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TV deal brings Christmas early to Scandinavia

Thursday, 10.20.2011 / 6:55 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com / The Wheel Deal
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The Wheel Deal

I‘m thinking it might be a pretty good time to be a hockey fan living in Scandinavia right about now, especially if you’re a fan of the Red Wings.

The NHL announced a landmark deal this week that will allow for every single regular-season game – that’s 1,230 games in all – to be broadcast live on pay channels or free TV in Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway.

With more than 25 percent of NHL players hailing from outside of North America, and 50 percent alone on the Wings’ roster, league games have always attracted large TV audiences in the Nordic region. And that’s certainly something that the league has capitalized on, particularly over the last five years when they send NHL teams to Europe to begin the season.

The Wings, you’ll remember, started the 2009-10 campaign with a pair of games against the St. Louis Blues in Stockholm.

Captain Nicklas Lidstrom is grateful for the NHL deal so that his parents back home can watch the Wings with more regularity.

“Last year they were showing up to three NHL games over there,” he said. “So my parents saw some of our games. But I think, especially in Sweden, the people want to follow the Swedish players.”

The TV deal is a far cry when Lidstrom was growing up. Back then, he said, the only live NHL games that were available back home were the Stanley Cup finals.

“They would usually show highlights, but at odd times,” Lidstrom said. “But now if they show 7:30 games from here at 1:30, in the middle of the night, they at least replay them around 7:30 in the morning, so you can at least get the scores, if not watch the whole game.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80