NHL releases national TV schedule as some sort of sick joke; Sharks to appear 7 times

With the league and NHLPA still embroiled in a contentious negotiation that will almost certainly push back the start of the 2012-13 season, the NHL has gone ahead and released their national TV schedule anyway. Probably because Gary Bettman gets off on fan misery and nothing is more crushing than false hope. At any rate, the Sharks will appear on NBC Sports seven times, all of which will be exclusive broadcasts. That's up from five total appearances on NBC Sports and the flagship station last year but ranks just sixth among Western Conference teams, which is worse than it sounds since NBC continues to deny that Western Canada exists. Here's a look at the Sharks' scheduled appearances on NBC Sports:

Day Date Time (PT) Visitor Home Network
Thu. 11/15/12 5:00PM Sharks Stars NBCSN
Tue. 12/4/12 4:30PM Sharks Sabres NBCSN
Thu. 1/17/13 5:00PM Sharks Wild NBCSN
Tue. 1/22/13 5:00PM Sharks Blues NBCSN
Thu. 2/14/13 4:30PM Sharks Lightning NBCSN
Mon. 3/18/13 5:00PM Sharks Stars NBCSN
Sat. 4/13/12 6:00PM Sharks Coyotes NBCSN

In addition, the Sharks will host the Stars on March 9th in a game televised non-exclusively by the NHL Network. For our friends in Canada, the Sharks will be on TSN twice, both in the month of January, as they take on the Flames in Calgary on the 15th and the Canucks in Vancouver on the 29th. All of their appearances on NBCSN will also be simulcast on either TSN or TSN2 up north. Strangely, the Sharks are scheduled to make zero appearances on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada which, unless I'm forgetting something, is the first time that's happened since the 2005 lockout. NBC continues its proud tradition of rarely giving enough of a shit to send their crew past the Jersey turnpike so, as you can see above, none of San Jose's national appearances will be home games.