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NBC Sports Network going big with NHL rivalries next season

Jul 20, 2013, 1:00 AM EDT

Montreal Canadiens v Boston Bruins Getty Images

The NBC Sports Network will exclusively showcase some of the fiercest and historic rivalries in the National Hockey League this upcoming season.

NBC Sports Group announced Friday that the network will carry 24 games throughout the 2013-14 campaign as part of its exclusive Wednesday Night Rivalry coverage, which returns for a second consecutive season.

The Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings have the honor of beginning the weekly rivalry night, as they battle on Oct. 2.

Perhaps the most talked about rivalry game in the opening month of the season will be between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 30.

That night will mark the return of Jarome Iginla to Pittsburgh, where he was traded in a blockbuster deal prior to the April deadline this past season.

Iginla, of course, signed with the Bruins – the team he declined a trade to before approving the move to Pittsburgh – as an unrestricted free agent.

Oh, the intrigue.

The rivalry night coverage will also feature one team from north of the border – the Montreal Canadiens will host the Bruins on March 12.

Of all the rivalries in the NHL, the Canadiens and Bruins might have the most longstanding contempt for each other, dating well back to the Original Six era.

  1. tcclark - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:14 AM

    Wow. An article about rivalries and no mention of Flyers/ Penguins.

    • drone501 - Jul 20, 2013 at 3:04 AM

      that, whats up with that? bring on the pain.

    • joey4id - Jul 20, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      It is not an article about rivalaries in the NHL, but father which games featuring rivalries will be showcased. However, I fail to see why Wings/Sabred were chosen to aired as a rivalry.

    • isithockeyseasonyet - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      I agree and I’m a flyers fan

    • barkar942 - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:41 AM

      Especially since this is!

    • desertfan - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:53 PM

      How about Vancouver Chicago
      Toronto Montreal
      Detroit Columbus
      and yes Pitts Philly

  2. tyler4richardson - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:18 AM

    Keep it up NBC. You’re doing great stuff for hockey in the States. At least in my dumb Canadian mind you are.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 20, 2013 at 3:27 AM

      Great job force-feeding fabricated “rivalries” to the American audience, if anything. Buffalo-Detroit? Really?

      • tyler4richardson - Jul 20, 2013 at 3:50 AM

        Could care less about the “rivalries”. I just like waking up on a Sunday afternoon and seeing a game on NBC. I’ll take NBC over the ABC/ESPN days, but I am certainly happy that Sportsnet, TSN and CBC are where I get to watch most games. Considering what Americans get for hockey coverage though, I won’t complain about NBC.

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 20, 2013 at 3:54 AM

        Oh I’m not complaining about the Sunday games, those are great.

        The NBC “rivalry” games are on Wednesday nights, but we usually have a real one of those to watch on TSN. At least they sometimes start a half-hour apart so you don’t need to watch any intermission stuff on either.

      • kaptaanamerica - Jul 20, 2013 at 7:12 AM

        Ok, let’s just give NBC a break always sell better with a bit of cachet. the marketing peeps wanted to give the Wednesday games some kind of name and they came up with” rivalry night.” That’s a lot better than let’s see, “hockey hump day.”

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:20 AM

        Fair enough. Not the best name, not the worst

      • donniesd - Jul 20, 2013 at 8:24 PM

        That’s wye the offseason is all about saving for the Center Ice package. I am sure the Pen’s will be on nat. TV every other day… Cant wait to NOT watch!

  3. howintensive - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    Darn. Now I’m going to have to wait longer to hear Kenny and Mickey on Fox Sports Detroit. Without Larry Murphy…

  4. icelovinbrotha215 - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    I thought they went big this past season haha…

  5. sprtsfan1 - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:55 AM

    Detroit/Buffalo rivalry? Since when? Since the Wings went to the Eastern Conference?

  6. soldierone - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:56 AM

    I never watch NBC Sports because it might as well be the “Lets talk Detroit and Chicago 24/7” channel……

    • iwunderboutme2 - Jul 20, 2013 at 8:28 AM

      It’s the only rivalry that has had competitive meaningful games over the last couple of years. Especially if you are talking original six.

      • wikidpissah - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        Umm… Boston – Montreal?

      • chanceoffleury1 - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:38 PM

        That’s a ridiculous statement. Pens-Flyers, Bruins-Canadiens, Isles-Pens, Flyers-Rangers, Hawks-Canucks, Wings-Leafs, Kings-Ducks, Bruins- Canucks, etc. All of those listed are great rivalries that seem to have had tons of memorable moments over the last 5 years. Wings-Hawks is definitely one of the best, but there are plenty of teams that could build pretty good cases on why they hate each other more and are maybe even “better” rivalries. At the end of the day, Pens-Flyers/Rangers/Isles/Devils/Caps/whoever will always mean more to me and get me more excited than any other teams’ “rivalries”. We always care more about our own teams, and I’m sure a lot of Hawks and Wings fans could care less who wins Pens-Flyers games. They view them in the same way that I view Wings-Hawks games: Fun to watch, but not even a quarter as emotionally invested into them as I am any given game my own favorite team is playing.

