All-Star Red Carpet Tomorrow

NEW YORK (January 28, 2011) – NHL All-Stars, rookies, coaches and alumni will walk the red carpet at the RBC Center in Raleigh prior to the Honda NHL SuperSkills® on Saturday, Jan. 29. Fans can join in the pre-event excitement and cheer on their favorite stars in the first of two days of Front Lawn Parties at the RBC Center presented by Custom Home Exteriors and the Carolina Hurricanes organization. Caniacs and fans of all teams are encouraged to be loud and proud as 2011 NHL All-Star festivities come to Carolina for the first time.

 

The Front Lawn Party on Saturday, Jan. 29 will take place from 3:00-6:45 p.m. at the RBC Center prior to the highly-anticipated Honda SuperSkills® competition and will feature live performances by rock band “Static Line,” made up of members from the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. Food and beverage will be available for purchase, TSN will be broadcasting live and the giant LED board outside the RBC Center will be airing the live NHL Network broadcast of the red carpet arrivals, which will begin at 4:00 p.m.

 

The party continues at Sunday’s Front Lawn Party, prior to the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover, which will kick off at noon with live music by local favorite DJ George and a performance by RBC’s own “Performing Assets.”

 

The Front Lawn Parties and red carpet event are free to the public; normal parking rates will apply. For media covering the red carpet, spots are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve a spot on the red carpet, please contact Nicole Buckley at nicbuckley@nhl.com.

 

The 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover will mark the first time Carolina has hosted NHL All-Star activities. The excitement begins on Friday, Jan. 28 with the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco and televised live nationwide on TSN and RDS in Canada and VERSUS in the U.S. at 8 p.m. ET from NHL Fan Fair™ at the Raleigh Convention Center. On Saturday, Jan. 29, the players will take the ice in the Honda NHL SuperSkills® at the RBC Center. The League’s mid-season spectacular concludes with the 58th NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover at the RBC Center on Sunday, Jan. 30. Live television coverage of both nights will be provided by VERSUS in the U.S. and CBC and RDS in Canada, with the Honda NHL SuperSkills at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday and the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday. NHL Network™, NHL.com, NHL Radio™ and NHL Mobile™ will have all angles covered with a full slate of live programming and fan initiatives throughout the weekend.

 

VERSUS 10 Most and Least Watched Games Through January 2011

All numbers with help from Son of the Bronx

Top 10 Most-Watched VERSUS Games Through 1/28/11

1. Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, 12/14/10 – 750,000 viewers
2. Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh, 10/7/10 – 730,000 viewers
3. Boston vs. Pittsburgh, 1/10/11 – 523,000 viewers
4. NY Rangers vs. Washington, 1/24/11 – 458,000 viewers
5. Buffalo vs. Boston, 12/7/10 – 438,000 viewers
6. Colorado vs. Detroit, 10/12/10 – 432,000 viewers
7. Chicago vs. Colorado, 10/7/10 – 430,000 viewers
8. Montreal vs. Philadelphia, 1/25/11 – 414,000 viewers
9. St. Louis vs. Chicago, 11/30/10 – 390,000 viewers
10. Buffalo vs. Philadelphia, 10/26/10 – 347,000 viewers

Top 10 Least-Watched VERSUS Games Through 1/28/11 (Not Counting Bonus/Premiere Games)

1. Phoenix vs. St. Louis, 12/31/10 – 113,000 viewers
2. St. Louis vs. Colorado, 11/15/10 – 138,000 viewers
3. Minnesota vs. Columbus, 12/27/10 – 143,000 viewers
4. Los Angeles vs. Minnesota, 10/25/10 – 149,000 viewers
5. St. Louis vs. Nashville, 11/24/10 – 150,000 viewers
6. Los Angeles vs. Dallas, 1/17/11 – 151,000 viewers
7. Dallas vs. Carolina, 11/29/10 – 163,000 viewers
8. Boston vs. Tampa Bay, 11/22/10 – 167,000 viewers
9. Minnesota vs. New Jersey, 1/4/11 – 199,000 viewers
10. Boston vs. Tampa Bay, 12/2810 – 202,000 viewers

All-Star Fever Hits North Carolina

NEW YORK (January 27, 2011) – The 2011 NHL ALL-Star Game presented by Discover between Team Staal and Team Lidstrom will be played in front of a sellout crowd on Sunday at the RBC Center in Raleigh, the National Hockey League announced today. Hockey fans from across the globe are arriving for the festivities, starting with the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco on Friday night, Jan. 28. As Captains, Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes and Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings will lead the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco and will also set their team rosters for the Honda NHL SuperSkills® on Saturday and the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover on Sunday.

