Usually, the New Jersey Devils are one of the few American teams that are left out in the dust when it comes to coverage on national television. There are Devils fans all across the country. Heck, one of the most popular reporters for national NHL coverage is Greg Wyshynski, and he’s very famously a Devils fans. There is a reason this team has the fanbase it has, but it never gets a chance to grow it.
Seems like that has changed this season. There are more options than ever to watch NHL games, and the Devils are getting the fruits of that labor. The American TV networks that now have NHL rights are putting the Devils on TV more than NBC Sports ever did.
Between ESPN’s new rights and TNT trying its hand at airing hockey, the Devils will have nine nationally televised games in the United States. Obviously, the American teams are all getting a ton of play. No team U.S. team has less than six nationally televised games and no team has more than 13. 12 teams actually have 13 games between the networks and streaming platforms exclusively.
Here’s a list of games the Devils are playing exclusively to a national audience.
November 2: @ Anaheim, 10:30 P.M. ESPN+
November 5: @ Los Angeles, 10:30 P.M. ESPN+
November 9: VS. Florida, 7 P.M. ESPN+
November 26: @ Nashville, 6 P.M. ESPN+
November 30: VS. San Jose, 7 P.M. ESPN+
December 10: VS. Nashville, 7:30 P.M. ESPN+
January 25 VS. Dallas, 7 P.M. ESPN+
March 1: @ Columbus, 7 P.M. ESPN+
April 3: VS. NY Islanders 4 P.M. TNT
This doesn’t even count the games that will be simulcast on ESPN+. There are more than 1,000 games that are going on the Worldwide Leader In Sports this season. Not only that, with ESPN’s major investment in the NHL, they will also put more of an effort to get hockey some much-needed publicity on the sports talk shows across its networks of TV channels and radio stations.
It is strange that the Devils vs. Rangers and Devils vs. Flyers were left off this list entirely. There are two games against Nashville, which tells us they just saw that John Hynes is returning and went along with it. It is still a small slight that only one of these games is on actual television, but we are in a whole new world of cord cutters, so beggars won’t be choosers.
This is great news for everyone that isn’t a Canadian team. However, there are a thousand different Canadian shows north of the border that very rarely talk about the lesser-known American teams. There is clear bias on both sides, and for once, the Devils are reaping the benefits of it.