The National Hockey League is coming to TNT. The league and Turner Sports on Tuesday announced a seven-year agreement that begins next season.

The deal means NBC’s run of covering the league ends after after this season’s playoffs. NBC has broadcast games since 2005 and is in the final season of a 10-year contract. When the Stanley Cup finals are shown on Turner in 2023, it will mark the first time since 1994 they will be only on cable.

The TNT arrangement includes three Stanley Cup finals, up to 72 regular-season games, half of the first- and second-round playoff games on TNT and TBS as well as a conference final series. One of the regular-season games will be the NHL Winter Classic, which is played on New Year’s Day. It also includes live streaming and digital rights across WarnerMedia properties, including HBO Max and Bleacher Report.

The agreement with Turner will give the NHL two network partners in the United States for the first time since 1998-99. The league reached an agreement with Walt Disney Corp. last month that includes four Stanley Cup Finals, 25 regular-season games on ESPN and ABC, the NHL All-Star game and comprehensive streaming rights.

Turner now has the rights to three of the four major North American sports — NBA games are on TNT and baseball is on TBS.

PLAYOFF FLEXIBILITY: The NHL is preparing to adjust playoff contingency plans if virus restrictions in Canada prevent travel between provinces or back and forth to the U.S.


“Where we play is going to depend on COVID, obviously – we hope to keep everybody healthy – and it’s going to depend on government regulations in terms of where we’re going to be able to travel our players and our teams and where we can’t,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said Tuesday. “If we can’t travel in Canada, either as among the provinces or from the U.S. to Canada and back, we’ll make whatever adjustments we have to do to get the playoffs completed.”

Bettman called the situation “wildly unpredictable” and one that changes daily. The NHL kicked the can down the road on cross-border travel by having all seven Canadian teams play in the same division for the entire regular season and first two rounds of the playoffs.

The first time a Canadian team would need to play a counterpart in the U.S. would be in June, though there has been speculation about the first two rounds of the North Division playoffs happening in a quarantined bubble.

Canada has so far lagged behind in vaccinating people against COVID-19 compared to the U.S. Canada has fully vaccinated 2.71% of people, while the U.S. is just under 29%.

That disparity has prevented the NHL from relaxing virus protocols for teams that reach a certain threshold of vaccination, which is the case with the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball that currently have all teams playing in the U.S.

MIROSLAV FRYCER, who defected from Czechoslovakia and spent most of his eight seasons in the NHL with the Toronto Maple Leafs, has died. He was 61.


He died after an unspecified brief illness, the Czech league team Orli Znojmo said on its website Tuesday. Frycer had been the team’s coach since 2018. Frycer had overcome health problems in the past. He chronicled his recovery from a liver transplant in his autobiography, “My Wild Hockey Life.”

Frycer, a forward, represented Czechoslovakia at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics. After defecting from communist Czechoslovakia he joined the Quebec Nordiques for the 1981-82 NHL season. He was traded to Toronto during his rookie campaign and went on to play six more seasons there. He represented the Maple Leafs at the 1985 All-Star game.

His most productive offensive season came in 1985-86, when he had 32 goals and 43 assists in 73 games with Toronto. He remains among the team’s career top 50-point scorers. Frycer had 147 goals and 183 assists in 330 NHL games. After his NHL career, he played two seasons in Germany and another in Italy.


CAPITLS 1, ISLANDERS 0: Daniel Sprong scored 1:29 in for his third goal in two games, Vitek Vanecek made 18 saves and Washington shut out New York to win its first home game with fans this season and sweep a three-game series between the teams.

Sprong continues to make the most of his opportunity to fill in on the top line for captain Alex Ovechkin, who missed a second consecutive game with a lower-body injury. Despite playing again without Ovechkin and injured defenseman Justin Schultz, the Capitals leapfrogged Pittsburgh to move back into first place in the neck-and-neck East Division.


The Islanders have fallen to third after picking up one point out of a possible six in three games against Washington. They were shut out by a rookie goaltender for the second time in six games and third time overall in that span.

BLUE JACKETS 1, RED WINGS 0: Patrik Laine and Oliver Bjorkstrand scored in a shootout and host Columbus snapped a nine-game losing streak.

Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins made 41 saves for his second shutout of the season and seventh of his career.

DEVILS 6, FLYERS 4: Yegor Sharangovich scored the go-ahead goal at 12:36 of the third period and host New Jersey snapped a 10-game losing streak.

Nico Hischier, Pavel Zacha, Miles Wood and Connor Carrick also scored for the Devils, who saw the Flyers rally from third-period deficits twice to tie the game.

Mackenzie Blackwood made 26 saves as the Devils ended an 0-9-1 skid and won for the first time since April 8. Mikhail Maltsev scored into an empty net in the waning seconds to ice the game.


Oskar Lindblom, Philippe Myers, Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier scored for the Flyers, who had rallied from a late two-goal deficit on Sunday to beat the Devils in a shootout.

RANGERS 3, SABRES 1: Alexis Lafreniere scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, and New York beat visiting Buffalo.

Mika Zibanejad and Brendan Smith also scored and Igor Shesterkin made 36 saves as New York improved to 9-2-0 in its last 11 home games. Ryan Strome added two assists.

Sam Reinhart scored and Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made 38 saves for Buffalo, which has lost 3 of 4.

LIGHTNING 7, BLACKHAWKS 4: Alex Killorn had a power-play goal and scored into an empty net, and visiting Tampa Bay clinched a playoff berth for the fourth straight season.

Brayden Point stuffed in his team-leading 21st goal and added two assists. Erik Cernak, Yanni Gourde, Alex Barre-Boulet, and Blake Coleman also scored for defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay, which kept pace with first-place Carolina and second place Florida at the top of the tight Central Division.

PANTHERS 7, PREDATORS 4: Jonathan Huberdeau had two goals and three assists, and visiting Florida rallied to clinch a playoff berth.

Aleksander Barkov scored twice and had and assist for the Panthers. Anthony Duclair, Owen Tippett and Frank Vatrano also scored, and Sam Bennett had three assists in Florida’s second win in three games.

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