via press release:
NBC SPORTS GROUP TO BROADCAST NINE HOURS OF NHL COVERAGE THIS SUNDAY WITH “HOCKEY DAY IN AMERICA” ON NBC & “HERITAGE CLASSIC” ON VERSUS
“The show opens with Eddie Olczyk skating with the Stanley Cup in the middle of Chicago's Millennium Park. Not a bad spectacle to begin the day.” – NBC Sports and VERSUS executive producer Sam Flood
“Hockey back at its true roots…I can’t imagine that we could have asked for more.” – Keith Jones on the 2011 NHL Heritage Classic
“We have young people who are playing it and parents who are getting up at five in the morning and getting them to rinks.” – Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick on the reason for hockey’s increasing popularity in the U.S.
NEW YORK – February 15, 2011 – The NBC Sports Group will broadcast nine hours of hockey coverage this Sunday with the inaugural “Hockey Day in America” presented by McDonald’s from Noon-6 pm ET on NBC followed by the “2011 NHL Heritage Classic” at 6 pm ET on VERSUS.
Throughout the six hours of “Hockey Day” coverage, NBC Sports will celebrate the sport by telling stories that demonstrate this country’s affinity for hockey. One of the many tales that will be told is that of Neal Henderson, who founded the Fort Dupont Ice Hockey program in inner-city Washington, D.C. in 1978 and has helped make a difference in the lives of countless children and young adults ever since. Additional stories will include the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships that are played by amateurs amidst arctic temperatures and ‘celebrity’ hockey in Los Angeles, played by actors and producers with a passion for the game. The stories of American hockey extend beyond NBC Sports. Prior to Sunday, the TODAY Show will feature a story on ‘hockey moms’ and NBC Nightly News will share a story on the lone American team competing in a Canadian women’s professional hockey league, a version of which will also run during “Hockey Day.”
In addition to the stories, NBC Sports will broadcast four NHL games from some of the most avid U.S. hockey markets. Washington at Buffalo, Philadelphia at New York Rangers, and Detroit at Minnesota will be broadcast regionally with staggered starts. All viewers will begin the day with Capitals-Sabres before some viewers are taken to Flyers-Rangers and others to Red Wings-Wild. The staggered starts allow for live look-ins of other regionalized games during intermissions. Pittsburgh at Chicago will be broadcast nationally. All games will be streamed live on NBCSPORTS.COM.
When “Hockey Day” concludes on NBC, the “2011 NHL Heritage Classic” begins on VERSUS. The much-anticipated outdoor matchup between the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames from McMahon Stadium, the home to the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders on the University of Calgary campus, is a celebration of hockey’s rich outdoor history and proud Canadian heritage. It will be the first outdoor NHL game to air on cable in the U.S.
NBC Sports Group’s Sunday NHL schedule (all times ET):
Noon “Hockey Day in America” coverage begins on NBC
12:35 p.m. Washington at Buffalo (regional on NBC)
12:40 p.m. Philadelphia at New York Rangers (regional on NBC)
12:45 p.m. Detroit at Minnesota (regional on NBC)
3:30 p.m. Pittsburgh at Chicago (national on NBC)
6:00 p.m. Montreal at Calgary (national on VERSUS)