How to play the EVOLUTION: What’s next for hockey in 2018
The NHL is set to announce its 2018-19 season, which kicks off on Saturday with a pair of exhibition games against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre.
As the league continues to prepare for the start of the new season, there are a number of changes to the way the games are played in the NHL.
For the first time, fans will be able to tune into their local broadcast partners for free.
The NHL is also changing the way it does its pre-season schedule.
The teams are now expected to play seven games in 12 days, instead of five.
In 2019, that means six games in 13 days, a shift that will see teams play a total of eight games in 18 days.
The goal of the shift is to provide more time for players and coaches to prepare, but the league is also looking to change how the games work.
“It’s very important that the players and the coaches are as comfortable as possible and they’re not overthinking the game,” commissioner Gary Bettman said.
“And the players are going to be able more easily to do their job, and that’s going to make us a better team.
We’re going to have a better, better team in the playoffs, a better overall team.”
While the shift to a four-game pre-seasons schedule means the NHL is not as likely to make changes this season, Bettman believes there are some other changes to come.
“I think we’re going in the right direction with some of the things we’ve talked about,” he said.
“We’re going into the pre-summer season in a very good place.”
The league also is introducing a new, interactive, game show called “EVOLUTION” that will air on NBC Sports Network and NBC Sports Live Extra on the first Friday of the month.
This show is the first step in a series of games that will culminate in the regular season, beginning with the NHL’s opening game against the Boston Bruins on March 9 at TD Garden.
While it’s a small step to change up the way games are televised, Bettmann said it’s something the league will be happy about.
“There’s no question, we’ve had a very successful and successful season, and it’s just really important that we continue that,” he told reporters.
“It’s important that players are comfortable with the game, it’s important for coaches to be comfortable with it, it is important for players to be on the ice and be in the arena.”
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