The NHL has released its National TV schedule today. In the most shocking news you will read today, the Wild will not be featured in any NBC broadcast games. They will however be on VS nine times (all times central):
October 7th vs Carolina - 11AM - Helsinki
October 8th vs Carolina - 11AM - Helsinki
October 25th vs Los Angeles - 7:00
November 2nd vs SanJose - 7:00
December 27th vs Columbus - 6:30
January 4th vs New Jersey - 6:00
February 16th vs Chicago - 7:00
February 28th vs Chicago - 7:00
March 8th vs Colorado - 7:00
The full list of games NBC can choose from can be found here, but who is going to bet that they show Tampa vs Saint Louis on February 6th? New Jersey vs Columbus on March 20th? If you want to take those bets, let me know. I'm taking all wagers.
The Wild are in the options to choose for NBC for games on February 20th (Detroit), March 6th (Buffalo), April 3rd (Detroit), and April 10th (Dallas). I'll bet they jump right on that Buffalo game.
The debate has already begun on Twitter, with people in the East claiming it is a ratings issue, and I agree. It is a ratings issue. However, they have viewers in California, Colorado, Minnesota, Texas, and Arizona as well. Not to mention the viewers in the South and in Canada. The fact that the broadcast partner of the NHL has chosen... sorry... will choose to only air games that feature the Capitals, Penguins, and Blackhawks, or teams playing the Capitals, Penguins, or Blackhawks is sad.
Besides... the Hawks aren't who they used to be.
UPDATE: From Hockey Joe on Twitter:
FWIW The Wild will be on NBC on February 20th. That day is regional coverage.