The American Hockey League will have three games televised nationally in Canada by Sportsnet this October. The league and network are in the second year of a five-year programming deal, and Sportsnet's executives know that Canadian fans need their prime-time, weekend hockey fix:
"There is a great hunger and passion for hockey across this country, and we are thrilled to partner with the American Hockey League to provide fans with access to premium, live hockey destination viewing on Saturdays for the coming weeks," said Navaid Mansuri, Vice-President of Finance and Sports Programming, Rogers Media.
The Rochester Americans visit the Toronto Marlies on Oct. 13 at 5 p.m. ET to kick off the series. On Oct. 20, Sportsnet will televise a double-header, as the Hamilton Bulldogs visit Toronto at 7 p.m. and the Abbotsford Heat host the Chicago Wolves.
The AHL is the NHL's highest-level development league. Sportsnet's first two Saturday night AHL showcases focus on teams affiliated predominantly with Canadian NHL teams. Toronto is the Maple Leafs' affiliate, Hamilton feeds to the Canadiens, Chicago players are in the Canucks organization, and Abbotsford is Calgary's feeder team. Rochester is the lone exception; the Americans are affiliated with the Buffalo Sabres.