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Latest NHL News and Notes
The biggest news surrounding the NHL this week is a story that won’t even go into effect until 2021-22. Earlier this week, it was revealed that the NHL and ESPN have agreed to a new seven-year deal, bringing hockey back to the worldwide leader in sports.
This is the first time that the NHL will be on ESPN since a deal ended in 2004, and the popularity of the sport suffered at that time. Twenty-five regular-season games will be shown on ESPN or ABC as a part of this deal, but the company will also receive broadcasting rights to Stanley Cup Playoff games.
NHL.TV will also become part of the ESPN+ streaming package, giving hockey fans access to more than 1,000 regular-season games each year. ESPN and ABC will have access to four Stanley Cup Finals series during the duration of this deal as well.
ESPN was the primary home for the National Hockey League from 1992-2004, but that now belongs to NBC Sports. The league has been looking to expand its market and product into the digital world, and this partnership will allow games to be seen on ESPN+ and Hulu.
Predators Take Another Hit
The Nashville Predators have defensemen Roman Josi and Ryan Ellis on injured reserve, and they will be without another player for the next two games. Dante Fabbro has been suspended by the league for his actions during a Tuesday night game against the Carolina Hurricanes.
During the second period of the Predators’ loss to the Hurricanes, Fabbro elbowed Brock McGinn in the head, and he was given a minor penalty for the hit. The Department of Player Safety reviewed the hit, and it was determined that a suspension was necessary.
Nashville now actually has four players on injured reserve, and all of those transactions have occurred in the last ten days. The Predators are currently in sixth place in the Central Division and will be shorthanded for a period of time.
Kemper, Eichel Out With Injury
The Arizona Coyotes have been one of the biggest surprises so far in the NHL, but their playoff push is about to take a major hit. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper out indefinitely with a lower-body injury after being injured in a game on Monday night.
Arizona has not given many updates regarding the nature of the injury, but the team revealed that they would be evaluating things on a week-to-week basis. Kuemper asked the on-ice officials to stop the game on Monday night and skated off to the locker room in the third period.
The Buffalo Sabres have announced that Jack Eichel will be out at least a week with an upper-body injury. Eichel has been dealing with minor injuries at several points of the season, forcing him in and out of the lineup.
There are rumors that the Sabres are looking to trade their captain, but it doesn’t appear that a trade is imminent at this point in time.
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