    • nj666 - Jul 20, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      I guess you’ve never heard piere mcguire speak…

  7. 11blueshirts11 - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:22 AM

    NBCSports>>>ESPN by far

  8. noozehound - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    as a kid I grew up HATING the Blackhawks. It was a Huge North Star rivalry. I can’t wait for it to start again. Especially since MN and Chi-Town are the best teams in the division. (p.s. stop forcing a Wild/Jets rivalry. if its meant to happen, it’ll happen.)

    • iwunderboutme2 - Jul 20, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      Being a Hawks fan I know what you mean. Didn’t we see some great games? Now the Wild has a good core of players and should improve this year. Hope to see you post some more.

  9. zetaone - Jul 20, 2013 at 2:55 AM

    Yes, thanks NBC.

    Thanks for blacking out all the best games each week on Game Center Live that I pay for.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      I don’t subscribe as they cluelessly think just because I live in Illinois ( 6 1/5 hours away from the Madhouse) that I’m somehow local. So lets see, subscribe to a service to watch Hawks games that are not televised in S. Illinois, when the games I want to see are blacked out because”local”?

  10. ansleyiu - Jul 20, 2013 at 3:11 AM

    just before I saw the receipt for $6821, I did not believe that…my… sister woz like really making money part time at their laptop.. there sisters neighbour haz done this for under eleven months and at present paid the loans on there apartment and purchased a top of the range Lotus Carlton. read more at,go to this site home tab for more detail—>>>

  11. bullwinkle88 - Jul 20, 2013 at 5:23 AM

    Look, I am an avid Sabres fan and there is NO WAY the Red Wings are our rivals. That is total fabrication.

    The Leafs, Bruins, and Flyers are our nr. 1 rivals. But certainly not a team we have hardly played since our inception in 1970.

    Ridiculous…but it is probably the only time our sorry team will see national TV this year.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Totally agree. It’s obvious that the NHL is trying to play up the new “Atlantic” division matchups. Eventhough they removed essentially all the Atlantic teams and put them in the ridiculous “Metro” division. It makes no sense but that’s the NHL braintrust for ya.

    • iHeartHockey31 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:19 AM

      I think NBC was going less after the hockey rivalry aspect and more after the soap-opera ratings with this one. There had to be a reason they picked this game over any of the others & the best I can assume is NBC going after the Miller v Miller aspect of the game. With the two teams being in the same division the Miller brothers will be seeing a lot more of each other than in previous years. That assumes Ryan Miller will still be a Sabre by that time.

      While it does seem to be a made up rivalry, it would have helped if the article included some type of justification for it. Drew vs Ryan was the closest thing I could come up with that would make the game appealing to network television.

  12. pastabelly - Jul 20, 2013 at 5:36 AM

    NBC confuses great match ups with rivalries. Bruins -Penguins is not a rivalry.

    • knowfishbluefish - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:19 PM

      As a former Bruins season ticket holder…The Bs’ biggest rivalries were the Flyers & the Habs…with the Sabres close behind…

  13. rexadelphia8 - Jul 20, 2013 at 8:27 AM

    Ummmm flyers penguins?

  14. harleydon1950 - Jul 20, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    I have been a Detroit fan since the early 50’s, Detroit and Buffalo are not rivals. Now Montreal, or Toronto, that’s a different story.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      wassup? – you kinda left out another team – or have you written off the Hawks just because you’re deserting our division;)

  15. letsgopens8771 - Jul 20, 2013 at 9:20 AM

    Redwings and Sabres are far from a rivalry. Same can be said about the Wild and Jets which was mentioned in an earlier article about the Devin Setoguchi trade. Don’t worry, there will HAVE to be at least one or two Penguins v. Flyers games. After all, those are the more exciting games! Can’t bring up rivalry without talking about Habs v. Bruins and Pens v. Flyers.

  16. idun215 - Jul 20, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    Best rivalry in the NHL has to be Flyers and Pens. Use to be Detroit and Avs but no longer in the same conference.

    • isithockeyseasonyet - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      How did this comment get 5 thumbs down? If any of you can name a better rivalry, we’re listening

      • wikidpissah - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        Bruins – Canadiens, Black Hawks – Redwings

      • wikidpissah - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        Those 4 teams were rivals before the Penquins and Flyers existed.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        Probably because folks disagree. I agree with those picking Hawks/Wings and Bruins/Habs. Nothing personal, just a difference in opinion;)

    • nj666 - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      Devils/ Rangers is one of the best rivalries in the nhl

  17. c1md6 - Jul 20, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    As an American NBC sports is doing a great job advertising this great game (minus Pierre McGuire) but nothing is better than Hockey Night in Canada, order the package every year just for it. Let’s Go Rangers!