 

2011 NHL All-Stars

 

This year, 42 All-Stars will play in the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover, with each team having three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards. Additionally, 12 NHL Rookies will join the All-Stars in the Honda NHL SuperSkills® on Sat., Jan. 29 at the RBC Center. The full roster follows:

 

Forwards

Corey Perry – Anaheim Ducks

Jeff Skinner – Carolina Hurricanes

Eric Staal – Carolina Hurricanes (Captain, Team Staal)

Patrick Kane – Chicago Blackhawks (Alternate Captain, Team Lidstrom)

Patrick Sharp – Chicago Blackhawks

Jonathan Toews – Chicago Blackhawks

Matt Duchene – Colorado Avalanche

Paul Stastny – Colorado Avalanche

Rick Nash – Columbus Blue Jackets

Loui Eriksson – Dallas Stars

Brad Richards – Dallas Stars

Anze Kopitar – Los Angeles Kings

Martin Havlat – Minnesota Wild

Patrik Elias – New Jersey Devils

Danny Briere – Philadelphia Flyers

Claude Giroux – Philadelphia Flyers

David Backes – St. Louis Blues

Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning

Martin St. Louis – Tampa Bay Lightning (Alternate Captain, Team Lidstrom)

Phil Kessel – Toronto Maple Leafs

Ryan Kesler – Vancouver Canucks (Alternate Captain, Team Staal)

Henrik Sedin – Vancouver Canucks

Daniel Sedin – Vancouver Canucks

Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals

 

Defensemen

Dustin Byfuglien – Atlanta Thrashers

Zdeno Chara – Boston Bruins

Duncan Keith – Chicago Blackhawks

Nicklas Lidstrom – Detroit Red Wings (Captain, Team Lidstrom)

Brent Burns – Minnesota Wild

Shea Weber – Nashville Predators

Marc Staal – New York Rangers

Erik Karlsson – Ottawa Senators

Kris Letang – Pittsburgh Penguins

Keith Yandle – Phoenix Coyotes

Dan Boyle – San Jose Sharks

Mike Green – Washington Capitals (Alternate Captain, Team Staal)

 

Goaltenders

Jonas Hiller – Anaheim Ducks

Tim Thomas – Boston Bruins

Cam Ward – Carolina Hurricanes

Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens

Henrik Lundqvist – New York Rangers

Marc-Andre Fleury – Pittsburgh Penguins

 

Rookies

Cam Fowler – Anaheim Ducks

Tyler Seguin – Boston Bruins

Tyler Ennis – Buffalo Sabres

Jamie McBain – Carolina Hurricanes

Kevin Shattenkirk – Colorado Avalanche

Taylor Hall – Edmonton Oilers

Evgeny Dadonov – Florida Panthers

P.K. Subban – Montreal Canadiens

Michael Grabner – New York Islanders

Derek Stepan – New York Rangers

Oliver Ekman-Larsson – Phoenix Coyotes

 

Logan Couture – San Jose Sharks

 

All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco

 

As previously announced, the rosters for Team Staal and Team Lidstrom for the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover and the Honda NHL SuperSkills® will be determined by a first-ever player fantasy draft. The Jan. 28 NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco will be televised live nationwide on TSN in Canada and VERSUS in the U.S. at 8 p.m. ET from NHL Fan Fair™ at the Raleigh Convention Center.

 

A coin toss will decide first pick with Staal and Lidstrom, joined by their alternate captains, Ryan Kesler and Mike Green for Team Staal and Patrick Kane and Martin St. Louis for Team Lidstrom, alternately drafting the 36 remaining All-Stars through 18 rounds. Each team will consist of three goalies, six defensemen and 12 forwards total. To ensure that the final draft picks are true selections and not simply predetermined due to position requirements, each team’s three goalies must be picked by the end of Round 10 and each team’s six defensemen must be picked by the conclusion of Round 15.

 

The 12 Rookies participating in the Honda NHL SuperSkills® will be divided by the NHL into two groups of six. At the completion of the 15th round of the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco, one NHL Rookie will be selected to choose which All-Star team his group will join for the skills competition.

