ESPN and the National Hockey League have signed a one-year deal for TV rights to the 2004-05 season, with yearly options to renew through 2007.
ESPN has carried the NHL since 1992.
The deal calls for 40 regular-season games on ESPN2 and ESPN coverage of the first two games of the Stanley Cup. New to the deal is the All Star Game and additional playoff exclusivity. ESPN/ESPN2 will have exclusive rights to the conference finals and two games in each of the semifinal series.