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NHL Network to air 10 AHL games, and wow, they like the Marlies

American viewers with NHL network and some free afternoons can watch AHL hockey on TV.

Christian Bonin -

Today the AHL announced a television broadcast deal with NHL network. They will air ten games, all afternoon starts, except one.

The schedule is as follows:

Sunday, Nov. 19

Syracuse Crunch [TB] at Toronto Marlies [TOR], 4 ET

Wednesday, Nov. 29

Syracuse Crunch [TB] at Toronto Marlies [TOR], 7 ET

Sunday, Dec. 17

Milwaukee Admirals [NSH] at Chicago Wolves [VGK], 4 ET

Sunday, Jan. 21

Cleveland Monsters [CBJ] at Chicago Wolves [VGK], 4 ET

Wednesday, Feb. 21

Binghamton Devils [NJ] at Toronto Marlies [TOR], 11 a.m. ET

Wednesday, Feb. 28

Syracuse Crunch [TB] at Toronto Marlies [TOR], 11 a.m. ET

Sunday, Mar. 11

Binghamton Devils [NJ] at Lehigh Valley Phantoms [PHI], 5 ET

Monday, Mar. 12

Laval Rocket [MTL] at Toronto Marlies [TOR], 3 ET (Air Canada Centre)

Sunday, Mar. 25

Springfield Thunderbirds [FLA] at Toronto Marlies [TOR], 4 ET

Thursday, Apr. 5

Utica Comets [VAN] at Toronto Marlies [TOR], 11 a.m. ET

This looks a lot like the slate of games offered last year on TSN. Perhaps we’re about to hear that these games will also be shown in Canada, which would make the seven of ten being Marlies games make a little more sense.

But one reason for the heavy presence in Toronto is that a television broadcast of Marlies home games already exists on Leafs TV, and the building is lit well enough for television. Many AHL arenas are not. The two other venues, the Chicago Wolves and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, produce excellent quality broadcasts for AHL Live, the often low-resolution, poorly filmed streaming product offered by the AHL, and their home games are regularly shown on local television stations.

If the AHL is ever to move into the broadcast age or maybe even the digital age, they need to improve the lighting and other facilities in many of their buildings.