SIX HOURS OF COVERAGE, INCLUDING FOUR NHL GAMES, WILL BE HOSTED FROM THE ICE RINK IN CHICAGO’S MILLENNIUM PARK
NEW YORK – January 19, 2011 – The NHL and NBC Sports will celebrate America’s passion for hockey with the inaugural “Hockey Day in America” presented by McDonald’s on Sunday, February 20.
With six hours of coverage (Noon-6 p.m. ET) – which will include four NHL games – hosted from McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Chicago’s Millennium Park, NBC Sports will tell the stories that demonstrate this country’s affinity for hockey – from hockey parents who chauffeur pee wees to practice before sunrise to the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships in Minnesota, played by amateurs amidst arctic temperatures, to ‘celebrity’ hockey played by actors and producers in Los Angeles to inner-city hockey in Washington, D.C. that has made a difference in the lives of countless children and young adults.
“There are hundreds of thousands of people around the United States who have laced up skates, have chased a puck around a rink and have enjoyed some of the same feelings of freedom and exhilaration that our players do,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. “‘Hockey Day In America’ honors that common bond, and NBC Sports will bring the celebration to life.”
“Hockey Day in America” is part of “Hockey Weekend Across America.” Launched by USA Hockey in 2008, “Hockey Weekend Across America” is a nationwide initiative to celebrate the game and those involved at all levels and to expose hockey to new audiences.
“By broadcasting events such as the Winter Classic and Stanley Cup, we have had a front-row seat to the extraordinary passion our country has for hockey,” said NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer. “‘Hockey Day in America’ provides us an opportunity to explore and celebrate the depth of the relationship between Americans and this special sport.”
NBC Sports will broadcast four NHL games featuring eight teams from some of the most avid U.S. hockey markets. The first three games will be broadcast regionally with staggered starts. All viewers will begin the day with the same game before some viewers are taken to their regional game. The staggered starts allow for live look-ins of the other regionalized games during intermissions. The fourth game, Pittsburgh at Chicago, will be broadcast nationally. All games will be streamed live on NBCSports.com.
NBC Sports’ “NHL Game of the Week” broadcast team of Mike “Doc” Emrick, (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (game analyst), Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass analyst) and Mike Milbury (studio analyst) will call Pittsburgh at Chicago.
The three regional games are Detroit at Minnesota, Philadelphia at New York Rangers, and Washington at Buffalo. Exact start times and commentators for the regional games will be announced at a later date.
“Hockey Day in America” schedule (all times ET):
Noon “Hockey Day in America” coverage begins
12:35 p.m. First regional game begins
12:40 p.m. Second regional game begins
12:45 p.m. Third regional game begins
3:30 p.m. Pittsburgh at Chicago (national)