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From the Branches: From NBC to TNT

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The NHL has (another) new broadcast partner for every single Blackhawks and Penguins game.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Winnipeg Jets Photo by Jonathan Kozub/NHLI via Getty Images

Right on the heels of the shock of the NHL striking a deal with ESPN, meaning that maybe, possibly, actually ESPN might remember non-collegiate hockey exists more than twice a year (somehow, it still seems implausible as I type this) a second broadcast deal was announced yesterday, with the league trading in its previous partner NBC for AT&T’s Turner Sports. Quoth Variety:

Turner will share overall rights with Disney’s ESPN, which struck a seven-year deal with the NHL in March that will give it control over a larger share of national games and other NHL properties. All told, these people suggested, Turner is likely to pay around $200 million a year for its NHL package, and ESPN is believed to be paying around $400 million — compared with the $200 million per year that NBC was paying the league for sole control of TV rights.

Here’s the thing. I am aware that most of the people reading this blog are Canadian, and therefore, get NHL games broadcast on real channels, that people watch, and stuff. Instead of watching a NHL game sandwiched between golf and professional darts, now America can watch NHL games sandwiched between reruns of Law & Order and Law & Order: SVU. Whether or not that’s a material improvement, at least when I’m watching hockey games over Zoom with my mom, I won’t have to explain that NBCSports is definitely a channel that exists. This is a net positive.

ICYMI

Frederik Andersen hopes to play before the end of the season - Pension Plan Puppets
Says he’s been dealing with a knee injury.

Mailbag: Morgan Rielly and Entire Teams of Connors - Pension Plan Puppets
The masthead gets together to answer your questions.

Are the Montreal Canadiens really on the verge of flaming out of the playoffs? - Pension Plan Puppets
Will they suffer a monumental collapse?

Stuff We Didn’t Write

AP sources: Turner Sports gets rights to second NHL package | The Star
Turner Sports is the surprise winner of the National Hockey League’s second television package.

WarnerMedia Poised to Pick Up Hockey Rights as NBC Exits - Variety
AT&T is poised to pick up rights to a new NHL package, as NBC walks away from the league after a 16-year relationship

Noah Hanifin Out For The Remainder Of The Season - Matchsticks and Gasoline
The Flames defenceman will have season ending surgery.

Nikita Nesterov Slots Into Flames Lineup - Matchsticks and Gasoline
With Noah Hanifin in the shelf for the reminder of the season Nesterov is back in the lineup.

Sheldon Keefe on Travis Dermott: "We have been preparing him for an occasion such as this where we needed him to play on the right side... He looks comfortable there" | Maple Leafs Hotstove

Patrick Roy exploring NHL return as head coach or GM
Patrick Roy is ready and open to a National Hockey League return. That message was broadcasted by his new agent, Neil Glasberg, on Monday when Glasberg fired off a tweet destined to pop up in the feeds of NHL owners and managers.

Toronto Maple Leafs Prospect Update: Roni Hirvonen and Kalle Loponen re-up in Finland, Filip Hallander heading to World Championships & more | Maple Leafs Hotstove

Jets’ Ehlers out for rest of regular season, could be back for playoffs | The Star
Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice says forward Nikolaj Ehlers is out for the remainder of the regular season with an upper body injury.

Chicago Blackhawks news: Andrew Shaw announces retirement - Second City Hockey
After 10 Seasons and two Stanley Cups, concussions have forced Shaw to stop playing hockey.

How Florida Panthers rookie Spencer Knight remains grounded amid his meteoric rise
The 20-year-old sparkled in his NHL debut last week, after shining at Boston College and winning a gold medal at the World Junior Championship.

Franchise defenders are hard to draft and develop. The Avalanche have done it with Cale Makar. Maybe Bo Bryam too? - Mile High Hockey
For years the Avalanche struggled to develop blue-line options internally. Now, Colorado boasts some of the best young defenders in the NHL.

Pascal Dupuis talks about the roles of the equipment managers - PensBurgh
It takes a team effort to win in the NHL

After clinching playoffs, what’s left for the Wild? - Hockey Wilderness
Your Minnesota Wild are going to the postseason, but there are still a couple things to watch out for in the remaining handful of games.

Marlies expect to return to the ice Wednesday and resume their AHL season on Saturday | The Star
Six games were postponed because of a COVID-19 quarantine. Five have been rescheduled.

BONUS PUPPY CONTENT:

This is Lily, my mom’s new puppy, and the most important thing in this post.