The other day, I opened up my NHL app on my phone to see what other roster changes the Blackhawks had been working out besides the big Fleury deal. I hadn’t opened it in quite a while, and I was surprised to find a notification that the streaming service for out of market games had changed. No longer would I be paying NHLTV for the privilege of watching most out of market games; instead, the new option would be to subscribe to ESPN+.

At first, I felt a touch of dread, because my husband has an aversion to subscribing to new streaming services. He figures between the ones that we’ve got, we should have plenty to watch. And that’s true, but there are some times that I’d like to watch shows that aren’t available on our services. At any rate, my dread proved unfounded. If ESPN+ is how we get hockey, then we subscribe to ESPN+. 

I went ahead and bought a full year’s subscription, since it would be at a discounted rate over the month to month. And either way it would be cheaper than the NHLTV subscription. Not only because it was a lower dollar amount, but because we would be getting more than just hockey. Sure, most of the sports also available don’t particularly interest us, but there will probably be occasions where I find something cool. 

Now, if only they’d just realize that I don’t actually have any local teams and stop blacking out Colorado and Las Vegas. Or at least don’t block Seattle for the inaugural season. I think it’s ridiculous that teams over 500 miles away are considered my local teams for the purposes of blackouts. I know the rationale, with the regional sports networks needing to be sold on satellite and cable, but it’s annoying. 

And I’m definitely curious about how the Kraken are going to do. I didn’t see as many big names on their draft as I did on Vegas’. Especially concerning was the lack of a capable veteran goalie. I’m thinking the other teams learned their lessons from Vegas’ aggressive approach and made sure Seattle didn’t get similar largesse. 

I’ve checked out the live streaming quality on ESPN+ with soccer. I figured baseball was too slow to give a comparison for hockey, but soccer should be close. It seemed to get a little choppy when the shot zoomed in on fast action, but I had to be looking closely for it. Next up will be the preseason. I sure hope the Delta variant doesn’t create problems for this year’s hockey season. 

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