NBC has released its schedule for the 2019-20 NHL season. The network detailed the full slate on their sports division’s official website.
At least 109 games will be broadcast on NBC and NBC Sports Network. Coverage will open on October 2 on NBCSN, as the league celebrates the commencement of its 102nd season with a doubleheader scheduled for 7:00 and 10:00 p.m. ET. The national slate’s opener will feature the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues raising their first championship banner at Enterprise Center. They’ll welcome in the Washington Capitals to set up a matchup between the two most recent Stanley Cup champions.
That game will be followed by a Western Conference showdown between the San Jose Sharks and Vegas Golden Knights at T-Mobile Arena. The squads played a thrilling seven-game set in last season’s playoffs, won by the Sharks after they came back from a 3-0 deficit in Game 7.
These games will be part of NBCSN’s “Wednesday Night Hockey” primetime slate. Many will feature an East-West doubleheader.
The doubleheader with be the first portions of an announced 97-game slate for NBCSN. Another intriguing doubleheader comes on October 26. The Blue will take on the Boston Bruins in a rematch of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. That rematch will be followed by the first of three outdoor games on the 2019-20 docket, as the Heritage Classic will follow. The Calgary Flames will battle the Winnipeg Jets at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan.
NBC’s regular network will broadcast a dozen games this season, beginning with a Black Friday matinee between the Bruins and the New York Rangers. Sunday afternoon games fill a majority of NBC’s remaining group, but exceptions come from the remaining outdoor tilts.
The annual Winter Classic will be played in its traditional New Year’s Day afternoon spot at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The local Stars face off against the Nashville Predators. On February 15, the Colorado Avalanche host the Los Angeles Kings in primetime at Falcon Stadium on the campus of the Air Force Academy. The latter game is part of the NHL’s Stadium Series label begun in 2014. NBC will also carry the 2020 NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis on January 25.
The Philadelphia Flyers hold the most national appearances with 20, including two on NBC. Notable gainers in national games include the Avalanche and New Jersey Devils.
Colorado boasts numerous young players on their roster, including All-Star Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantenen, and Gabriel Landeskog. The Avalanche saw their national appearances double from six to twelve after upsetting Calgary in last season’s playoff. It was their first playoff series win since 2008.
The Colorado influx features an interesting shift toward Western Conference squads. 66 of the 109 scheduled games feature at least one Western team.
The Devils are seeking to end a similar drought, having gone winless in the postseason since 2012. New Jersey took top-ranked prospect Jack Hughes with the first pick in the 2019 NHL Entry draft and added All-Star defenseman P.K. Subban in a trade with Nashville. They appear on the schedule four times as opposed to a single showing last season. Subban will face off against his former comrades on January 30 on NBCSN.
NBC Sports President Sam Flood mentioned he expects no changes to on-air talent. The network’s top pairing of Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, and Pierre McGuire has been together since 2007. Flood did, however, say reporters and analysts Kathryn Tappan and Jeremy Roenick will take on expanded roles. Roenick played with five teams over 18 NHL seasons, while Tappan has been the network’s studio host since 2014.
All games will be available to stream on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app.