ESPN Sets NHL Opening-Night Doubleheader Featuring Expansion Seattle Kraken; TNT’s First Games Slated


ESPN will retake the ice for the primary time since 2004 when it airs an NHL opening-night doubleheader within the fall. And the league’s different new TV spouse, Turner Sports, additionally printed its inaugural video games on TNT.

The league unveiled its 82-game 2021-22 regular-season agenda these days (see it here), and ESPN will drop the puck on a couple of video games on Tuesday, October 12: the Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning at house towards the Pittsburgh Penguins, adopted via the expansion Seattle Kraken‘s first-ever recreation, towards 2017 growth membership the Vegas Golden Knights in Las Vegas.

Both video games may also be simulcast on ESPN+.

ESPN may even lift the Kraken’s first house recreation on Saturday, October 23, towards its new department rival Vancouver Canucks at Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle. The inaugural roster for the league’s thirty second franchise was once stuffed out all through Wednesday’s NHL Expansion Draft.

The Worldwide Leader additionally stated these days that it’ll air the 2022 NHL All-Star Skills Competition live to tell the tale Friday, February 4, and that its Disney-owned broadcast sibling ABC will air the NHL All-Star Game reside from Las Vegas the next day to come.

ESPN and the NHL introduced their seven-year US broadcast deal in March. The sports activities community aired NHL video games at quite a lot of occasions all through the Eighties, ’90s and 2000s however now not since 2004.

In past due April, the league introduced a seven-year rights deal with Turner Sports for as many as 72 regular-season video games and shared rights to the playoffs — that means the Stanley Cup Final and Playoffs will probably be on TNT and TBS for the primary time.

Turner Sports

TNT’s inaugural NHL protection faces off on Wednesday, October 13, with a doubleheader of the New York Rangers on the Washington Capitals adopted via the Chicago Blackhawks on the Colorado Avalanche. The cable internet additionally stated these days that it’ll air a couple of out of doors video games this season: the 2022 NHL Winter Classic with the Minnesota Wild internet hosting the St. Louis Blues on New Year’s Day, and the primary NHL Stadium Series recreation in Tennessee, with the Nashville Predators internet hosting the Lightning.

ESPN and the Turner nets will business off airing the Final every 12 months all through the time period of the offers. The league’s 10-year pact with NBC Sports expired after the Stanley Cup Final ultimate month.

The NHL these days additionally made it respectable that the league will go back to an 82-game agenda for 2021-22, after the Covid outbreak in mid-March 2020 canceled the remaining games of the 2019-20 season and forced a shorter 56-game 2020-21 season.

The league has but to dedicate as to whether its avid gamers will participate within the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Longtime Commissioner Gary Bettman stated the NHL has contingency plans for both choices.

If the league reaches an settlement with its Players’ Association and the International Ice Hockey Federation for NHL avid gamers to skate within the Olympics, All-Star Weekend will probably be adopted via a pause in video games from Feb. 7-22. Talks proceed on remarkable problems, together with securing suitable Covid-19 insurance coverage, NHL.com reported.



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