NEWARK, NJ – JANUARY 08: The field of play remains empty as half the bank of lights in the arena went out in the second period during the game between the New Jersey Devils and the Tampa Bay Lightning on January 8, 2010 at The Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

ESPN may be working their way back into hockey with their reported winning of World Cup rights, but as we discussed a week ago, that doesn’t mean they’re suddenly going to become interested in the NHL.  Saturday night was all the proof you need of that.

There were 10 NHL games on the calendar Saturday and no games in the NBA, NFL, and MLB.  Yes, there was the NBA’s All-Star Saturday Night’s festivities, but that was it.  When it came to the major American professional sports on Saturday night, the NHL was quite literally the only game in town.

And ESPN showed 0 NHL game highlights.

I get that ESPN is in the middle of college basketball mode, and there’s going to be plenty of NBA All-Star coverage.  And I even understand that they have a big PPV deal for the Cricket World Cup.  But zero hockey highlights?  Especially with no NBA, NFL, or MLB games on the calendar?  And with no NFL news of note at all?

That just seems like a blatant slap in the face to NHL fans, doesn’t it?