NBC just released it’s schedule for the 2018-19 NHL season and they’ve added a couple features that seem favour the Edmonton Oilers. Though they’ve made a lot of changes that appear to be better for the league, there is still a lot of criticism towards the schedule this year.
Personally, as long as I can see Connor McDavid on my TV, I’m happy. However, having him televised across the United States is pretty cool too. In the NHL on NBC schedule released this morning, the Oilers are scheduled to play seven total games on NBC this season. To remind you, the Oilers had three games aired by NBC last season, and none the year before. Connor McDavid, amirite?
Wednesday Night Hockey
One change NBC has implemented compared to last year is their new Wednesday Night Hockey games where they intend to feature the latest “NHL’s rising stars” a.k.a Connor McDavid. The Oilers have three games scheduled on Wednesday nights and we have Connor to thank for that. Below is NBC’s description of their Wednesday night games.
Star Power – Established stars and young phenoms will take center stage on “Wednesday Night Hockey,” highlighted by multiple appearances from the likes of Alex Ovechkin (WSH), Marc-Andre Fleury (VGK), Sidney Crosby (PIT), Patrick Kane(CHI), P.K. Subban (NSH), Patrice Bergeron (BOS), Steven Stamkos (TBL), Claude Giroux (PHI) Connor McDavid (EDM), Patrik Laine (WPG), Auston Matthews (TOR), Henrik Lundqvist, (NYR), Johnny Gaudreau (CGY), Joe Pavelski (SJS), Jonathan Quick (LAK), and Nathan MacKinnon (COL)
The Edmonton Oilers Wednesday Night Hockey games consist of their December 5th game against Patrick Maroon and the Blues, their February 13th game against Sidney Crosby and the Pens, and their March 13th game against Taylor Hall and the Devils. Their other NBC games are as follows:
- November 6 vs Lightning
- November 20 vs Sharks
- January 22 vs Red Wings
- March 17 vs Golden Knights
Cool, right? Whenever I read about Oilers hockey being broadcasted live across the NHL, I can’t help to think back in the Gretzky days where people had to read about him in the newspaper the following day, or hear about him from word of mouth. I couldn’t even comprehend having to do that in this day and age. I need my Connor McDavid action instantaneous.
Most diverse schedule ever
Other features NBC is promoting with their new schedule is how diverse it is this year. In fact, they’re calling it the most diverse schedule ever since they acquired NHL rights prior to the 2005-06 season. So along with the traditional high-volume games like Washington, Chicago, Philadelphia, NBC will also be spreading the love up to Canada, specifically in the Western Conference. They will be airing more Western Conference Canadian games than ever before. I sound like a really big NBC homer right now don’t I?
The NHL on NBC schedule has taken some hard criticism over the past few years for it’s heavy focus on a select few teams. Though it’s great they are diversifying on their Wednesday night games, and the Oilers are getting more and more games every year, it is clear that there are still heavy favourites for some teams.
Decided to check out the "diversified NHL on NBC lineup" and here it is…Notice the goose eggs for OTT and VAN ? And the huge cut Detroit took this season in comparison to years past…Chicago, of course, leads the way. pic.twitter.com/fk9FNHHXcd
— Ryan aka Dewey (@rdryan33) August 13, 2018
To be honest, I don’t know who makes the decision or why they choose the teams they do. I want to say it’s due to popularity and success, but as Greg Wyshynksi made a great point about this on Twitter. Chicago has two more games on the NBC schedule this season over last year, but they finished with the seventh fewest points in the league. Interesting, right? At least we’ll always have this tweet.
As a Blackhawks fan I gotta say this just feels 100% like a giant middle finger from the league to everyone else and I extend my apologies. On the plus side you will all probably see quite a few Hawks losses if that helps pic.twitter.com/lpukCQuNcK
— Jason Ruminski (@Rummy2915) August 13, 2018
What do you guys think? Is the NHL on NBC schedule truly that much better and more diverse? Let me know in the comments.