NBC will kick off its broadcast coverage of the NHL season with a pair of tantalizing matchups on opening day — the Philadelphia Flyers will take on in-state rivals Pittsburgh in one game, while the defending Stanley Cup champion LA Kings will host the Chicago Blackhawks in the other.
Coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 19 with NHL Live — programming will include the Kings’ banner raising, celebrating the first Cup win in franchise history.
Following the ceremony, NBC will offer regional coverage of either LA-Chicago (puck drop at 3:25 p.m. ET) or Pittsburgh-Philly (3:35 p.m. ET).
Both games promise to be explosive affairs.
The Penguins-Flyers rivalry was arguably the league’s fiercest a year ago, culminating with an epic opening-round playoff series in which Philadelphia beat Pittsburgh in six games.
The teams combined for 56 goals, 309 penalty minutes and three suspensions totaling six games.
The Kings-‘Hawks game should be equally compelling. Both are elite Western Conference teams, and the game will also hold special significance as it pits two of the last three Stanley Cup champions against each other.
LA won its season series with Chicago a year ago by going 2-1-1, winning both games at the Staples Center.
Curtis Glencross’ hard-luck preseason continued on Monday, as the Avalanche announced they released him from his training camp tryout.
Glencross had previously been cut from Toronto’s camp, which he described as “kind of a shock” move. Following that release, the 32-year-old quickly shifted to Colorado but arrived fairly late in the overall process, and only got a bit of exposure before being let go.
While some thought yesterday’s trade of Freddie Hamilton to Calgary may have opened up a spot for Glencross, the Avs now appear to be going in a different direction.
A two-time 20-goal scorer that netted 13 in 71 games last year, it’s unclear what lies ahead for Glencross.
The Edmonton Oilers have assigned center Leon Draisaitl to AHL Bakersfield.
The demotion of Draisaitl, 19, means 21-year-old rookie Anton Slepyshev has made the opening-day roster after scoring twice and adding two assists in exhibition action.
The Oilers experimented during the preseason with Draisaitl, a natural center, on the wing. He didn’t have a particularly poor camp, finishing with one goal and three assists in six games.
But Slepyshev apparently impressed more.
“He’s a young player but he’s played pro hockey before,” coach Todd McLellan told the Edmonton Journal. “You can see it.”
Slepyshev played 58 games in the KHL last season, scoring 15 goals for Salavat Yulaev Ufa.