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Photo Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Oilers will have seven games aired on NBC this season

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?

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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:

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  • 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?

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Criticism

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.

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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.

What do you guys think? Is the NHL on NBC schedule truly that much better and more diverse? Let me know in the comments.


  • Glencontrolurstik

    Although it’s cool that American TV is trying to grow the NHL south of the border & beyond. My biggest fear is losing the Canadian Broadcast. The American view of hockey is very different than that of what we see. I have tried to watch the US feed of the Olympics & SC Playoffs. I can only last for a few minutes before I have to change it back to Canada.

    • Randaman

      I would rather listen to Doc Emerick and Eddy Olychuk than the idiots on Sportsnet. Doc isn’t a homer and tells it like it is. Oh, not to mention avoiding Don “Blowhard” Cherry!

      • Glencontrolurstik

        To each his own, but for the most part, I see the US viewing the game as a gladiator sport. It’s marketed that way as well. With things like animated transformer hockey players smashing into each other & bringing you to commercial. The fox flaming puck was just the beginning & it’s morphed from their. Same attitude, different picture. Regarding Don Cherry, yeah? Can’t say much… Except, Pierre McGuire…? As I said, to each his own.
        I also kinda like the way the Canadian broadcasts make us a part of it. Talking about connections & hometown stuff. Sure their are some personalities on the coverage that erk me, but for the most part I think it makes us all a part of the game. Put it this way, if you enjoy the Vegas Knights pre-game cheese, I guess US hockey coverage would appeal more to you? That’s what I see in it.

  • ubermiguel

    If Americans can see McDavid on the tee vee maybe we won’t have to sell him to LA to “grow the game” in the USA (yes, I’m still bitter 30 years later).

  • Bills Bills

    As a cable cutter I watch a lot of American feeds. They over simplify and explain the game as if they expect their audience to be idiots. Honestly for an avid hockey watcher, it is annoying and I can understand why the base doesn’t grow.

    Having said that I am a little surprised that LA has fewer games than San Jose and Anaheim.