 

All-Star Coaches

 

The coaching staffs will be designated to each Captain via coin toss before the start of the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco. By virtue of winning the 2010 Stanley Cup, Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville will be the head coach of one of the All-Star teams. He will be assisted on the bench by Mike Haviland, his current assistant in Chicago. Head coaches Alain Vigneault of the Vancouver Canucks and Peter Laviolette of the Philadelphia Flyers earned the honor of co-coaching the other NHL All-Star team. Under the All-Star Game selection process, the head coaches of the teams with the highest points percentage (points earned divided by total possible points) in the Eastern and Western Conference through games of Saturday, Jan. 8 earned the right to co-lead one of the All-Star teams.

 

Honda NHL SuperSkills®

 

During the highly anticipated Honda NHL SuperSkills® competition on Sat., Jan. 29 at the RBC Center, the NHL All-Stars and Rookies will showcase their skills in six events:

 

· Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater™

· BlackBerry NHL Breakaway Challenge™

· McDonald’s NHL Accuracy Shooting™

· G Series NHL Skills Challenge Relay™

· XM NHL Hardest Shot™

· Discover NHL Elimination Shootout™

 

Champions will be crowned in each of the six individual events, with Team Staal going against Team Lidstrom throughout the night for points in the overall team vs. team competition. The selections of which players will participate in each event will be made on Saturday afternoon and order of participation will be determined by the Captains just before the start of each event. Each All-Star will be involved in no more than three events, excluding the Discover NHL Elimination Shootout™, the event in which every player participates.

 

2011 NHL All-Star Weekend

 

The 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover will mark the first time Carolina has hosted NHL All-Star activities. The excitement begins on Friday, Jan. 28 with the NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft powered by Cisco and televised live nationwide on TSN and RDS in Canada and VERSUS in the U.S. at 8 p.m. ET from NHL Fan Fair™ at the Raleigh Convention Center. On Saturday, Jan. 29, the players will take the ice in the Honda NHL SuperSkills® at the RBC Center. The League’s mid-season spectacular concludes with the 58th NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover at the RBC Center on Sunday, Jan. 30. Live television coverage of both nights will be provided by VERSUS in the U.S. and CBC and RDS in Canada, with the Honda NHL SuperSkills at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday and the 2011 NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday. NHL Network™, NHL.com, NHL Radio™ and NHL Mobile™ will have all angles covered with a full slate of live programming and fan initiatives.

 

NHL Fan Fair™

 

Fans in Raleigh are encouraged to take part in the festivities at NHL Fan Fair™, a three-day fan festival at the Raleigh Convention Center, January 28-30. Occupying more than 150,000 square feet, NHL Fan Fair will offer hockey fans of all ages three fun-filled days of interactive games and attractions, special appearances, trophy and memorabilia displays, live TV and radio broadcasts, pin trading and trading card zones, music, food, official NHL All-Star merchandise and dozens of other dynamic activities. Tickets for NHL Fan Fair are available for purchase via Ticketmaster and at various locations throughout Raleigh.

 

NHL Fan Fair will be open to the public on Friday, Jan. 28, from 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 29, from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 30, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and is part of the NHL® All-Star Wide Open, the outdoor series of free concerts at the Amphitheater High Stick Stage and a street party festival on Fayetteville and Cabarrus Streets in the style of the popular Raleigh Wide Open.

 

 

Bruins-Red Wings is NBC’s Game of the Week on February 13th

NEW YORK (January 27, 2011) –The Sunday, February 13, Boston Bruins at Detroit Red Wings game has been flexed as NBC Sports’ “Game of the Week” and will be played at Joe Louis Arena at 12:30 p.m. ET, the National Hockey League and NBC Sports announced today.

 

The Bruins lead the Northeast Division due in no small part to Tim Thomas’ heroics in goal. Currently leading the League in shutouts (seven), save percentage (.945) and goals-against-average (1.81), Thomas will return to his home state of Michigan along with fellow All-Star Zdeno Chara and the rest of the Bruins to face the Red Wings.

 

Led by 2011 NHL All-Star captain Nicklas Lidstrom and Henrik Zetterberg, the Red Wings have shown their depth by holding their place near the top of the standings despite injuries to several key players, including star center Pavel Datsyuk. They currently lead the Central Division.

