The NHL will be going dark on national television during the two and a half weeks that the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, China will be on the air, according to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks. The NHL, who will not be participating in this year’s Olympics, have been informed that no NHL games will be televised by any NBC affiliate during the dates of Feb. 7-26.
While the original TV schedule had no games listed, it was believed that NBC would add games into their TV lineup to air NHL hockey games. However, Brooks writes that he believes it’s NBC’s way of “giving a symbolic middle finger” to Gary Bettman and the Board of Governors for withholding its players from this Olympics, which NBC will also be televising. Last year, the NHL previously aired 20 NHL hockey games during those same dates.
The NHL has stated previously that it did not want to participate in the Olympics next year for many reasons, but chief among them was they didn’t want to take a 17-day break at a time when the NHL should get its highest ratings with the NFL season completed and MLB’s season not having gotten started. However, now without national TV exposure, it looks as if they may not get that exposure anyhow.
- NBC Sports Cam Tucker writes that Arizona’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson will be re-evaluated today after suffering a lower-body injury during overtime against the San Jose Sharks. The defenseman had to be helped off the ice. The 26-year-old has been one of the few bright spots on the Coyotes roster the last few years and was expected to lead a renewed effort to get out of the basement of the Western Conference. It’s also rumored that Ekman-Larsson is next in line to be named captain to replace long-time leader Shane Doan.
- In a separate story, NBC Sports Cam Tucker writes that New York Rangers’ Andrew Desjardins will face a disciplinary hearing on Monday with the NHL Department of Player Safety for his hit on New Jersey Devils forward Miles Wood during Saturday’s preseason game. Desjardins received a match penalty for an illegal hit to the head during the middle of the first period. Wood was slow to get to his feet and went through concussion protocol, but was cleared and allowed to return to the game. The 31-year-old center was on a PTO with the Rangers. He previously played three years with the Chicago Blackhawks.