It used to be that hockey fans either had to go in person to a game or pay the big bucks for cable to get their game on. But starting in January 2018, everyone can get a taste of this hard-hitting sport on national television. The NBC sports group will be airing a record 99 NHL games for the 2017-18 season, bringing hockey to an even larger fan base.
Once relegated to a handful of games that usually didn’t even include the full schedule of the last two rounds of the Stanley Cup Finals each season, fans will now get to enjoy games on “regular” TV as well. Opening the new year with the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic from Citi Field in New York City, the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres will battle it out on the ice on NBC. NBC will also claim exclusive coverage of another Stadium Series game on March 3rd between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Washington Capitals. These outdoor matches are a salute to old-school pond hockey where it all started.
NBC is also laying claim to coverage of the NHL All-Star Weekend during the last weekend of January. This includes 40 of the league’s top stars as voted by the fans. Players from all four divisions are pitted against each other for a display of skills in the All-Star Skills competition and they round out the weekend with a spirited 3-on-3 competition divided into head-to-head divisional competitions and a final All-Star Game. These shortened-format games are played with two 10-minute halves instead of the regular 20-minute, three-period game format during the rest of the year.
For fans who have enjoyed hockey on NBCSN, the familiar voice of “Doc” Emrick will be no surprise. As a five-time Emmy Award winner for excellence in sports broadcasting, Emrick has long been the lead commentator for NHL games on NBC and NBCSN. His classic play-by-play announcing style has even landed him a spot in the United States Hockey Hall of Fame-the only media member to ever have been inducted. Catch him and all the fun this season with hockey on NBC.
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