We still don't know if the 2012-13 season will start on time as the league and players continue to argue over their cut of the pie (as well as the size of the pie), but that didn't stop the NHL from releasing its national TV schedule on Thursday morning.
If you live in the United States, hopefully you enjoy watching the Penguins, Red Wings, and Bruins.
The season is scheduled to start on October 11 with four nationally televised games in the U.S. and Canada: Boston at Philadelphia (NBC), St. Louis at Colorado (NBC), Montreal at Ottawa (CBC), and Vancouver at Calgary (CBC).
For fans in the U.S. the NBC Sports Group will air over 100 games throughout the season, including every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night. Starting in January, games will be added every Sunday night as well.
Also from the NHL's press release:
For the second consecutive season, NHL on NBC broadcast coverage launches on Thanksgiving Friday, with the 2012 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown™ featuring the Boston Bruins playing host to the New York Rangers at 1:00 p.m. ET. NBC will follow up that broadcast with the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® on Tuesday, Jan. 1, at Michigan Stadium on the campus of the University of Michigan, before airing the weekly "Game of the Week" beginning Jan. 20. On Feb. 17, Hockey Day in America will be expanded to a triple-header, with two afternoon games on NBC followed by evening game on NBC Sports Network.
The Penguins, Red Wings and Bruins will make the most appearances on the NBC family of networks as they will each play 17 times in the national spotlight. The Buffalo Sabres are second with 15 appearances, followed by the Chicago Blackhawks (14), New York Rangers (13), Philadelphia Flyers (13), St. Louis Blues (12), and Washington Capitals (12).
The defending champion Kings will make nine total appearances.
Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton, Vancouver, and Winnipeg (or, in other words, the Canadian markets outside of Montreal and Toronto) are the only teams that will make no appearances on NBC during the regular season. Montreal is on five times while the Leafs get four games.
Now the only obstacle remaining is settling the new CBA and actually playing the games as scheduled. Otherwise it might be a long winter of watching paint dry.