Back in September, NBC unveiled its 2017-18 NHL schedule and at the time, there were no plans to air games during next month’s Winter Olympics. But earlier this month, NBC reversed its plans and announced that three games were added to the schedule during February and the Olympics. They will be shown as part of its NHL Game of the Week package on Sunday afternoons.
The games added are as follows:
Sunday, February 11 — Pitttsburgh at St. Louis
Sunday, February 18 — Philadelphia at New York Rangers
Sunday, February 25 — St. Louis at Nashville
All games will begin at 12:20 p.m. ET and will lead into NBC’s Winter Olympics coverage. NBC says Mike Emrick will call the added NHL games along with Ed Olcyzk. Pierre McGuire, who is normally the “Inside the Glass” analyst with Emrick and Olcyzk, will be part of NBC’s Olympic hockey team.
NBC didn’t have to worry about televising NHL games during the Olympics dating back to 2006 when it first got the rights to the league, since the NHL would shut down for three weeks while the Olympics were underway.
When this season’s NHL on NBC schedule came out, it appeared that NBC would shut out the league and focus on the Olympics in February. but that has changed with the additional three games next month.
And while Emrick and Olcyzk will call the NHL games, NBC will have its other hockey talent in South Korea. Kenny Albert and TSN’s Gord Miller will call the men’s hockey games in PyeongChang, Mike Milbury will be the analyst, and McGuire and Brian Boucher will serve as the “Inside the Glass” analysts.
John Walton, AJ Mleczko, and Leila Rahmini will call the women’s hockey games.
Kathryn Tappen will be the host of the hockey coverage in PyeongChang, joined by Jeremy Roenick and Keith Jones. TSN’s Tessa Bonhomme will be hosting coverage from NBC’s Connecticut studios with Anson Carter and Erika Lawler.
NHL players participated in the Olympics from 1998 through 2014, but last year, Commissioner Gary Bettman and several hawkish owners felt the negatives outweighed any positives so the the league pulled out. A decision for the 2022 Olympics in China has not been made, but the chances for the NHL to return are better as the league hopes to tap into the world’s biggest population.