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Golden Knights Unaffected By Inconsistent Start Times

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

This season the Golden Knights are embarking on a historic run defending their championship. The wins, points, comebacks, and chemistry are all there to push VGK towards another deep playoff run. It’s not without adversity too. Vegas has played three 2023 playoff teams, three road games, and six Western Conference clubs. Despite all of the little challenges, the Champs are 7-0-0 to start the season.

Currently, the Stanley Cup champions are wrapping up a unique test they’ve never faced over their first seven years. The Golden Knights are about to dress for their 6th different start time in eight games with no two consecutive games starting at the same time.

  • Tuesday, October 10th: 8:16 PM
  • Thursday, October 12th: 7:39 PM
  • Saturday, October 14th: 7:08 PM
  • Tuesday, October 17th: 7:38 PM
  • Thursday, October 19th: 5:08 PM
  • Saturday, October 21st: 5:16 PM
  • Tuesday, October 24th: 8:17 PM
  • Friday, October 27th: **Scheduled for 3:07 PM**

Clearly, the league is trying to showcase their latest Cup winner to start the 2023-24 season. Why wouldn’t they? The Golden Knights are proof positive of the NHL’s latest successful expansion era and the team so happens to reside in Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada.

Also, the schedule makers happened to slide in two early meetings between Vegas and the Chicago Blackhawks that were/are scheduled for prime time. It’s not a bad way to spotlight the league’s best team with the latest number-one pick overall. The results favored the Golden Knights, but the NHL wasn’t concerned with the outcome. As long as Bedard and Vegas were the focus, the score was secondary. For all of those marketing reasons, Vegas is forced to participate in adjusted start times.

Beginning on October 30th, the Golden Knights will play five out of six games at their normal start time of 7:07 PM. However, the Cup champs will have another stretch of eight inconsistent scheduled puck drops in mid-November and a six-game batch in February.

There are a dozen more nationally televised games mixed into Vegas’ regular season, but the reigning champs have proven they’ll succeed whatever time the league decides to drop the damn puck.

ESPN & Turner Sports Showcasing Vegas In 2021-22

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

News broke yesterday that the Golden Knights will be featured a dozen times on ESPN and Turner Sports this upcoming season. With the new television partnership in place, the two networks are leaning heavily on Vegas to help kick off their first season broadcasting the NHL.

VGK on ESPN/TNT/HULU

Tue. Oct. 12 vs. Seattle 7:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Wed. Oct. 20 vs. St. Louis 7:00 p.m. (TNT)
Tue. Oct. 26 at Colorado 5:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Tue. Nov. 9 vs. Seattle 7:00 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu)
Fri. Dec. 3 at Arizona 6:30 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu)
Wed. Dec. 8 vs. Dallas 7:00 p.m. (TNT)
Tue. Feb. 1 vs. Buffalo 7:00 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu)
Thu. March 3 vs. Boston 6:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Thu. March 17 vs. Florida 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+/Hulu)
Sat. March 26 vs. Chicago 12:00 p.m. (ABC)
Wed. March 30 at Seattle 7:00 p.m. (TNT)
Wed. April 6 vs. Vancouver 7:00 p.m. (TNT)

One major complaint about NBC’s hockey coverage was their lack of diversity. The network tended to schedule more games with the league’s more established franchises and most likely from the eastern time zone, with the exception of the Chicago Blackhawks. However, as new media outlets take over, Vegas was identified as a perfect team to present to a potentially new audience. The Golden Knights are a Stanley Cup contender with a loaded roster, and they so happen to play in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. That’s enough intrigue for sports fans unfamiliar with the NHL.

Turner Sports have become the standard in NBA broadcasting having been able to successfully keep an audience for an entire double-header. It’ll be tough to mimic the chemistry and content TNT developed around basketball but they’ll try with familiar faces that are well aware of the Golden Knights roster. Also, Turner split their games up evenly across the league. Vegas will appear four times on TNT in 2021-22, facing off against St. Louis, Dallas, Seattle, and Vancouver. Add in the other eight games on ESPN and the 31st franchise will be given plenty of exposure to the rest of the hockey landscape.

As for the eight contests on ESPN, the Golden Knights will greatly benefit from Worldwide Leader’s global audience. Vegas brings its own unique elements that may even help break in the network known more for dumping hockey rather than covering hockey. Although, ESPN will bring some Vegas flair with their infamously elegant hockey analyst Barry Melrose. The partnership between the entertainment network and a highly competitive team like Vegas should be more than enough for viewers.

Vegas has quickly become a premier NHL team in terms of demand and success, enough to feature 12 times nationally. Of course, fans will get their fill of eastern located games but clearly, the new television partners want to present fresher and more successful teams than the standards of the past decade. As the Golden Knights continue to pile up wins and postseason appearances expect their national television schedule to grow. Hopefully, the networks won’t fall back to the old habits and broadcast the big named organization. It should be reserved for teams like Vegas that will put on a winning show.

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