NHL Net, NHL.com, NHL Radio Announce Season Openers

NEW YORK/TORONTO (October 1, 2010) – The NHL’s media platforms — NHL.com, NHL Network™ and NHL Radio, are primed to cover every minute of action for every game during the 1,230-game regular season over the course of the next 200 days, the National Hockey League announced today.

NHL Network’s daily staple for fans, NHL On The Fly, will re-launch on Monday, Oct. 4, at 8:00 pm. ET with a special preview of the Eastern Conference. The Network’s expert panel will then review and analyze the Western Conference on Tuesday (8:00 p.m. ET), while NHL On The Fly Premiere Edition will air on Wednesday (8:00 pm. ET), to break down the League’s six season-opening games in Europe. NHL Network’s newest addition, David Amber, will make his debut alongside veteran NHL On The Fly host Brian Duff and a panel of special guests and analysts, including returning experts Kevin Weekes, Gary Green, Craig Button and Mike Johnson. Brad May and Bobby Holik, who each enjoyed 18-year NHL careers, will also provide their insight when NHL On The Fly returns next week.

Amber, an anchor and reporter at ESPN since 2002, who also was a part of TSN’s broadcast team that covered a number of Stanley Cup Final series and Olympics, will anchor the nightly NHL On The Fly show. Amber also will serve as co-host for the Network’s coverage at the NHL’s signature events — including the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the 2011 NHL Heritage Classic, and the 2011 NHL All-Star Game — and exclusive programming from the Stanley Cup Final and General Managers meetings.

The opening weekend of the 2011-12 season on NHL Network™ U.S. will be highlighted by a doubleheader on Saturday, Oct. 9. Live from 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere™, the afternoon match-up at 3 p.m. ET, will feature the Columbus Blue Jackets taking on the San Jose Sharks from Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden. Captain Jonathan Toews and the Stanley Cup® Champion Chicago Blackhawks will raise the Stanley Cup banner to the United Center’s rafters before opening the season against the Red Wings in the second game of the day beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET.

NHL Network Canada will also air its first live game action on opening weekend with an Oct. 10 match-up between the Boston Bruins and Phoenix Coyotes from Prague, Czech Republic, with a special 10 a.m. ET broadcast. Games on the network continue the next day when captain Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins travel to New Jersey to face the Devils for a 4 p.m. ET start. In all, NHL Network will televise 31 live games this season for Canadian viewers.

NHL Hour with Commissioner Gary Bettman is back for another season on NHL Home Ice (XM Channel 204 and on SIRIUS Channel 208 as part of the “Best of XM” programming package) and NHL.com. The weekly show broadcasts live on Thursdays from 6-7 p.m. ET. Commissioner Bettman will host the first show of the season on opening day, October 7, live from the new CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh with special guests, Penguins CEO/President David Morehouse and executive vice president and general manager Ray Shero.

NHL Live!™, the League’s daily radio show, is broadcast live on Sirius XM Radio, streamed on NHL.com and simulcast on NHL Network each weekday from noon – 2 p.m. ET. Listeners and viewers also can count on NHL Live! to provide season-long access to the game’s brightest stars and most influential people in addition to its daily newsmakers.

The NHL.com team of writers and reporters will provide 24-hour coverage in all 30 NHL markets and beyond. From off-ice activities to inside the League’s video room to exclusive video features, visitors to the site will have every opportunity to check out their favorite teams and players from all angles. Real-time statistics, predictions, frozen moments, podcasts and breaking news make NHL.com the place to visit for all hockey-related news.

NHL Network Opening Week Highlighted Events (all times ET)

Monday, Oct. 4 NHL On The Fly Season Preview: Eastern Conference 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 5 NHL On The Fly Season Preview: Western Conference 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 6 NHL On The Fly 2010 Premiere Special 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 7 2010 NHL Face-Off 4:00 p.m.

Season Debut of “NHL On The Fly” 7:00 p.m.

For more information, contact: Julie Young, NHL (416.359.7964, jyoung@nhl.com)


As the definitive hockey destination, NHL Network offers viewers a 24-hour all-access pass to complete hockey coverage both on and off the ice, including live NHL games. The Network’s daily signature show – NHL On The Fly™ – offers fans exclusive live look-ins to NHL games, including goals, shootouts, features, interviews, pre- and post-game reports and expert analysis from a variety of hockey insiders and former players, plus special coverage from NHL events. Additional programming includes international and amateur hockey, player profiles, interview shows and youth-oriented programs. NHL Network is available in the U.S. and Canada by contacting digital cable or satellite providers. For more information log on to http://www.nhlnetwork.com.


NHL Marketing Campaign Looks to Answer Your Questions

NEW YORK (October 1, 2010) – The National Hockey League (NHL) will open the 2010-11 season with a national advertising campaign designed to build on the hope and anticipation and feed the excitement fans and players have for the season. Five Questions Will Become Answers™ spots will debut Friday, Oct. 1 on NHL Network™, NHL.com and the official NHL® fan page on Facebook.

Each spot features a player performing a rigorous off-ice training routine while two sports talk radio analysts are heard in the background, providing running commentary on team and player performances from last season and the outlook for the upcoming season. The sports talk analysts raise questions shared by fans and players alike – questions that can only be answered on the ice, once the season starts.

“Each season, our fans bring a sense of anticipation and excitement to the start of the season,” said Brian Jennings, NHL Executive Vice President, Marketing. “The campaign is intended to not only ask the provocative questions that fans have on their minds about their favorite teams but to also showcase the intense training and preparation the players endure to the answer those questions.”

In one spot, the radio hosts ponder whether “the Penguins rebound and return to the top” as Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby throws a heavy medicine ball while teetering on a balance board supported only by a metal pipe. In another, Washington captain Alex Ovechkin snaps two heavy tabata ropes back and forth with extra vigor when the hosts question whether the Capitals can “be the best team in the regular season and the playoffs.”

Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews performs squats as the analysts muse whether the Blackhawks have “what it takes” to “repeat as champs” when “they’ll have a target on their backs every night.” Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller works on his hand-eye coordination by rapidly bouncing tennis balls off a wall outdoors while the commentators ask “will these Sabres be the ones that win the Stanley Cup®?” Montreal Canadiens forward Mike Cammalleri is seen flipping a huge tire on an outdoor court while the commentators ask “did the Canadiens just get hot at the right time, or are they really that good?”

In addition to the five national spots, 30 team-specific television spots featuring each club’s players were created for in-NHL market use. The campaign also will be supported through online digital banners, in-store POP and social media platforms. NHL Live! host Don La Greca and frequent contributors E.J. Hradek and Billy Jaffe lend their voices to all five national spots and the 30 local commercials.

Creative was developed by the National Hockey League with creative consulting by global advertising agency Young & Rubicam.