 

NBC Sports’ “NHL Game of the Week” on Feb. 13 will be the return match of a rare home-and-home series between these inter-conference foes; they meet for the first time this season on Feb. 11 in Boston (in HD on NHL Network-US, FS-D+ and NESN.) The two clubs have met 576 times over 85 NHL seasons.

 

FLEXIBLE SCHEDULING

 

At least 13 days prior to the scheduled game, one game is selected for broadcast on NBC. All NBC games will be broadcast on Sundays and all games will be presented in HD. Games not flexed to NBC will be available to the teams’ regional carriers and remain at the originally announced start time. The Feb. 13 match-up was first announced on the Thursday, Jan. 27, edition of “NHL Hour With Commissioner Gary Bettman” on NHL.com and SIRIUS XM Radio airing from 6-7 p.m. ET. All subsequent flexed games will be announced on NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman.

 

Upcoming 2011 NBC Game of the Week Regular-Season Flexible Schedule

 

Feb. 6 PITTSBURGH AT WASHINGTON 12:30 p.m. ET

Feb. 13 BOSTON AT DETROIT 12:30 p.m. ET

Feb. 20 HOCKEY DAY IN AMERICA

presented by McDonald’s

Washington at Buffalo (regional)

Detroit at Minnesota (regional)

Philadelphia at NY Rangers (regional)

Pittsburgh at Chicago (national) 12 – 6 p.m. ET

Mar. 6 Philadelphia at NY Rangers OR

Buffalo at Minnesota TBD

Mar. 13 Chicago at Washington OR

Los Angeles at Dallas TBD

Mar. 20 NY Rangers at Pittsburgh OR

New Jersey at Columbus TBD

Apr. 3 NY Rangers at Philadelphia OR

Minnesota at Detroit OR

Tampa Bay at Chicago TBD

Apr. 10 Boston at New Jersey OR

Pittsburgh at Atlanta OR

Detroit at Chicago OR

Dallas at Minnesota TBD

 

CBC’s Coverage Plans for All-Star Weekend

Hockey’s biggest stars are coming this Saturday to CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA,home to the NHL’s All-Star weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina. Thisyear’s celebration of the NHL’s best players promises to be one of themost exciting all-star games ever played, with several new fan-friendlyfeatures both on the ice and throughout the broadcast.

The weekend kicks off Saturday, January 29th at 6:30 pm ET when the NHL Super Skills Competition takes centre stage. NHL All-Stars and the league’s top rookies will show off their moves in six events, including the NHL Fastest Skater, NHL Breakaway Challenge, NHL Accuracy Shooting, NHL Skills Challenge Relay, NHL Hardest Shot and NHL Elimination Shootout.The players will be wired for sound during the competition, allowingviewers to get up close and personal with their favourite players.

During the Saturday broadcast details of a joint CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA/NHL Players’ Association Player’s Poll will be released, covering a widerange of topics such as best/worst ice, easiest/toughest coaches,over/under-rated teams and whether the instigator rule should beabolished. The findings will be discussed by CBC’S HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA expert panel, which will include NHL All-Stars Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis and other players to be confirmed. On-air talent for the 2011 NHL All-Star weekend includes Ron MacLean, Scott Oake, Kelly Hrudey and Elliotte Friedman.

The 58th NHL All-Star Game takes over the spotlight on Sunday, January 30th at 4 p.m. ET. The game features an exciting new format where captains Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings and Eric Staal of the CarolinaHurricanes have selected players for their respective sides instead ofpitting one conference versus the other. Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson and Glen Healey will call the star-studded event.

The weekend’s NHL festivities will also be streamed live and on-demand at CBCSports.ca (including the Hockey Night 360 All Access Camera), your online destination for informative blogs and breaking news about hockey and highlights from around the NHL. Tim Wharnsby will be live blogging all weekend, and he and Scott Morrison will break down the All-Star Fantasy Draft as it happens.

Rob Blake Joins NHL Hockey Ops.

NEW YORK (January 27, 2011) – A Stanley Cup Champion, Norris Trophy winner and one of the best defensemen to ever play the game, Rob Blake, will join the NHL’s Hockey Operations Department as a manager, the National Hockey League announced today.

 

Blake will work with Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell and his staff on all aspects of the game. He will work closely with hockey executives on the Club level and be involved with the Competition Committee and the NHL’s summer Research and Development Camp.

