The Chicago Blackhawks Escape The East Coast Bias Extravaganza

By Keith Schultz

June 11, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; NBC hosts from left Liam McHugh , Mike Milbury and Keith Jones prepare for game six of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals between the Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t believe in East Coast bias? If you don’t, check out the NBC/NBCSN/NHL Network national broadcast schedule for the 2013-2014 NHL season, and you can start to believe that there isn’t just a smell of bias, but it’s a full blown East Coast Bias when it comes to national hockey broadcasts.

Yes, this isn’t really the Blackhawks cause since after winning the Stanley Cup and having a roster full of stars that are exciting to watch, the Blackhawks have their fair share of games on National TV including three on NBC which start airing games on January 1st at the Winter Classic.  Many people on Twitter were suggesting east coast bias throughout the playoffs from the coverage to how Pierre McGuire seems to have a man crush on Sidney Crosby.

There really is only one number you have to see to believe the bias is real and that is the number 30! The team that will be on National TV the most is the Philadelphia Flyers with 30 total games.  Yes, the same Flyers that didn’t make the playoffs last season.  Does that number not stand out enough? How about 17 National Games for the Buffalo Sabres. Buffalo has what going for it? Name 5 Sabres not named Ryan Miller! I can’t stand the Vancouver Canucks as much as the next person, but they are perennial playoff teams with recognizable names and they only get 1 national game.

Seeing is believing so here is the team by team breakdown for total national games between all the networks.

  1. Philadelphia Flyers-30
  2. Pittsburgh Penguins-29
  3. New York Rangers-26
  4. Boston Bruins-24
  5. Chicago Blackhawks-23
  6. Washington Capitals-19
  7. St.Louis Blues-19
  8. Detroit Red Wings-17
  9. Buffalo Sabres-17
  10. New Jersey Devils-16
  11. Minnesota Wild-16
  12. Los Angeles Kings-16
  13. Tampa Bay Lightning-8
  14. Dallas Stars-8
  15. Colorado Avalanche-8
  16. San Jose Sharks-7
  17. Montreal Canadiens-6
  18. New York Islanders-6
  19. Anaheim Ducks-6
  20. Nashville Predators-5
  21. Phoenix Coyotes-5
  22. Columbus Blue Jackets-3
  23. Carolina Hurricanes-1
  24. Florida Panthers-1
  25. Ottawa Senators
  26. Toronto Maple Leafs-1
  27. Vancouver Canucks-1
  28. Calgary Flames-0
  29. Edmonton Oilers-0
  30. Winnipeg Jets-0

Nobody is saying there are people dying to see the Calgary Flames or Winnipeg Jets, but we don’t need to see the state of Pennsylvania play 59 times on national TV.  Yes, the majority of the viewing audience lives on the East Coast but that doesn’t mean the Kings one year removed from the Stanley Cup should get on National TV 13 less times than the New York Rangers.

East Coast bias is highly annoying from coverage and commercials (Backstrom splinter) to national TV appearances.  If you are a fan of the newly formed Pacific Division better start saving up for the NHL Center Ice Package today!

What do you think? Is this East Coast Bias at it’s best? Is this a big deal, little deal, or no deal at all?

Enjoy Pierre Pennsylvania at least the Pacific Division gets to miss their McGuire in 2013-2014!

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