Despite growing fears of a lockout the NHL announced the 2012-13 television schedules for its national partners on Thursday. Assuming a new CBA is reached, NBC will begin its coverage on Thanksgiving Friday, Nov. 23 when the New York Rangers visit the Boston Bruins. Coverage will continue with the Winter Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings on New Year's Day 2013. NBC will begin its "Game of the Week" series on Sunday, Jan. 20.
Not surprisingly, the Columbus Blue Jackets do not have any games scheduled on NBC this year. The Blue Jackets have one game scheduled on the NBC Sports Network in the 2012-13 season, when they host the Red Wings on Oct. 23. The lack of national exposure is to be expected, seeing as the Blue Jackets finished with the worst record in the NHL last season.
Of course all of this is a moot point if the NHL and NHLPA can't agree to a new collective bargaining agreement. The current agreement expires on Sept. 15 and it is expected that NHL will lock the players out if a new CBA is not signed by that date. A prolonged lockout could easily see the Blue Jackets one NBC Sports game cancelled since it is early in the season.