 

“Rob Blake wasn’t just one of the greatest defensemen ever to play in the NHL, he was one of the game’s most thoughtful players,” Campbell said. “We are fortunate to be able to add someone with his long list of on-ice accomplishments and varied talents to the League’s Hockey Operations department. We plan to rely heavily upon his two decades of playing experience – particularly his unique understanding of the game as it is being played today.”

 

Said Blake: “I am delighted to be joining the NHL’s Hockey Operations department and at having this opportunity to continue to have an impact upon the game that has been such a major part of my life. The chance to continue to enhance an already great on-ice product at the League level is especially intriguing after so many years spent focusing upon individual team success. And I am excited to be working with Colin Campbell, Mike Murphy, Brendan Shanahan and the entire Hockey Ops team.”

 

Blake officially retired from the game on July 18, 2010 following a remarkable 20-year NHL career with the Los Angeles Kings, Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks. The Simcoe, Ontario native was originally selected by the Kings in the fourth round (70th overall) of the 1988 NHL Entry Draft. He was selected for the NHL All-Rookie Team in 1991 and appeared in seven All-Star games (1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004).

 

He finished his career with 777 points (240 goals, 537 assists) in 1,270 games which places him 18th all-time among NHL defensemen all-time. His 240 goals rank 10th all-time and his 136 power play goals place him third all-time among blueliners.

 

Blake has also had an illustrious International career, representing Canada in the Olympics three times (1998, 2002 and 2006) and appearing in five World Championships (1991, 1994, 1997, 1998 and 1999). Blake was also selected to play for Team Canada for two World Cup of Hockey tournaments (1996, 2004) but did not play in 2004 due to injury.

 

He is one of only 24 players in hockey history to join the “Triple Gold Club”, winning a World Championship (Canada, 1994 and 1997), Olympic Gold Medal (Canada, 2002) and the Stanley Cup (Colorado, 2001). Blake became the 11th member on Feb. 24, 2002 with Team Canada’s Olympic Gold Medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.

 

The Return of Broadcast News, Frequent Educated Guesses About What Networks Would Take For Potential Playoff Matchups

NOTE: This is a feature I kind of overused last season, but I think it’s high time it got brought back. Every week or so, I post the potential playoff match-ups, what series the American networks would take, and a “mock draft” of the Canadian network. Remember, it is just for fun, and feel free to post your own guesses in the comments.

Playoff match-ups as of this morning.

Eastern Conference

#8 Atlanta vs. #1 Philadelphia
#7 Montreal vs. #2 Tampa Bay
#6 NY Rangers vs. #3 Boston
#5 Washington vs. #4 Pittsburgh

Western Conference

#8 San Jose vs. #1 Vancouver
#7 Chicago vs. #2 Detroit
#6 Phoenix vs. #3 Dallas
#5 Anaheim vs. #4 Nashville

US Networks

NBC: Not a difficult decision. Pittsburgh-Washington and Chicago-Detroit make for solid, likely ratings gainers for the Peacock if things ended this way today. Rangers-Boston and Atlanta-Philadelphia could get consideration as back-ups should those end early.

VERSUS: All potential games of any Pittsburgh-Washington series would be on national television. Chicago-Detroit would likely get some coverage on the games in Detroit, and the Rangers-Boston and Atlanta-Philadelphia series would certainly get some play. San Jose-Vancouver would likely be totally covered as the lone series taking place entirely in the pacific time zones. Nashville-Anaheim and Dallas-Phoenix would both potentially get a shot when those series are in California and Arizona.

Canadian Networks Mock Draft

#1 (CBC): Montreal-Tampa Bay
#2 (CBC):
San Jose-Vancouver 
#3 (TSN):
Washington-Pittsburgh
#4 (CBC):
NY Rangers-Boston 
#5 (TSN):
Chicago-Detroit
#6 (CBC):
Dallas-Phoenix
#7-8 (TSN):
Atlanta-Philadelphia and Anaheim-Nashville

This is going to likely be kind of a rough year for the Canadian networks, especially TSN. Only three of the teams up north are even in the hunt in this point, and let’s be honest, Montreal is injury-riddled and no one sees Calgary as a legitimate threat in the West for now. Obviously CBC would snatch up the two popular Canadian markets that are currently in, while TSN would get the consolation prize of Crosby vs. Ovechkin. 4-8 are fairly interchangeable, but CBC will likely take the best Western and Eastern series remaining as a companion to the two obvious picks.

