Joe Yerdon

NBCSN to air more than 20 NCAA hockey games this season

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It’s a great day for college hockey and its fans as they will have more reasons to tune in on Friday nights throughout the season.

NBC announced they’ve struck a deal with the University of Notre Dame to carry Fighting Irish home games from Compton Family Ice Arena for the next three years.

This season alone will see NBCSN carry 20 games over the air, including 12 from Notre Dame. This season, the Fighting Irish moved into Hockey East which means heated games against classic college hockey stalwarts like Boston College, Boston University, and New Hampshire as well as rising programs in Providence College and UMass-Lowell.

Coverage begins tonight at 8 p.m. ET with Notre Dame hosting coach Andy Murray’s Western Michigan Broncos.

As for the full slate of games to be aired this season, here’s the schedule (all times Eastern):

  • October 11 Western Michigan – Notre Dame 8 p.m.
  • October 25 Massachusetts – Maine 8 p.m.
  • November 1 Northeastern – Boston College 8 p.m.
  • November 8 Minnesota – Notre Dame 7:30 p.m.
  • November 15 Merrimack – Notre Dame 7:30 p.m.
  • November 22 North Dakota – Boston University 7:30 p.m.
  • December 6 Massachusetts – Notre Dame 7:30 p.m.
  • December 7 Massachusetts – Notre Dame 6:30 p.m.
  • December 13 Colorado College – Wisconsin 7:30 p.m.
  • January 10 Alabama Huntsville – Notre Dame 7:30 p.m.
  • January 17 Lake Superior State – Notre Dame 7:30 p.m.
  • January 18 Penn State – Michigan State 6:30 p.m.
  • January 24 Northeastern – Notre Dame 7:30 p.m.
  • January 25 Northeastern – Notre Dame 7:00 p.m.
  • January 31 Boston University – Massachusetts 7:30 p.m.
  • February 1 Wisconsin – Michigan 6:30 p.m.
  • February 7 Maine – Notre Dame 7:30 p.m.
  • February 8 Maine – Notre Dame 8 p.m.
  • February 14 Boston University – New Hampshire 7 p.m.
  • February 15 Wisconsin – Ohio State 8 p.m.
  • February 21 Boston University – Notre Dame 7 p.m.
  • March 1 Penn State – Minnesota TBD

Coverage doesn’t stop there as there will be eight games carried via NBC Sports Live Extra as well:

  • October 18 Michigan Tech – Notre Dame 7:30 p.m.
  • November 9 Minnesota – Notre Dame 7 p.m.
  • November 16 Merrimack – Notre Dame 7 p.m.
  • November 29 Alabama Huntsville – Notre Dame 7:30 p.m.
  • November 30 Shillelagh Tournament 7:30 p.m.
  • January 11 Alabama Huntsville – Notre Dame 7 p.m.
  • January 18 Lake Superior State – Notre Dame 7 p.m.
  • February 22 Boston University – Notre Dame 7 p.m.

If you haven’t gotten to know coach Jeff Jackson’s Notre Dame squad before, you can get a crash course in that this season. The Fighting Irish are currently ranked eighth in the country in the USA Hockey/USA Today poll.

Related: NBCSN to air five Big Ten men’s hockey games

Boll (upper body) returns to Columbus lineup

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The Columbus Blue Jackets are going to get a physical presence back in their lineup tonight.

Forward Jared Boll, who’s been out with an upper body issue, will return for tonight’s game in Buffalo (paywall) against the Sabres on the fourth line. While he’s not a full-blown enforcer, he adds a toughness element that was missing from the Blue Jackets lineup.

As for who comes out for Boll, rookie Boone Jenner may wind up in the press box.

One thing to note from Boll’s career to this point in the NHL, he’s had triple-digits in penalty minutes every season. Six straight years of at least 100 PIMs is something else in this day and age. Even in last season’s lockout-shortened year he pulled down 100.

Considering he’s fresh off an injury, if John Scott suits up for Buffalo tonight he may want to avoid him.

Report: Kyle Wellwood to retire from hockey (Updated)

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Kyle Wellwood is reportedly calling it a career.

Nicola Berger of Swiss newspaper NLZ reports the speedy 30-year-old forward is retiring from hockey. Wellwood had been playing for EV Zug in the Swiss National League, but tells Berger he’s done saying his heart wasn’t in it anymore.

Wellwood played nine NHL seasons with four teams: the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, San Jose Sharks, and Winnipeg Jets. After not securing a NHL deal this past offseason, he headed for Switzerland where he had a goal and two assists through nine games for Zug.

While he arrived on the scene in Toronto, his career had a revival of sorts in Winnipeg in 2011-12 as he scored 18 goals and finished with a career-high 47 points. One lockout-shortened season later, he’s through with the game at 30.

UPDATE 11:50 a.m. ET

Slight clarification from Wellwood’s agent, as per Yahoo!’s Sean Leahy — Wellwood’s one-month deal with Zug has expired and he’s left Switzerland to explore potential NHL opportunities. If he cannot find any, he plans to retire.

PHT Morning Skate: Olympic hockey tickets selling out

PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

If you were hoping to score tickets to the Olympic semifinals, gold medal game, or any of Team Russia’s games… You’re out of luck. They’re all sold out. (Dmitri Chesnokov)

Editor’s Note: ProHockeyTalk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $2,500 Fantasy Hockey tonight (Thursday). It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $500. Starts at 7pm ET. Here’s the link.

Zach Parise reaffirms his belief that the Wild will be “much better” this season. (Winnipeg Free Press)

Tampa Bay sets up for a seven-game homestand and hopes to keep their momentum going. (Tampa Tribune)

Jared Boll returns to the Columbus lineup tonight against Buffalo. (Columbus Dispatch)

If you haven’t read enough about it being Teemu Selanne’s final season, here’s another piece out of L.A. (Los Angeles Times)

Erik Karlsson and Drew Doughty are similar in their ways, aren’t they? (Senators Extra)

Boston’s David Krejci wants to get better at the faceoff dot. (CSNNE.com)

Stuart to have hearing with NHL regarding Nash elbow

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Brad Stuart could be in some trouble with the NHL.

The league announced Stuart will face a hearing with the NHL Player Safety Board regarding his elbow to the head of Rangers superstar Rick Nash.

At 2:32 of the first period of Tuesday night’s game against the Rangers, Stuart appeared to catch Nash in the head with his elbow, leading to a minor penalty. While Nash continued playing a few more shifts, he eventually left the game. Nash said after the game he had a headache that eventually got worse.

Here are the league’s reasons for calling a meeting with Stuart:

The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: illegal check to the head. However, the Department of Player Safety retains the right to make adjustments to the infraction upon review.

ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun says it’ll be a phone hearing for Stuart which means a possible suspension of no more than five games.

Last season, Nash missed four games with a concussion suffered in February thanks to a hit from Boston’s Milan Lucic.