The NHL will return with fewer outdoor games in 2014-15

The National Hockey League announced its 2014-15 schedule on Sunday, as well as most of the Canadian TV schedule. However, the American slate was left unannounced, as surely NBC will have some decisions left to make. However, knowing the NHL schedule as I do (and have obsessively for the past decade), there are some educated guesses that can be made. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Outdoor Hockey

The rumor that’s been going around is that the NHL will scale back to two outdoor games this season. That number will likely go up in the future, as some cities were held back this year for various reasons, including the likely one of avoiding a burnout on these things. The NHL has long announced one of their outdoor showcases, but one is a little bit hidden.

The Blackhawks will take on the Capitals in the Winter Classic, a 1 p.m. ET, NBC game on New Year’s Day as it’s usually been. The other rumor going around, that wasn’t confirmed today, is that San Jose will get an outdoor game in the Bay Area this season. Again, not confirmed, however: there’s a February 21st (the night before Hockey Day in America) home game against the Kings (their rumored outdoor opponent) and it’s a Saturday night at 10 p.m. ET, with no other games going on at the same time. 99.9% of Saturday night NHL schedules feature at least one other 10 p.m. ET game for Canadian television. I’d bet a lot on that being the Sharks’ Stadium Series game.

The NHL on NBC

Again, nothing announced, but based on some perusing of the schedule, here are what look to be NHL on NBC dates, along with likely games.

Nov. 28 (Thanksgiving Showdown) – NY Rangers vs. Philadelphia
Jan. 1 (Winter Classic) – Chicago vs. Washington
Jan. 18 – NY Rangers vs. Pittsburgh
Feb. 8 – Chicago vs. St. Louis, Philadelphia vs. Washington
Feb. 15 – Pittsburgh vs. Chicago
Feb. 22 – Washington vs. Philadelphia, Boston vs. Chicago
Mar. 8 – Detroit vs. Boston, NY Rangers vs. Chicago
Mar. 15 – Detroit vs. Pittsburgh, Boston vs. Washington
Mar. 22 – St. Louis vs. Detroit, Anaheim vs. NY Rangers
Mar. 29 – Washington vs. NY Rangers, San Jose vs. Pittsburgh
Apr. 5 – Washington vs. Detroit, Pittsburgh vs. Philadelphia, St. Louis vs. Chicago
Apr. 11 – NY Rangers vs. Washington, San Jose vs. Los Angeles, Minnesota vs. St. Louis

There’s also a Rangers/Flyers game scheduled for Feb. 28th at 8 p.m. ET, with all of the other games featuring American teams curiously schedule at least two or three hours around it. That’s the same night last season that produced the primetime Penguins/Blackhawks outdoor game. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, it looks like NBC may be taking another shot in Saturday primetime.

Wednesday Night Rivalry

The NHL has more or less cleared their Wednesday schedules of any games except for NBCSN’s rivalry slate and Sportsnet’s package, so these aren’t hard to figure out (some late games may or may not be used for doubleheaders, but I haven’t included most of them). In fact, some of these games might be broadcast by both NBC and Sportsnet.

Oct. 8 – Philadelphia vs. Boston, 7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 8 – San Jose vs. Los Angeles, 10 p.m. ET
Oct. 15 – Boston vs. Detroit, 8 p.m. ET
Oct. 22 – Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh, 8 p.m. ET
Oct. 29 – Detroit vs. Washington, 7:30 p.m. ET
Nov. 5 – Detroit vs. NY Rangers, 8 p.m. ET
Nov. 12 – Boston vs. Toronto, 8 p.m. ET
Nov. 12 – Los Angeles vs. Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. ET
Nov. 19 – Philadelphia vs. NY Rangers, 8 p.m. ET
Dec. 3 – St. Louis vs. Chicago, 8 p.m. ET
Dec. 10 – Toronto vs. Detroit, 8 p.m. ET
Dec. 17 – Boston vs. Minnesota, 8 p.m. ET
Jan. 7 – Boston vs. Pittsburgh, 8 p.m. ET
Jan. 14 – Philadelphia vs. Washington, 8 p.m. ET
Jan. 21 – Chicago vs. Pittsburgh, 8 p.m. ET
Jan. 21 – Los Angeles vs. San Jose, 10:30 p.m. ET
Jan. 28 – Pittsburgh vs. Washington, 8 p.m. ET
Jan. 28 – Chicago vs. Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m. ET
Feb. 4 – Boston vs. NY Rangers, 8 p.m. ET
Feb. 11 – Detroit vs. Pittsburgh, 8 p.m. ET
Feb. 18 – Detroit vs. Chicago, 7:30 p.m. ET
Feb. 18 – Los Angeles vs. Colorado, 10 p.m. ET
Feb. 25 – Pittsburgh vs. Washington, 8 p.m. ET
Mar. 4 – NY Rangers vs. Detroit, 8 p.m. ET
Mar. 11 – NY Rangers vs. Washington, 8 p.m. ET
Mar. 18 – Chicago vs. NY Rangers, 8 p.m. ET
Mar. 18 – Los Angeles vs. Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. ET
Mar. 25 – Chicago vs. Philadelphia, 8 p.m. ET
Apr. 1 – Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh, 8 p.m. ET
Apr. 8 – Boston vs. Washington, 8 p.m. ET
Apr. 8 – Dallas vs. Anaheim, 10:30 p.m. ET

Steve Lepore

About Steve Lepore

Steve Lepore is a writer for Bloguin and a correspondent for SiriusXM NHL Network Radio.