NHL Network Announces Their Official Plans For All-Star Weekend

NEW YORK (January 26, 2011) – New and exciting are the themes for the upcoming NHL® All-Star Weekend and NHL Network™, NHL.com, NHL Radio™ and NHL Mobile™ will have all angles covered with a full slate of live programming and fan initiatives. First-time players, special on-air guests and renewed competitiveness resulting from a new draft format that can cast regular season teammates as All-Star foes make this All-Star weekend a can’t-miss event on the NHL calendar and the League’s media platforms.

 

After battling through a thrilling, six-game Stanley Cup® Final series last June, it is possible through the new draft format that Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers players might find themselves as All-Star teammates. NHL Network has that possibility covered in the person of former Blackhawks and Flyers player Jeremy Roenick. “JR” joins the NHL Network on-air team throughout the weekend — including challenging colleague Kevin Weekes to take it to the ice for a little one-on-one competition.

 

Below are programming notes for NHL media platforms at the 2011 NHL All-Star weekend:

 

NHL Network

 

NHL Network drops the puck on its All-Star coverage with the NHL Network 2011 All-Star Mock Draft on Thursday, Jan. 27, at 8:00 p.m. Draft architect Brendan Shanahan will take viewers through the selection process and both All-Star team captains — Carolina Hurricanes C Eric Staal and Detroit Red Wings D Nicklas Lidstrom — will offer some last-minute insight and tips. NHL On the Fly™ host Brian Duff might need to play the role of mediator as former NHLers and OTF regulars Kevin Weekes and Mike Johnson go head-to-head to make their fantasy player selections. Who will be the last man left standing?

 

NHL Network’s studio set and panel will make their on-site debut in Raleigh on Friday, Jan, 28, with pre- and post-game coverage live from the NHL Fan Fair™ — a 150,000 square foot hockey party that will occupy the Raleigh Convention Center. The official NHL Network at the 2011 NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft™ show will get underway at 6:00 p.m. with a behind-the-scenes look at the host city, the history of hockey in Carolina and Draft pick tactics. Weekes and Roenick will have an opportunity to talk strategy with Captains Staal and Lidstrom before they put on their GM hats ahead of the first pick for the NHL All-Star Draft powered by Cisco.

 

With the pool of available All-Stars assembled, NHL Network cameras will enter the green room, where Deb Placey and Heidi Androl will speak with players and their families before the Draft begins.

 

The 2011 NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft Recap show begins immediately following the draft with exclusive interviews with the first and last picks. Alternate captains from Team Staal and Team Lidstrom will join the panel to discuss their selection approaches and why they think their team will have the definitive advantage over the other going into Sunday’s big game.

 

Saturday’s three hour pre-NHL SuperSkills® coverage starts at 4:00 p.m. with the 2011 NHL All-Star Red Carpet Show. Players, coaches, NHL alumni and entertainers will mingle with fans and broadcast personalities to showcase their personal off-ice fashions on the red carpet. In the second half of the show, NHL Network cameras will bring fans into the locker rooms for the coaches’ pre-NHL SuperSkills address and check out all the action from the NHL’s Fan Fair. NHL Network also will cover Commissioner Gary Bettman’s State of the League news conference at 6:00 p.m.

 

The 2011 Honda NHL SuperSkills Recap begins at 9:00 p.m. with a review of winners, player reaction and surprising outcomes. Will the rookies dominate the night or will the All-Stars exploit their experience, particularly in an event like the Blackberry NHL Breakaway Challenge where creativity is as important as skill?

 

When the big game arrives on Sunday, January 30, NHL Network will be front and center with the 2011 NHL All-Star Pre-Show show beginning at 2:00 p.m. from its set overlooking the RBC Center ice surface. The NHL On The Fly team will take an in-depth look at the some of the most memorable moments from past All-Star competitions, milestones and some of the best players ever to play the game.

 

The League’s mid-season spectacular concludes with the 58th NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover. Live television coverage will be provided by VERSUS in the U.S. and CBC and RDS in Canada, beginning at 4:00 p.m. The 2011 NHL All-Star post-game show on NHL Network gets underway at 7:00 p.m. with news, analysis and game highlights. Finally, after a weekend of milestones and memories, the Network team will look ahead to when Ottawa hosts the All-Star celebrations in 2012.

