Versus, the cable network home of the National Hockey League, will telecast 56 games during the upcoming 2008-09 regular season, including a season-opening international doubleheader live from Prague and Stockholm on Oct. 5.
The network’s fourth year of NHL coverage begins with the Tampa Bay Lightning vs. the New York Rangers from Prague at 12 p.m. ET followed by the Pittsburgh Penguins vs. the Ottawa Senators from Stockholm at 2:30 p.m. ET.
On Oct. 9, Versus coverage returns to the U.S. with another doubleheader featuring the defending Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs at 8 p.m. ET followed by the Colorado Avalanche vs. the Boston Bruins at 10:30 p.m. ET.
The Bruins, Rangers and Penguins join the Buffalo Sabres and Minnesota Wild with a season-high eight appearances on the network.
“We’re in a great place heading into our fourth season as the exclusive cable television home of the NHL,” Marc Fein, Versus’ executive vice president of programming, said in a statement. “The successes that we saw last season proves that Versus has truly arrived as the undisputed home of hockey in the United States.”
Mike “Doc” Emrick will return as the network’s lead play-by-play announcer and will be joined all season long by a number of analysts, including Eddie Olczyk, Joe Beninati and John Forslund. The network will wrap up each broadcast evening with its NHL studio show, Hockey Central, with host Bill Patrick and analysts Keith Jones and Brian Engblom.