open their 2011-12 campaign on Oct. 7 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit against the Red Wings. Six months later, Sportsnet viewers can catch the Senators' home finale against the Boston Bruins on April 5 at Scotiabank Place.

Those two games are part of a 52-game regional slate of games released by the Senators and the network today. Of that total, 45 Scotiabank Senators Hockey telecasts will air on Rogers Sportsnet, while the remaining seven are earmarked for Sportsnet Sens, the companion channel to Sportsnet ONE.

All 52 games are being made available in high-definition format.

Once again, the Sportsnet broadcast team includes play-by-play man Dean Brown; analyst Denis Potvin, a four-time Stanley Cup champion and Hockey Hall of Famer, and reporter Ian Mendes.

The partnership between the Senators and Sportsnet, which goes all the way back to the network's launch in 1998, is significant for both sides.

"With 52 games televised, this partnership continues to allow fans throughout the region and our broadcast territory to turn to Sportsnet for the most in-depth Senators coverage," said Senators president Cyril Leeder.

The network is also well aware of the importance of that commitment to both the Senators and their loyal fans.

"Sportsnet’s extensive Senators coverage speaks to a loyal and passionate fan base,” said Navaid Mansuri, vice-president of finance and sports programming for Rogers Broadcasting Ltd. "Our commitment is to serve our Sens audience with the most exciting package of matchups and offer the best analysis with our post-game Connected show."

Besides the season opener, Sportsnet's schedule includes 13 matchups against Canadian opponents, including four against the Winnipeg Jets, who are returning to the National Hockey League this season after a 15-year absence. Including the home finale, the Stanley Cup-champion Bruins are featured four times on Sportsnet's Sens menu.

The day-by-day breakdown of games is as follows: Six Mondays, 15 Tuesdays, 13 Thursdays, nine Fridays, two Saturdays (both afternoon telecasts) and seven Sundays. In all, 24 of the game telecasts will emanate from Scotiabank Place.

Including CBC and TSN schedules released last week, the Senators TV schedule for 2011-12 includes 81 of 82 games. Only a Feb. 15 contest at the Florida Panthers is not slated to be televised at the moment.

For the complete Scotiabank Senators Hockey on Sportsnet schedule, click here.

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