 

NHL.com

 

NHL.com will provide extensive coverage from Raleigh with daily reporting by top writers and exclusive, behind-the-scenes features and video. The 2011 NHL All-Star microsite, http://www.nhl.com/allstar is already in full All-Star weekend mode and is loaded with in-depth stories, mock drafts, video highlights and historical notes from past All-Star games. NHL.com’s comprehensive All-Star Draft coverage will include a live blog for U.S. fans and live streaming for Canadian fans and international audiences. The website will also cover the NHL Fan Fair, The Guardian Project™ and entertainment acts set to perform during All-Star weekend.

 

The Blackberry All Access Show — a daily video newscast to which fans have become accustomed during the regular season — will have special programming throughout All-Star weekend. The show will feature All-Star moments, exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes videos and a preview of game day coverage.

 

NHL Radio

 

NHL Radio will have a special broadcast of the NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover with Doug Brown fulfilling host duties and John Forslund handling the play-by-play. A special guest analyst – Stanley Cup winner and former Carolina Hurricanes player Aaron Ward — will join the broadcast with EJ Hradek reporting from ice-level.

 

The team will call the play -by -play of the game, feature live intermission shows and post game analysis. The NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover can be heard on Sirius XM Satellite Radio (XM Channel 204 and Sirius 208 in the US), NHL.com and radio stations around the U.S. and Canada (check your local listing).

 

NHL Mobile & Social Media

 

NHL on Foursquare — the NHL’s mobile application that makes cities easier to and more interesting to explore — will be giving All-Star “tips” throughout the weekend, driving fans to check-in at the various events like NHL Fan Fair.

 

NHL on Twitter will be running a Watch-and-Win contest during NHL All-Star weekend. Throughout the weekend, the contest will encourage fans to follow @NHL#NHLAllStar for their chance to win prizes. Fans following @NHL will be asked to answer questions related to the broadcast and correct answers will have an opportunity to win a prize including a Bauer hockey stick for each of the six Honda NHL SuperSkills®.

 

During Sunday’s broadcast of the NHL All-Star Game presented by Discover, the NHL will also be giving away an opportunity to win two prizes each period and a grand prize — an autographed Sidney Crosby jersey.

 

NHL Mobile will also have several fan initiatives running throughout the weekend. On Saturday during the BlackBerry NHL BreakAway Challenge™ event at the Honda NHL SuperSkills®, fans will be able to vote for their favorite NHL BreakAway Challenge player. Immediately following the sixth skater in the Discover NHL Elimination Shootout™, the voting window will open up to fans. SMS voting will consist of numbers 1-6 (i.e. Text “1″ to vote for Stamkos, Text “2″ for Ovechkin, etc.). Fans will be able to vote for their favorite player by texting in the number that corresponds to the player of their choice to 81812. Voting is open to residents in the United States and Canada.*

 

On Sunday, fans will also have the opportunity to vote for the All-Star Game MVP in the 2011 Honda NHL All-Star MVP Award™ Text-to-Vote Promotion. Voting opens at the beginning of the second period and runs through the end of the game. To vote, fans text the players last name to 81812. Voting is open to residents of the United States and Canada.*

 

NHL GameCenter™ has a complete roster of mobile and tablet applications that will provide fans yet another way to connect to the 2011 NHL All-Star weekend.

 

Mobile applications on Andriod, Blackberry, Nokia and iPhone will provide users with all their NHL All-Star weekend needs including All-Star video highlights, team rosters, news and notes, photo galleries, wallpaper options and a detailed fan guide for spectators and fans in Raleigh. In addition to the above functions, iPad tablet users can also experience an online shopping feature that allows them to purchase 2011 NHL All-Star Game merchandise at shop.nhl.com.

 

 

NHL Network All-Star Special Programming Schedule

Thursday, Jan. 27 NHL Network 2011 All-Star Mock Draft 8pm-9pm

2009 NHL All-Star Game from Montreal, Quebec 10pm-12am

Friday, Jan. 28 Bienvenue a Montreal – 2009 NHL All-Access 12am-1am

NHL Network at the 2011 All-Star Player Fantasy Draft 6pm-8pm

2011 NHL All-Star Player Fantasy Draft Recap 9pm-11pm

Saturday, Jan. 29 2011 NHL All-Star Red Carpet Show 4pm-6pm

NHL Commissioner’s News Conference 6pm-7pm

2011 Honda NHL Superskills Recap 9pm-10pm

Sunday, Jan. 30 2011 NHL All-Star Pre-Game 2pm-4pm

2011 NHL All-Star Post-Game 7pm-8pm

 

Hockey Sixth Among Americans’ Favorite Sports in Harris Poll

It is often thought by many people who follow the NHL in the United States that hockey – for people in this country – is either a sport that you completely immerse yourself into, or follow as an outsider every once in a while. There’s not a lot of in-between, “casual” fans. Well, it seems that the people following hockey devoutly is continually increasing in the US.

