The NHL released its 2012 national television schedule Thursday morning as if this offseason was just like any other. But one huge caveat remains: There's still no guarantee the 2012-13 season will be starting on time.
The collective bargaining agreement expires Sept. 15, meaning if the NHL and NHL Players' Association do not reach an agreement on a new deal, there will be a work stoppage in a half a month. We recapped where things stood a little over a week ago, and there has been little movement ever since. What did happen Tuesday was the NHL proposing a new CBA, and essentially discarding the one they originally made.
Reports indicate that it's a six-year labor agreement that would lower the players' revenue share from 57 to 50 percent by the fourth year. There would be no rollbacks on existing player contracts. The NHL's initial proposal called for just 43 percent of the revenue share to players, but this still doesn't appear to be something the players want. NHLPA head Donald Fehr said that the union will make its counterproposal by the end of the week -- meaning it could come Friday.
So, with the obvious warning out of the way that some of these dates might not actually be played -- and some could be changed, too -- let's take a look at what's in store for the New York-area teams.
The Eastern Conference finalist New Jersey Devils will be well-represented this season in the United States. They will be shown 13 teams on NBC Sports Network and NHL Network-US, with four more just in Canada. Some of the highlights include Devils at the New York Rangers on Oct. 17, at Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 3, and two games versus the Philadelphia Flyers (Dec. 19 and March 13). Here is the full list of games.
The Rangers they will be shown 16 times on national television, 12 of which will be shown in the United States. Some of the best games include the season opener at the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, twice against the Boston Bruins (one on NBCSN, the other NBC, the day after Thanksgiving), three times against the Flyers (twice on NBCSN, once NBC) and versus the Pittsburgh Penguins on April 3. Check out the specific games here.
The New York Islanders are slated to be shown more in Canada (five) than the United States (one). NBC Sports Network (along with TSN2) will show their Oct. 22 game against the Florida Panthers. Four games against the Montreal Canadiens will just be broadcast nationally in Canada.