How to Watch NHL Network Live For Free to See Exclusive Games, Highlights & More


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If you already have hockey games queued up on the TV at all times, you likely want to know how to watch NHL Network. The network covers all things ice hockey—from live game telecasts to analysis, programs, specials, and documentaries.

NHL Network, founded in October 2007, is an American sports-oriented cable and satellite television network that is controlled by the National Hockey League (NHL) and NBCUniversal. NHL Network was the third sports-oriented cable network, right behind NBA TV and NFL Network. In 2015, MLB Network took over the management of NHL Network for six years. Once that ended in 2021, the network continued to function under the league’s new television contract group of ESPN and Turner Sports.

What can you watch on NHL network? Sometimes, NHL Network nationally airs select games that ESPN and Turner do not broadcast. But for the most part, you’ll find a lot of commentary. NHL Tonight shares the latest news, highlights, interviews, and analysis, while NHL Now dives deeper into the sport with the help of players and insiders. If you’re feeling nostalgic, Classic Series shows highlights from previous Stanley Cup Playoff series, while Vintage Games shares archived broadcasts of past NHL games that even feature the original broadcasters.

When it comes to grand prizes, the NHL competes for the coveted Stanley Cup, while the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) battles it out for the Walter Cup, which in 2024 joined more than 65 other trophies designed by Tiffany & Co., per Sportico.

These are just a few examples of what you can tune into on NHL Network, so keep reading to discover how to watch NHL Network to learn about its other programs.

How to Watch NHL Games
Ethan Miller/Getty Images.Ethan Miller/Getty Images.

How to watch NHL Network live for free

NHL Network is available to stream on services like DirecTV Stream, Fubo, and Sling. DirecTV Stream offers a five-day free trial, which starts at $74.99 per month after the trial ends (with $10 off your first three months). Fubo offers a seven-day free trial, which starts at $74.99 per month after the trial ends. Subscribing to Sling Orange gives you ESPN and TNT, but make sure to add the Sports Extra package to watch NHL Network. Sports Extra costs $11 per month on top of the cost of your Sling Orange or Sling Blue base service. If you opt for a Sling Orange + Sling Blue subscription, Sports Extra costs $15 per month.

Best Overall Pick to Watch NHL Network: DirecTV Stream

Direct TV is our best overall pick to watch NHL Network live for free for its free trial, price (including its current deal), and channel selection. DirecTV Stream offers a five-day free trial and has a current deal where new subscribers can receive $10 off their first three months. DirecTV offers four plans: Entertainment, which costs $74.99 per month with the first three months at $64.99 per month; Choice, which costs $99.99 per month with the first three months at $89.99 per month; Ultimate, which costs $109.99 per month with the first three months at $99.99 per month; and Premiere, which costs $154.99 per month with the first three months at $144.99 per month.

As for other differences between the plans, Entertainment includes more than 75 channels, the ability to stream on unlimited devices in your home, unlimited cloud DVR storage, and a special offer on premium channels. Choice, which is the most popular plan, includes more than 105 channels, regional sports networks, and everything included in Entertainment. Ultimate includes more than 140 channels and everything included in Entertainment and Choice. Premiere includes more than 150 channels including premium channels like HBO and Starz and everything included in Entertainment, Choice, and Premiere. Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to watch NHL Network with DirecTV Stream’s free trial. 

  1. Visit streamtv.directv.com
  2. Click “Shop Packages”
  3. Click “Try It Free” for the plan of your choice
  4. Enter your information and payment method
  5. Search for NHL Network and start watching

Best Free Trial Pick to Watch NHL Network: Fubo

Fubo is our best free trial pick to watch NHL Network live for free. Fubo offers a seven-day free trial (two days longer than DirecTV Stream) and offers three plans: Pro, which costs $74.99 per month; Elite, which costs $84.99 per month; and Ultimate, which costs $99.99 per month.