According to a Harris poll, the results of which were published by Sports Business Daily (reg. required), hockey is the favorite sport among 5% of U.S. fans, placing sixth. The game finished behind pro football (31%), baseball (17%), college football (12%), auto racing (7%), and men’s pro basketball (6%), all of which are sports you’d probably agree are more popular and have more diehards.

The sport did, however, finish above sports like men’s soccer (4%), men’s college basketball (4%), men’s golf (2%), men’s tennis (2%), boxing (1%) and women’s tennis (1%), all sports which can occasionally, and in college basketball’s case almost exclusively, draw higher television ratings than hockey. Note that there apparently was not an option given for college hockey as there was for basketball and football.

Hockey’s place in the poll is up 1% over 2009, even with 2008, up 2% from when the poll was taken in 1998, and up 3% from the poll’s inaugural year in 1985. Other than football, no sport has shown as much sustained growth in the Harris poll, though basketball was as high as 13% (a 7% growth from it’s spot in the 1985 poll) in the Jordan heyday of 1998. That said, it’s encouraging to see slow, but steady growth for the sport.

Where You Can See the AHL All-Star Game and Skills Competition in NHL (and Non-NHL) Markets

All this info is compiled from the AHL website. This is sorted by NHL markets, and then by non-NHL markets. The skills competition and game will air live on TSN on Sunday, January 30th at 3:00 PM ET and Monday, January 31st at 7:00 PM ET, respectively. NHL Center Ice will be airing the game live and there appear to be plans for NHL Network to air the game as well.

Anaheim/Los Angeles – Time Warner Cable SoCal 101
Skills: LIVE
All-Star Game: January 31, 10:00 PM ET

Atlanta/Nashville – Comcast Sports Southeast
Game: February 1, 12:30 PM ET

Boston  - NESN (HD)
Skills: LIVE
Game: February 2, 7:00 PM ET

Buffalo: Time Warner Cable SportsNet (HD)
Skills: January 31, 10:00 PM ET
Game: LIVE

Carolina – Time Warner Cable Carolina On Demand

Chicago – Comcast Sportsnet Chicago (HD)
Skills: January 31, 4:30 PM ET
Game: Live

Colorado – Altitude 2 (HD) (with additional reruns on Altitude main channel)
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

Columbus – FSN Ohio
Skills: January 31, 12:00 PM ET
Game: February 1, 12:00 PM ET

Dallas – FSN Southwest/FSN Houston
Game: LIVE

Detroit – FSN Detroit
Game: LIVE

Florida – Sun Sports (HD)
Skills: February 2, Midnight ET

New Jersey/NY Islanders/NY Rangers – MSG Plus (HD)
Skills: January 31, 5:00 PM ET
Game: LIVE

Philadelphia – The Comcast Network (HD)
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

Phoenix – FSN Arizona (HD)
Game: January 31, 10:30 PM ET

Pittsburgh – FSN Pittsburgh (HD)
Skills: January 31, 5:00 PM ET
Game: LIVE

San Jose – Comcast Sportsnet California (HD)
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

St. Louis – FSN Midwest (HD)
Skills: January 31, 5:00 PM ET
Game: LIVE

Tampa Bay – Bright House Sports Network
Skills: February 5, 7:00 PM ET
Game: February 1, 7:00 PM ET

Washington – Comcast Sports Network Mid-Atlantic
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

Non-NHL Markets

Rochester – Time Warner Cable Sportsnet (HD)
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

Syracuse/Binghamton – Time Warner Cable Sports
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

Albany – Time Warner Cable Sports
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

Maine – Time Warner Cable TWC TV
Game: LIVE

Cleveland – SportsTime Ohio
Game: LIVE

Cincinnati/Dayton – Time Warner Cable Ch. 99
Game: LIVE

Wisconsin – Time Warner Cable Sports 32
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

Kansas City – Time Warner Cable Metro Sports
Skills/Game: TBA

Wilkes-Barre – WQMY-TV
Skills: LIVE
Game: LIVE

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