The return of the World Cup of Hockey will make this offseason a little easier to get through. ESPN has released the television schedule for the tournament, which kicks off on September 17 in Toronto. The Florida Panthers will have three players taking part in the event: Aaron Ekblad (North America), Aleksander Barkov (Finland) and Jussi Jokinen (Finland).
From the officlal ESPN press release
· Team USA Faces Team Canada in Prime Time on ESPN September 20
· Semifinals Begin on ESPN2 September 24 at 7 p.m.
· Barry Melrose & Steve Levy to Call Best-of-Three Final Beginning September 27
ESPN networks will televise every game of the World Cup of Hockey 2016 and the puck drops Saturday, Sept. 17, with group play between Team USA and Team Europe on ESPN2 (3:30 p.m. ET). Team Czech Republic and Team Canada will face off in prime time that night on ESPNEWS at 8 p.m. All games will be televised live from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.
After meeting twice in pre-tournament play, Team USA and Team Canada play on ESPN in prime time on Tuesday, Sept. 20. Team USA closes out group play against Team Czech Republic on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.
Team North America - comprised of top players who are 23 and under from the United States and Canada - makes its tournament play debut against Team Finland on Sunday, Sept. 18, and the next day they take on Team Russia, with both games on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. Team North America ends group play against Team Sweden on Wednesday, Sept, 21, at 3 p.m. on ESPN.
The Semifinals begin Saturday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. on ESPN2 with the second Semifinal on Sunday at 1 p.m. on ESPN. Game one of the best-of-three Final begins Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m.on ESPN followed by game two on Thursday (8 p.m.) and game three on Saturday (7 p.m.), if necessary, both on ESPN2.
All coverage on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS will also be available to stream live on WatchESPN across computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices via an affiliated video provider.
Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Europe and Team USA are in Group A. Group B is made up of Team Finland, Team North America, Team Russia and Team Sweden.
ESPN's World Cup of Hockey play-by-play commentator Steve Levy and analyst Barry Melrose will call all of Team USA's games as well as the Semifinals and Final. Play-by-play commentator John Buccigross will call the remaining action alongside analyst Kevin Weekes. NHL Hall of Famers Brett Hull and Chris Chelios will provide studio analysis with John Saunders, Adnan Virk and Buccigross.
|Sat, Sep 17||3:30 p.m.||Group Play: USA vs. Europe||ESPN2|
|8 p.m.||Group Play: Czech Republic vs. Canada||ESPNEWS|
|Sun, Sep 18||3 p.m.||Group Play: Sweden vs. Russia||ESPN|
|8 p.m.||Group Play: North America vs. Finland||ESPN2|
|Mon, Sep 19||3 p.m.||Group Play: Europe vs. Czech Republic||ESPN2|
|8 p.m.||Group Play: Russia vs. North America||ESPN2|
|Tue, Sep 20||3 p.m.||Group Play: Finland vs. Sweden||ESPN|
|8 p.m.||Group Play: Canada vs. USA||ESPN|
|Wed, Sep 21||3 p.m.||Group Play: North America vs. Sweden||ESPN|
|8 p.m.||Group Play: Europe vs Canada||ESPN2|
|Thu, Sep 22||3 p.m.||Group Play: Finland vs. Russia||ESPN|
|8 p.m.||Group Play: USA vs. Czech Republic||ESPN2|
|Sat, Sep 24||7 p.m.||Semifinal one||ESPN2|
|Sun, Sep 25||1 p.m.||Semifinal two||ESPN|
|Tue, Sep 27||8 p.m.||Final: Game one||ESPN|
|Thu, Sep 29||8 p.m.||Final: Game two||ESPN2|
|Sat, Oct 1||7 p.m.||Final: Game three (if necessary)||ESPN2|