As for the difference between the plans, Pro includes 180 channels, 1,000 hours of Cloud DVR, and the ability to watch on up to 10 screens at once. Elite includes everything in Pro, as well as a total of 256 channels and 4K resolution. Ultimate includes everything in Pro and Elite, as well as a total of 299 channels, Showtime, and Red Zone NFL Network. Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to watch NHL Network with Fubo’s free trial. 

  1. Visit Fubo.TV
  2. Click “Start Free Trial”
  3. Enter your information and payment method
  4. Search for NHL Network and start watching

Best Budget Pick to Watch NHL Network: Sling

Sling is our best budget pick to watch NHL Network based on its price and current deals. Sling Orange costs $20 for your first month and $40 per month after the first month ends, while Sling Blue costs $22.50 for your first month and $45 per month after the first month ends. Sling Orange + Blue starts at $30 for your first month and $60 after the first month ends. To watch the most hockey possible, subscribe to Sling Orange (which gives you ESPN and TNT), and then add the Sports Extra Package to watch NHL Network. Sports Extra costs $11 per month on top of the cost of your Sling Orange or Sling Blue base service. If you opt for a Sling Orange + Sling Blue subscription, Sports Extra costs $15 per month.

As for the difference between the plans, Sling Orange includes 32 channels (including 7 exclusive sports and family channels) and the ability to stream on one device at a time, while Sling Blue includes 42 channels (including 17 exclusive news and entertainment channels) and the ability to stream on three devices at a time. Alternatively, Sling Orange + Blue includes 46 channels (including all 22 exclusive channels) and the ability to stream on three devices at a time. Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to watch NHL Network with Sling.

  1. Visit Sling.com
  2. Click “Try Us Today”
  3. Create an account
  4. Choose your plan
  5. Enter your information and payment method
  6. Search for NHL Network and start watching
Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images.

NHL Network Programming

  • NHL Tonight (formerly NHL on the Fly) – NHL news with highlights, interviews, and analysis
  • NHL Now – interviews with NHL players and insight from NHL insiders
  • On the Fly – highlights of the day’s games
  • Hockey Central – a television simulcast of CJCL Sportsnet 960 Toronto’s NHL radio show
  • Top 10 – a countdown program about hockey-related topics, such as noteworthy performances to memorable moments
  • Frozen in Time – a retrospective program that revisits the greatest NHL moments, players, teams, and special events
  • Classic Series – highlights from previous Stanley Cup Playoff series
  • Vintage Games – archived broadcasts of past NHL games, featuring the original broadcasters
  • Pioneers – a profile series in which NHL legends talk about their careers
  • NHL Movie Night/NHL Flicks – a movie program that shows hockey-related theatrical films
  • NHL Network also has the right to air multiple Stanley Cup films from past winning teams
  • NHL Network Ice Time – geared towards children and hosted by Jackie Redmond, this program shares instructions on the game and interviews with NHL Players

NHL Network Live Game Schedule

*Schedule subject to change

  • Wednesday, 05/01 at 7 p.m. ET – Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars
  • Wednesday, 05/01 at 10 p.m. ET – Los Angeles Kings vs Edmonton Oilers
  • Thursday, 05/02 at 8 p.m. ET – Boston Bruins vs Toronto Maple Leafs
  • Friday, 05/03 at TBD – Dallas Stars vs Vegas Golden Knights
  • Friday, 05/03 at TBD – Vancouver Canucks vs Nashville Predators
  • Friday, 05/03 at TBD – Los Angeles Kings vs Edmonton Oilers
  • Saturday, 05/04 at TBD – Toronto Maple Leafs vs Boston Bruins
  • Sunday, 05/05 at TBD – Vegas Golden Knights vs Dallas Stars
  • Sunday, 05/05 at TBD – Los Angeles Kings vs Edmonton Oilers
  • Sunday, 05/05 at TBD – Vancouver Canucks vs Nashville Predators





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