CBC’s HNIC sked announced

The NHL season, beginning Oct. 4, will be broadcast live and on-demand, featuring games from Europe, special doubleheaders and 25 all-Canadian match-ups.

CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada has announced a 69-game broadcast schedule for the 2008-09 season. The Ceeb’s 56th season of broadcasting the games will begin Oct. 4 with coverage from Europe, a Thursday night doubleheader on Oct. 9 and an all-Canadian traditional Saturday night doubleheader on Oct. 11.

Highlights from the broadcast schedule include 25 all-Canadian match-ups, five tripleheaders, 10 afternoon games, Saturday night doubleheaders, the 2008 Hall of Fame Game, Original Six Saturday, the 2009 NHL Winter Classic from Wrigley Field in Chicago, the ninth annual Hockey Day in Canada and the 57th NHL All-Star Game in Montreal. The season will also see more regional games added to the regular season broadcast schedule, which has yet to be announced.

The regular season broadcast package on Oct. 4 will begin at noon with the New York Rangers taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning in Prague, followed by the 2008 Stanley Cup finalist Pittsburgh Penguins facing off against the Ottawa Senators in Stockholm.

The season launch in North America will start on Oct. 9 in Detroit with the raising of the 2008 Stanley Cup championship banner and an Original Six match-up between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs (start time TBD). At 10:30 pm, the Vancouver Canucks will host the Calgary Flames.

The 2008 Hall of Fame Game on Nov. 8 will begin with the Maple Leafs hosting the Canadiens in Toronto at 7 pm. The action kicks off with Scotiabank Hockey Tonight at 6:30 pm. On Saturday, Nov. 22, Original Six Saturday, four games featuring the NHL’s original six teams will be broadcast, starting with the New York Rangers taking on Ottawa at 3 pm.

A special Thursday-night match-up on Dec. 4 at 7 pm will feature the New York Rangers at Montreal, marking the start of the celebrations leading up the Canadiens’ 100th anniversary. On Thursday, Dec. 18, another special mid-week broadcast will take place as the Canadiens host Philadelphia at 7 pm in Montreal.

In January, Montreal will host the 57th NHL All-Star Game. CBC’s coverage will start on Saturday, Jan. 24 with the NHL Super Skills Competition.

www.cbcsports.ca will have live and on-demand video streaming of all games as well as comprehensive NHL coverage including the pre-game show Scotiabank Hockey Tonight. Complete broadcast details will be available in the coming weeks.