NHL Net’s All-Star Coverage: Inside Access, Classic Games


NHL Network

NHL Network

Lots of NHL Network stuff so far this week.  The network has promised to double it’s distribution, and launched a talk show starring Dave Hodge.  They certainly are chugging along as far as new info and development goes.

The All-Star weekend, as you obviously know, is coming up and it’s one of those signature NHL events that NHL Network covers extremely well.  They usually immerse you at ice-level with player interviews and commentary during practices and show other fantastic stuff.

This year is no different, here’s what NHL Network is presenting for the 2009 All-Star Game:

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NHL Net to Move Out of the Broom Closet in September

Lots of great hockey info in Sports Business Journal this week.  There’s an inside look at Paul Kelly and Eric Lindros’ inside battle at the NHLPA.  They also have the scoop that the NHLPA is going to extend the CBA two years at the All-Star break in Montreal.

But the one thing that concerns us here at Puck the Media is their story on NHL Network’s growth.  The channel has some pretty big ambitions for the coming 12 months, according to Tripp Mickle and John Ourand:

“Our plans call for us to be in 30 million homes by the start of next season,” said NHL COO John Collins.

Now, league executives will try to increase distribution by convincing cable and satellite providers to move the channel from sports tiers to better distributed digital tiers. To entice the distributors, the network is offering an equity stake in the channel, Collins said.

“Now we’re following up and continuing those discussions,” he said. “That’s what we think is going to lead to the broader distribution.”

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The World Junior Championships: One of 75 Hockey-Related Things that VERSUS Has the Time and Money to Air, Yet Doesn’t (Plus WJC TV Schedule)

This came into my consciousness about a week ago, and I’ve been meaning to do something with it, but didn’t have the opportunity until now.  I’ve always wanted to check out the World Junior Championships, but haven’t for a bunch of reasons.  NHL hockey is on, I’m too uninterested to find a website.  But most importantly because, you know, no American network will go near broadcasting the tournament.  

Here’s last weeks press release from USA Hockey about the NHL Network’s Originally Produced (and some simulcasted) coverage of this year’s tournament.  I have some thoughts on it, after the jump.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Matt McConnellDave Starman and Fred Pletsch will make up the broadcast team for the NHL Network’s coverage of U.S. games in the upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, Dec. 26 – Jan. 5 in Ottawa.


The NHL Network will televise all U.S. games of the event. In addition, the Network will broadcast all medal-round games and all of Team Canada’s preliminary-round games. The U.S. games will have a production and broadcast team, while all other contests on the NHL Network will utilize a feed from TSN.


McConnell, who will handle play-by-play duties, has 12 years of experience as an NHL broadcaster. He is currently the lead play-by-play broadcaster for NCAA hockey on CBS College Sports and also fills in on Atlanta Thrashers broadcasts on SportSouth.


Starman, who will serve as the analyst, is currently the lead analyst for CBS College Sports coverage of NCAA hockey. His resume includes previous broadcasting stints covering both the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders.


Pletsch, who will serve as the rinkside reporter, is in his ninth season as an analyst on the Central Collegiate Hockey Association Game of the Week on Fox Sports Detroit and has also worked as a sideline reporter for ESPN during the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship. He is currently the associate commissioner of the CCHA.


The first NHL Network broadcast from the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship will take place on Dec. 26 at 3:30 p.m. EST, when Team USA faces Germany. The complete schedule is below.

NOTE: Broadcast coverage of the IIHF World Junior Championship on the NHL Network is only available to viewers in the United States.

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NHL Network is the Home For Team USA

Thanks to The Red Skate for posting this, which I missed earlier in the day.  What follows is a press release from USA Hockey and the NHL Network, outlining the benefits of their new three-year partnership.  Here’s some of the basics, then you can read the PR after the jump:


  • Live Coverage of all U.S. and Medal Round Games in the next 3 WJCs, including the 2011 Tournament in Buffalo.
  • Coverage of the Team USA Women’s “Qwest Tour”, featuring matchups against Canada and Finland, for the purpose of warming up for the Olympics.
  • All Games in HD.


Here’s the whole thing.  Enjoy:

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NHL Network to Air College Hockey

I love watching some college puck, particularly around the NCAA Tourney.  So it’s great to see that, in addition to ESPNU and CBS College Sports, NHL Network will be airing both regular season and Conference Tournament college hockey from the ECAC, CCHA and WCHA.  The NHL Net will air the ECAC Tournament as well.  It all starts tonight with a big-name matchup between Wisconsin and North Dakota.

Schedule after the jump.

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