New Jersey Devils Get 16 Games On National Schedule

A view of the logo during ESPN The Party on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for ESPN)
A view of the logo during ESPN The Party on February 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for ESPN) /

The New Jersey Devils have spent years begging to get more national exposure. They had stars like Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes who needed to get into the national lexicon. The conversation around the Devils was always about who they were going to give up at the trade deadline or which NHL Draft prospect they were taking in the offseason. This season, this team is going into the season in a much different spot.

Right now, the Devils are slated for more nationally televised games than the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Vegas Golden Knights, the most popular team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, and the New York Rangers. It is almost impossible to believe the Devils are playing 16 nationally televised games. Only two teams had more; Edmonton Oilers and Colorado Avalanche.

We’re used to the Devils having some of the fewest nationally televised games in the league, but that started to change a few years ago. It probably has to do with the lore of Jack Hughes. One of the great American prospects in the game today, Hughes was always intriguing to a national audience. When the other big American star plays for a Canadian franchise (Auston Matthews), it makes Hughes even more exciting to watch.

What’s most surprising is the Devils home opener against the Detroit Red Wings is on national television. The broadcasters have any team to choose from, but they chose the Devils as one of their openers. And it’s against the Red Wings, which isn’t exactly that intriguing a matchup. The Wings might be better, but they are a question mark at best.

This is fantastic news for the Devils and its players. Sure, some might groan about missing out on Ken Daneyko and Bill Spaulding, but with MSG Networks still not on every cable broadcaster and the new streaming service costing a pretty penny, it’s good that all Devils fans can access these nationally televised programs.

Pucks And Pitchforks
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The Devils have 16 games on national TV, but 13 are exclusive to those networks. Two games will be on traditional ESPN, five will be on ESPN+ and Hulu, one will be on ABC, and eight will be on TNT. Getting the Devils stars in front of a national audience will build new fans. This young team is about to get bigger and we expect to see more Devils fans following along.