    • letsgopens8771 - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      Minus Pierre? What about Milbury? He’s an egghead and an ass as well! Take all those hacks away from Penguin Hater Sports Network.

  18. girouxed - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    HA, Buffalo and Detroit? Philly and Pitt is the most intense rivalry in North America.

    • tarotsujimoto74 - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      I’m sorry, but no rivalry in NA will ever touch Michigan and Ohio St

      • ravenscaps48 - Jul 20, 2013 at 12:42 PM

        Yankees-Red Sox
        SCLSU Mud Dogs-UL Cougars.

        All better rivalries than M-Ohio

      • philliesblow - Jul 20, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        Good list ravens, I’m adding Duke – North Carolina and Army – Navy

      • clefty1 - Jul 21, 2013 at 2:36 PM

        ravenscaps you have NO clue about the Michigan-Ohio Sate rivalry it was voted the best rivalry of the 20th century. It dates back further then any of the rivalries you mention. Have the Yankees and Red Sox been rivals all that long? no…Ravens-Steelers now that is a joke. Get a clue before spewing your crap. Not even the Habs and Bruins have been playing against one another as long.

    • clefty1 - Jul 21, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      Don’t think so…..The Wings and Hawks was pretty intense, now the Wings will rekindle their rivalries with the Leafs and Habs…

  19. drewsylvania - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    I see you’re still taking random games and dressing them up as “rivalries” in order to get people to watch.

    Really shameless and pathetic.

  20. santabarbarapartyzone - Jul 20, 2013 at 3:08 PM

    Geez? Really! Your commencing rivalry week with a fabricated and less than scintillating Buffalo-Detroit matchup…WOW! I can’t wait for Edmonton vs Phoenix!!!

  21. sunderlanding - Jul 20, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Come on people the best rivalry every is Leafs Habs. It defines hockey. They even wrote a book about it, and turned it into a cartoon! Seriously.

  22. jacketsfan7 - Jul 20, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    So Minnesota and Winnipeg right? Cuz that’s a huge ass rivalry right there

  23. 8man - Jul 20, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    There are obvious rivalry games that need to be shown. But as a Baltimorean who is regularly taking the Wife and the Boy to Hershey to watch the beloved Bears, I’m learning more about the Flyers-Penguins rivalry.

    NBC sports had better have some games including the Flyers, or I know a lot of people who aren’t going to be happy. Broad Street Bullies!

    I always purchase Center Ice. It’s just worth it! That being said, thank you NBC Sports for televising the sport of the future. NHL Hockey!

    Go Bs!

  24. donniesd - Jul 20, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    I have always liked Doc…. But…. I Still Miss Gary Thorne and Bill Clement…. Gary Thorne is my favorite of all time!!!

  25. slysipops - Jul 20, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    in the new world of hockey soap operas……I wonder if the PENS fans will BOO JEROME ?

  26. tackledummy1505 - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    Lol and yet the biggest game of the year will be Pittsburg Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers. I laugh when they talk about the Pens and other teams when everyone knows when Pitt and Philly go at it at any time of the season there is blood and sweat. Even Rangers and Flyer games are brutal but here’s to trying to make other teams and games as popular as Pens, Flyers, Rangers games lol

  27. jacketsfan7 - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    I miss bill clement too

  28. jacketsfan7 - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    And Gary Thorne lol

  29. knowfishbluefish - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    As a former Bruins season ticket holder…The Bs’ biggest rivalries were the Flyers & the Habs…with the Sabres close behind…

    • donniesd - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:53 PM

      With, Gionta, Alex Galchenyuk, Max Pacioretty, and a few other US born players, along with the 1st round pick of Michael McCarron, I have been following the Habs with interest. Still by no means a fan but still there is quite a bit of interest for me…. Go Team USA, 2014 Sochi Olympics!!!!

  30. watermelon1 - Jul 21, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    So are the Capitals going to play themselves in this rivalry format? Seems that their biggest hurdle is themselves!

  31. iHeartHockey31 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    It took me awhile to figure out the whole Sabres vs Red Wings ‘rivalry’ however I’m assuming part of the reasoning is now that the Red Wings are in the same division as the Sabres the Miller v Miller aspect of the game does make it a little more interesting [assuming Ryan Miller is still a Sabre when the season starts]. Unless there’s something else I’m missing that’s going on between those two teams, it would have helped if they’d mentioned the Miller v Miller angle in the article.

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