As we get ready to drop the puck on a new NHL regular season, there are a few changes as to how you’ll watch the games for 2015-16. While NBC, NBCSN and NHL Network remain as the outlets in the United States, we’ll see more of Kenny Albert, less of Dave Strader and a new analyst who will be “inside the glass.”

NHL Network has new digs at MLB Network’s headquarters in Secaucus, NJ and the NHL GameCenter app will undergo a huge overhaul come January. Let’s sum up how you will watch the NHL this season.

NBC/NBCSN

Starting with a doubleheader tonight, the NBC Sports Group will air a total of 105 games throughout the season. NBCSN will bring 93 games to the American people while NBC will air 12 games mostly on Sundays as part of its Game of the Week package.

Tonight’s doubleheader has defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago hosting the New York Rangers at 8 p.m. ET and a West Coast matchup between the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings at 10:30 p.m.

NBCSN will have its regular Wednesday Night Rivalry games that have become a destination for fans. This season will have 24 matchups. The Wednesday night games averaged 565,000 viewers and seven of its rivalry matchups were among NBCSN’s top 10 most-watched NHL games of 2014-15.

Kenny Albert will have a bigger role on the NHL on NBC Sports Group. He’ll serve as the “B” announcer as he’s had that role during the playoffs calling one of the Conference Finals. Dave Strader who had been the “B” announcer during the regular season has become the TV play-by-play man for the Dallas Stars, but he’ll call a small number games for NBC/NBCSN.

The others who will call play-by-play for The Group will be Mike Emrick, John Forslund of the Carolina Hurricanes and from Canada, Chris Cuthbert and Gord Miller from TSN.

Brian Boucher joins The Group as a new “Inside the Glass” analyst. Pierre McGuire returns as does Brian Engblom as rinkside analysts. Joe Micheletti will also continue as a part-time analyst when he’s not working on MSG Network calling New York Rangers games. Eddie Olczyk is back as the main analyst sitting next to Doc Emrick.

Some of the highlights of the season for NBC/NBCSN:

  • The 2016 NHL Winter Classic between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins from Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA on New Year’s Day at 1 p.m. ET. The game will not go against the College Football Playoff semifinals this season so ratings should be decent this time around.
  • The 2016 NHL Stadium Series, featuring Chicago and Minnesota on February 21 from TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota, and Detroit and Colorado at Coors Field in Denver on Saturday, Feb. 27 in primetime.
  • NBCSN will present coverage of the NHL All-Star Weekend from in Nashville, TN from Friday, January 29 through Sunday, January 31 with the NHL Fantasy Draft, NHL All-Star Skills Competition and the NHL All-Star Game.
  • NBC airs the NHL Thanksgiving Showdown with a doubleheader on Black Friday, beginning at 1 p.m. ET when the Boston Bruins host the Rangers. Thanksgiving Showdown shifts to the west coast at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN with a rematch of the Western Conference Final, as the Anaheim Ducks host the Blackhawks.
  • NBC and NBCSN will combine to air a tripleheader on Hockey Day In America on Sunday, February 21. NBC airs the Buffalo Sabres hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins at 12:30 p.m. ET, followed by the NHL Stadium Series at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC with the Wild and Blackhawks. NBCSN airs an Original Six matchup to close out the tripleheader, as the New York Rangers host the Detroit Red Wings.

NHL NETWORK

NHL Network has moved from Toronto to MLB Network’s headquarters in Secaucus, NJ. It’s part of a new six-year deal between the NHL and MLB Advanced Media.

We already told you about the talent roster at the network. The network will produce two original programs that will originate from MLB Network studios, the NHL Tonight live cut-in and whiparound show which will be hosted by Jamison Coyle which will air between 7-10 p.m. ET and On the Fly, the wrap-up and highlights program at 10 p.m. which will be fronted by Jamie Hersch.

The shows will be based out of the Hot Stove and Studio 21 sets at MLB Network.

NHL Network will continue to air selected games from the Sportsnet Hockey Night in Canada package on Saturday nights.

NHL Network will air 12 games in October:

NHL Network Game Schedule – October 2015
Date
Visitor
Home
Time
Friday, October 9
Chicago
NY Islanders
7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, October 10
Montreal
Boston
7:00 p.m. ET
Sunday, October 11
Montreal
Ottawa
7:00 p.m. ET
Monday, October 12
Florida
Philadelphia
7:00 p.m. ET
Saturday, October 17
Detroit
Montreal
7:00 p.m. ET
Sunday, October 18
Minnesota
Anaheim
8:00 p.m. ET
Monday, October 19
San Jose
NY Rangers
7:00 p.m. ET
Friday, October 23
Boston
NY Islanders
7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, October 24
Tampa Bay
Chicago
8:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, October 25
Calgary
NY Rangers
7:00 p.m. ET
Monday, October 26
Anaheim
Chicago
8:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, October 31
Pittsburgh
Toronto
7:00 p.m. ET

NHL GAMECENTER

The out-of-market online product now has a single team package for those who don’t want to buy the entire enchilada. Starting in January, the NHL app and NHL Gamecenter will be taken over by MLB AM which will bring some upheaval. Currently the NHL app and Gamecenter are managed by NeuLion and you’ll see changes in the New Year.

SIRIUSXM

The satellite radio provider signed a new six-year extension that will last through the 2021-22 season. It means subscribers in the U.S. and Canada will have access to live local calls of games plus original programming.

So NHL fans have plenty of access to games in 2015-16.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.