The American Hockey League has longed for years to come up with a broadcast deal that would allow the top developmental organization to showcase the future of the NHL to a broader audience.
Since the 2010-11 season, the league has had an affiliation agreement with each and every National Hockey League member club, encompassing the United States (26 teams) and Canada (4 teams).
But president David Andrews has not been able to secure broadcast rights, with some claiming the figures he is requesting are outlandish and too expensive for anyone to agree to.
Who suffers in all this are the fans who are not in range of a suitable AHL arena to go watch a game in person and are forced to follow teams on the internet or over-pay for a package on the league’s website, similar to NHL Center Ice.
I have attended a handful of games in Syracuse over the past couple of years and can tell you, it truly is excellent hockey. These players know they are only a phone call away from fulfilling their dreams and play full tilt from start to finish. With the venues being much smaller than their NHL counterparts, the decibel factor is very impressive and the fan experience, without a doubt, worth the price of admission.
To showcase just how good the league is, the NHL Network reached an agreement with Mr. Andrews to televise ten AHL games this season on their network. And we, the hockey fan, are the ones who ultimately benefit the most.
The NHL network can be found on Direct-TV 214/214-1/215, Dish Network 157 and Verizon FIOS 87/587. Other providers please check your local listings.
All games also available live and on-demand on CBCSports.ca
- Sunday, Feb. 9 – Hamilton Bulldogs at Toronto Marlies, 3 p.m.
- Sunday, Feb. 16 – Utica Comets at Toronto Marlies, 3 p.m.
- Sunday, Feb. 23 – Oklahoma City Barons at Toronto Marlies, 4 p.m.
- Sunday, March 2 – Lake Erie Monsters at Toronto Marlies, 3 p.m.
- Sunday, March 9 – Lake Erie Monsters at Hamilton Bulldogs, 3 p.m.
- Sunday, March 16 – Hamilton Bulldogs at Toronto Marlies, 3 p.m.
- Sunday, March 23 – Abbotsford Heat at Toronto Marlies, 3 p.m.
- Sunday, March 30 – Abbotsford Heat at Toronto Marlies, 4 p.m.
- Sunday, April 6 – Utica Comets at Toronto Marlies, 3 p.m.
- Sunday, April 13 – Oklahoma City Barons at Abbotsford Heat, 4 p.m.
Be sure to tune in and catch a glimpse of some of tomorrow’s stars today!