As the late Bob Johnson used to say, “It’s a great day for hockey.” As it’s cold in the Northeast and it snowed in Southern New England, it’s certainly is a great day for hockey.
And to celebrate the sport, the NBC Sports Group, the NHL and USA Hockey have declared today as Hockey Day in America. Similar to last week’s Hockey Day in Canada, NBC/NBC Sports Network combine to air three games. NBC has an afternoon doubleheader with Pittsburgh at Buffalo followed by Los Angeles at Chicago. NBC Sports Network has the tripleheader nightcap with Washington at the New York Rangers.
The entire day will be wrapped around the Hockey Day in America celebration at New York’s Central Park hosted by Liam McHugh. In addition, there will be several features showing what hockey means to America including one on Jack Jablonski who was paralyzed after a hit in a high school hockey game and struck up a friendship with the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson. And there will be another with Michelle Beadle and Jeremy Roenick on hockey hair.
We have the details of Hockey Day in America on the NBC Sports Group below.
Coverage Begins at Noon ET on NBC From New York City’s Trump Rink in Central Park
NBC Sports Will Tell the Story of America’s Passion for Hockey with Numerous Features Throughout the Day Across NBC and NBC Sports Network
NHL Tripleheader: Pittsburgh Penguins-Buffalo Sabres at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC; Los Angeles Kings-Chicago Blackhawks at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC; Washington Capitals-New York Rangers at 6 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network
NEW YORK – February 12, 2013 - NBC Sports Group will celebrate the third annual Hockey Day in America by delivering nine hours of hockey coverage on NBC and NBC Sports Network, including numerous features that tell the story of America’s passion for hockey, weaved within an NHL tripleheader that features six U.S. teams.
Coverage begins Sunday at Noon ET on NBC with NHL Live originating from Trump Rink in New York City’s Central Park. Liam McHugh will anchor NBC Sports’ live pre-game and intermission coverage, and will be joined by analysts Jeremy Roenick, Mike Milbury and Keith Jones.
Following NHL Live at 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC and NBC Sports Network will deliver three games. NBC will broadcast a doubleheader featuring one Western Conference and one Eastern Conference matchup. In the early game, Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will take the ice against Ryan Miller and the Buffalo Sabres. Then at 3:30 p.m. ET, the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings will face off against the undefeated (10-0-2) Chicago Blackhawks. At 6 p.m. ET NBC Sports Network will conclude the Hockey Day In America celebration with an Eastern Conference matchup between Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals against Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers. Both NBC broadcasts will be available online and via mobile through NBC Sports Live Extra and the NBC Sports Live Extra App.
NBC Sports will weave the stories of America’s affinity for hockey into and around its coverage of the three NHL games, which will include interviewing and highlighting American players. Among the stories scheduled to be told on Sunday:
Ice Hockey in Harlem
Ice Hockey in Harlem is a non-profit organization for youth that uses the sport of hockey to promote academic achievement, teamwork and character. Their motto is “Education is the Goal” and the organization has served the community for 25 years. The program is only open to those living north of 110th Street in Manhattan and there is a waiting list to enroll each fall. At the core of this non-profit organization are lessons that stick with the kids for life. Themes such as family, commitment, dedication and giving back are passed on to these local area children, which will help in creating a better future, leaders and role models.
Skaters streaking down the ice with long, flowing hair trailing behind them has been a common sight at hockey games for decades. Unlike playoff beards, which are widely believed to have been popularized by Islanders teams of the early 1980s, the exact origins of hockey hair have never been adequately explained. Michelle Beadle and Jeremy Roenick will dive back into NHL history and explore the long legacy of Hockey Hair.
Jack Jablonski’s Road To Recovery
Jack Jablonski was a promising ice hockey player for Benilde-St. Margaret’s high school in suburban Minneapolis. On December 30, 2011, a check from behind during a JV game left him paralyzed from the chest down. That same day, Jablonski’s boyhood idol, Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson had surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left knee. Jablonski and Peterson both faced grueling rehabilitation programs and seemingly insurmountable odds. Then something curious happened and they met during the summer. Jablonski naturally was inspired by Peterson and all the hard work he’d done to get back to the Vikings’ training camp. What’s surprising is that Peterson was deeply inspired by Jablonski as well and used him as motivation during his comeback, which resulted in one of the greatest years ever by a running back. Jablonski has also exceeded expectations, regaining some movement that his doctors never expected.
A Little Boys Winter Classic
During the NHL lockout this past December, eight-year old Christopher John thought of holding his own Winter Classic. Working with his parents and his teammates on the North Jersey Avalanche, John turned his dream in to a reality. The Avalanche took on the Long Island Royals at Central Park’s Lasker Rink on December 23rd. Along the way, John’s idea for a game took on greater meaning and served as a fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Sandy. New York Rangers LW Carl Hagelin and D Ryan McDonagh heard about the game and showed up at 8 a.m. to cheer the kids on. To date, the campaign has generated $25,000 for Hurricane Sandy relief.
Hockey Day in America is part of Hockey Weekend Across America. Launched by USA Hockey in 2008, Hockey Weekend Across America is a nationwide initiative to celebrate the game at all levels and to expose hockey to new audiences.
Hockey Day In America NHL Tripleheader
The tripleheader will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC when the Buffalo Sabres host the Pittsburgh Penguins at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY. Gord Miller will serve as the play-by-play announcer for the game and will be joined by “Inside the Glass” analyst Joe Micheletti.
At 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC, the Los Angeles Kings travel to the United Center in Chicago Ill. to take on the Chicago Blackhawks. Veteran play-by-play announcer Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick will call the action and will be joined by analyst Eddie Olczyk. “Inside the Glass” analyst Pierre McGuire will report from the ice.
The Hockey Day In America tripleheader wraps up at 6 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network when the New York Rangers host the Washington Capitals at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. Dave Strader will manage play-by-play duties for the game and Brian Engblom will serve as the “Inside the Glass” analyst.
NBC will also celebrate Hockey Day through social media.
Fans Invited to Use #HockeyDay and Share Messages and Photos of Local Hockey Day Celebrations
NEW YORK – February 15, 2013 - NBC Sports Group will celebrate Hockey Day In America with fans by inviting viewers to share photos of how they are spending the day in their hometown. Using the hashtag #HockeyDay, fans will be able to share photos, via Twitter, of celebrations at home, ice rinks and at arenas across the country. Select images will be retweeted by NBC Sports’ NHL Twitter account @NHLonNBCSports and shared on-air during NBC and NBC Sports Network’s nine hours of Hockey Day In America coverage.
Hockey Day In America fans on Twitter can also follow an entire collection of NBC Sports and NHL accounts: @NHLonNBCSports, @NBCSports, @NBCSN, @NBCSportsPR, @liam_mchugh, @Jeremy_Roenick, @NHL, @BuffaloSabres, @penguins, @LAKings, @NHLBlackhawks, @washcaps, @NYRangers.
That will do it.