The NHL announced its national televised schedules this week. I was surprised to learn that the Wings, the defending Stanley Cup champs, have only seven games on national TV. The Wings may have the headline TV attraction, but they are not the most televised team. Five other teams will have eight games televised on Versus.
The seven games do not include the one guaranteed game to be shown on NBC, the Winter Classic. The Wings will likely have more games shown on NBC, but they have yet to be determined.
Fans will get to watch two Original Six franchises, the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings, face off in legendary Wrigley Field.
"What a way to start the New Year with two of the storied names in hockey playing in one of America's venerable stadiums," NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer, said. "The Winter Classic has become a great addition to what already was an appointment-viewing date on the sports calendar."
Added CBC's Hockey Night in Canada Executive Producer Sherali Najak: "This 'Original Six' city provides us with the ideal stage to showcase some of the NHL's brightest stars."
The NHL Winter Classic is only one of the more than 300 nationally televised games the League announced Thursday in unveiling the national TV broadcast schedules for 2008-09 for NBC, CBC, RDS, VERSUS and TSN.
According to George @ Snapshots, the Penguins got more televised games in Canada than the Wings did. CBC will show Pittsburgh ten times and the Wings only three times. TSN has the Wings slated for five games and the Penguins just one. In total, the Penguins have 19 scheduled televised games in North America and the Wings only 15 games.
Personally, I would rather watch Wings games on FSN Detroit instead of Versus so I'm not really hurt by getting one less game than five other teams. Surprised? Certainly. But I'm quite content with having one more game on FSN than Versus.