NHL Virtual Programming Rolls on With #HockeyAtHome Interview Series, Video Conference Calls
This week, the National Hockey League (NHL) will continue to keep fans connected with the game while practicing social distancing with a new slate of programming and original content featuring current and former NHL players, celebrities, and award-winning broadcast personalities. Recorded remotely, these video features will be delivered to passionate hockey fans around the world via the League’s internal broadcast and digital platforms and through NHL national broadcast partners in the United States and Canada.
The highlight of the new line-up of original content is a reunion of current members of the defending 2019 Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues via video conference on Wednesday, April 8, the originally scheduled first day of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. This will mark the first virtual coming together of a professional sports team since the suspension of play. Fans will able to view the reunion at 8 p.m. ET on NHL.com, the NHL’s social channels on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and on Sportsnet ONE in Canada. NBCSN will air the gathering on Monday, April 13, at 6 p.m. ET.
“We are really excited about this week at the NHL. Our players have been so interested in connecting with our fans and the lineup that we’ve put together is quite extraordinary,” said NHL Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer. “From our virtual press conferences to our Classic Games programming to the incredible reunion of the St. Louis Blues, this week will be remarkable as we keep adding new content every week.”
#HockeyAtHome Interview Series
On Tuesday, April 7, the NHL premiered #HockeyAtHome, a new series of interviews with current and former players, conducted remotely by award-winning broadcast personalities and celebrity hosts. The first episode was co-hosted by NBC Sports’ Kathryn Tappen and Sportsnet’s David Amber and featured a series of interviews with NHL brothers currently playing in the NHL: Jack Hughes of the New Jersey Devils and Quinn Hughes of the Vancouver Canucks; Marc Staal of the New York Rangers, Jordan Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes and Eric Staal of the Minnesota Wild; and Matthew Tkachuk of the Calgary Flames and Brady Tkachuk of the Ottawa Senators. An upcoming episode will feature an interview with Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and NHL legend Wayne Gretzky.
#HockeyAtHome aired on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, as part of NBC Sports’ Hockey Happy Hour programming, with a simulcast on the NHL’s social channels on Facebook, IGTV, and YouTube; and at 7 p.m. ET on NHL Network. Sportsnet will air episode one on Friday, April 10, at 6:30 p.m. ET. #HockeyAtHome is produced and distributed by NHL Original Productions.
NHL Video Conference Calls
Following the successful launch of a series of video conference calls featuring players from each of the four NHL divisions, the NHL will continue to deliver weekly video conferences calls featuring players and coaches. On Monday, April 6, Pittsburgh Penguins forward Patrick Marleau virtually reconnected with former teammates Mitchell Marner and Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
On Wednesday, April 8, NHL Central Scouting will release the final rankings for the 2020 NHL Draft, followed by a video conference call with top prospects and members of NHL Central Scouting, including Dan Marr, Director; David Gregory, Senior Manager; and J-F Damphousse, Regional Scout for Quebec and the Maritimes.
On Friday, April 10, the NHL will bring together NHL head coaches Craig Berube of the St. Louis Blues, Rod Brind’Amour of Carolina Hurricanes and Rick Tocchet of the Arizona Coyotes to discuss their playing and coaching careers and how they’re coping with the pause in the season.
As part of the League’s ongoing efforts to engage fans worldwide, the NHL will extend its successful virtual press conference concept overseas with twice-weekly video calls featuring players from Quebec, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland speaking in their native languages with media from around the world. On Thursday, April 9 at 11 a.m. ET, Washington Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom and New York Rangers forward Mika Zibanejad will take part in a video conference call with Swedish media. Additional players may be added to the call.
Classic Games Re-watch Specials
Starting Thursday, April 9, the NHL will re-air classic NHL games with a personal touch – commentary from members of the participating teams. First up is a re-watch of Game 5 of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final between the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers. The special re-watch will air Thursday on NBCSN, during NBC Sports’ 5-7 p.m. ET Hockey Happy Hour programming.
As the NHL community continues to practice social distancing and take all necessary precautions during this challenging time, the League will continue to help fans stay connected to players and the game by providing access to unique content and archived games. NHL Pause Binge aggregates NHL video, editorial and digital content available on NHL.com, the NHL app and across the NHL’s social channels on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. Fans who visit NHL.com and the League’s official YouTube channel will find a curated collection of NHL Original Productions content, including critically-acclaimed, behind-the-scenes programs “Road to the NHL Winter Classic,” “Behind The Glass” and “NHL All Access”; full-length classic NHL games dating from the 1950s to present day; 2019-20 season snapshots featuring memorable moments for each of the League’s 31 teams; profiles on top rookies and draft prospects; a look back at top Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final moments; and free access to stream full replays of games from the 2019-20 regular season accessible via the scores and schedule pages of NHL.com and the NHL app and in Canada via NHL LIVE.