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Charles Barkley to join 'NHL on TNT' for studio premiere

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 05: Former NBA player

NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 05: Former NBA player Charles Barkley speaks during a press conference prior to Game Four of the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Nashville Predators at the Bridgestone Arena on June 5, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images) Credit: Getty Images/Frederick Breedon

TNT will not waste any time playing the biggest cross-promotional card in its deck in advance of televising its first regular-season NHL games on Wednesday night.

Charles Barkley, a star of the network’s popular NBA pregame show, will appear in studio on "NHL on TNT Face Off" at 7 p.m. for a commercial-free half hour leading up to the Rangers-Capitals game.

Barkley is a hockey fan, but mostly he is an outsized personality, and he will join Wayne Gretzky and the rest of TNT’s new studio team to hype the big event.

One of the NHL’s hopes for its new, seven-year television contracts with Turner and ESPN is that the two media outlets will find creative new ways to promote the sport. Having Barkley on to talk hockey on opening night is an excellent example of that.

New York Sports