Thursday, August 26, 2010

NHL National TV Schedules Released; Willie Mitchell Goes to Hollywood

For your puck planning purposes, VERSUS and NBC released their NHL broadcast schedules yesterday. VERSUS will broadcast 11 Capitals games to a national television audience in 2010-11 while NBC, which will operate under a flexible schedule for nine of the network’s regular-season dates, will carry the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1 and has the option to pick up three other Washington games.

In addition to the broadcast schedule the Capitals announced 10 time changes from the original schedule:

 Oct. 19 vs. Boston (7:30 p.m.)
 Nov. 9 at New York Rangers (7:30 p.m.)
 Dec. 19 at Ottawa (7:30 p.m.)
 Dec. 21 vs. New Jersey (7:30 p.m.)
 Jan. 24 vs. New York Rangers (7:30 p.m.)
 Feb. 1 vs. Montreal (7:30 p.m.)
 Feb. 21 at Pittsburgh (7:30 p.m.)
 March 15 at Montreal (7 p.m.)
 March 16 at Detroit (7:30 p.m.)
 March 22 at Philadelphia (7:30 p.m.).

VERSUS, which will broadcast 78 regular-season NHL games, will feature the Capitals 11 times this season, tied for the most appearances of any team. The network will also broadcast the following games:

Oct. 13 vs. New York Islanders
Oct. 19 vs. Boston
Nov. 9 at New York Rangers
Dec. 21 vs. New Jersey
Jan. 24 vs. New York Rangers
Feb. 14 at Phoenix
Feb. 21 at Pittsburgh
March 7 at Tampa Bay
March 16 at Detroit
March 22 at Philadelphia
March 31 vs. Columbus.

In other news, the Willie Mitchell saga has come to an end. The gritty veteran defenseman signed with the L.A. Kings yesterday, joining a young defense corps where youngsters Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson play starring roles. Sources say LA was the only club offering Mitchell a two-year deal; Peerless has an interesting take on how a potential Mitchell signing would have affected the Cap's salary cap. Ah Willie, you would've looked dashing in red, but not for that kind of commitment (especially in light of that concussion history). Maybe your Canucks pal Kevin Bieksa may still be in play - time will tell.

Some other miscellaneous odds and ends as we mark off the long summer days:

  • Please wish ComcastSportsNet's former Capitals reporter (and great gal) Lisa Hillary luck as she moves on to cover the arch-rival Flyers. OFB says it all here.
  • Wanna make sure you get all your hockey news on the go? Check out Storming the Creases' handy guide to mobile apps for puckheads!
  • Semyon Varlamov issues a personal invitation for you to join him at the Caps Convention and Varly has officially joined the blogosphere. (Russian Machine Never Breaks).
  • Finally, two notable hockey dads weigh in on body checking in youth hockey - a discussion that took place at this week's Hockey Summit in Toronto.

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