By Mark FilippiThe NHL announced Wednesday that it will retire its “Landscaping” game series in 2018, which featured 30 teams competing for a share of the $1 billion-a-year national television rights.
The move follows a disappointing 2018 season, when the NHL went from 12 teams in its current format to a 12-team league.
The last time the league hosted “Landscape” was in 2006, and there were no “Land” players in the league.
The only player to make an NHL roster this season was Ryan Whitney, who signed a two-year, $2.8 million contract.
“I am truly proud of what we accomplished over the past decade,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.
“Land Scaping has provided the NHL with an unmatched opportunity to showcase our sport and our game to millions of fans across the country.”
The NHL also announced Wednesday a partnership with ESPN, which will host the 2019 “Landers” game.
It’s expected to air in the fall on ESPN.
“We’re excited to welcome ESPN to the NHL family and see what we can do together for fans in the coming years,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said.
Bettman added the “Land-Scaping” format would continue in 2020 with two more teams participating, but no players.
The “Land and Garden” series also is being discontinued.
It was a series of games that was played between the NHL and the teams who played in them.
The first was the 1997-98 season, which was the last season the NHL played on its new home ice.
The last time a “Landing” game was played in the series was in 2004.
The NHL’s current schedule will include three games a week in 20 markets across the league’s 18-state footprint: Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Nashville, St. Louis, Chicago, St.-Louis, St., Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary, Edmonton-St. Albert, Edmonton and Calgary-Elbow Lake.