The new-look Columbus Blue Jackets aim to remain competitive in the longest NHL season in three years.
In 2021-22, most Blue Jackets games will be televised in local markets on Bally Sports Ohio, while some games will be nationally televised on NHL Network (usually out of market only, but those will also be on Bally Sports Ohio), TNT or ESPN.
Additionally, every out-of-market game (and some nationally broadcast games) will also stream on ESPN+, which replaces NHL.tv this season.
Whether you live in the Blue Jackets market or somewhere else in the United States, here’s a full rundown of the different ways you can watch every Blue Jackets game live online without cable in 2021-22:
Note: Heavy may earn an affiliate commission if you sign up via a link on this page
If You’re in the Blue Jackets Market
Note: A couple Blue Jackets games this season will stream exclusively on ESPN+ nationally with no blackout for in-market viewers. The following option is for how to watch all other in-market games:
This is the only streaming service that has Bally Sports Ohio
DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV) has four different channel packages: “Entertainment,” “Choice,” “Ultimate” and “Premier.” ESPN and TNT are included in all of them, Bally Sports Ohio (local markets) is in “Choice” and up, and NHL Network is in “Ultimate” and up.
You can sign up right here:
Once signed up for DirecTV Stream, you can watch Blue Jackets games live on the DirecTV Stream app, which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Samsung TV, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet. Or you can watch on your computer via the DirecTV Stream website.
If you can’t watch live, DirecTV Stream also comes with 20 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to 500 hours).
If You’re out of the Blue Jackets Market
You can watch every out-of-market, non-nationally televised NHL game (over 1,000 games total) on ESPN+, which replaces NHL.tv this season and is a must-have for any NHL fan in the United States:
ESPN+, which also includes about 75 exclusive national NHL games, plus dozens of other live sports, every 30-for-30 documentary in existence and additional original content (both video and written), costs $6.99 for a month or $69.99 for a year (or about seven cents per NHL game if you want to look at it that way).
If you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $13.99 per month. Separately, the three streaming services would cost a total $20.97 per month, so you’re saving about 33 percent:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch every out-of-market Blue Jackets game live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Series X/S, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), Samsung Smart TV, Oculus Go, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
You can also watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Blue Jackets Season Preview 2021-22
Columbus made a slew of changes in the offseason and whether it will amount to a playoff appearance or a lottery pick remains a mystery.
The Blue Jackets come into the season two years removed from a conference semifinal appearance in 2019. Last season didn’t come close to that with an 18-26-12 mark and missing the playoffs, a decline from the 2019-2020 season that ended in a first round exit.
Columbus obtained right wing Jakub Voracek, 32, in a trade with the Philadelphia Flyers and parted ways with right wing Cam Atkinson, 32, in the trade. Voracek scored nine goals and assisted on 34 last season for the Flyers. He began his career in Columbus and last played for the team 10 years ago.
“I was shocked that I went back to Columbus,” Voracek told the Columbus Dispatch’s Brian Hedger about the trade. “I didn’t expect that at all and I think it was a last-second thing, to be honest. I think there were some other things at play and then, I heard, all of a sudden Columbus hopped in and it was kind of surprising.”
The Blue Jackets also added Adam Boqvist in a trade with the Chicago Blackhawks, which sent defenseman Seth Jones to the Blackhawks. Boqvist had 16 points and a -7 plus-minus score for the Blackhawks last season.
Defenseman Jake Bean also arrived in a trade with the Carolina Hurricanes. Bean, 23, was a former first round pick in 2016, and he’s only played 44 games with the Canes in two seasons. He tallied 12 points and a -2 plus-minus score in 42 games last season.
Columbus also signed Zach Rinaldo, 31, who hardly played the last two seasons with 23 game appearances. Center Sean Kurlay also signed with the Blue Jackets after posting nine points in 47 games for Boston last season.
The Blue Jackets will look for a bigger season from right wing Patrick Laine, who joined the team via a trade with the Winnipeg Jets last season. Laine had 21 points in 45 games for the Blue Jackets. He showed promise during longer seasons previously with 50 or more points every season.
Columbus still has defenseman Zach Werenski, who had 20 points and a -9 plus-minus score last season. He amassed more than 40 points in three of the previous four seasons.
The Blue Jackets also have center, and now captain, Boone Jenner back. He’s been with the team since the 2013-2014 season and has 240 career points.
“There are a lot of layers to this, but Boone checks so many boxes, there’s no question,” Blue Jackets head coach Brad Larsen told The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline. “Boone embodies who the Blue Jackets are and what we want to represent.”
Blue Jackets goalies Elvis Merzlikins and Joonas Korpisalo will split time in goal again this season. Merzlikins had a .916 save percentage, a 2.77 goals allowed average, and an 8-12-0 record in 2020-2021. Korpisalo went 9-13 and had an .894 save percentage and a 3.30 goals allowed average.
While neither goalie posted a winning record last season, Voracek doesn’t anticipate similar results in returning to Columbus. He believes this team can compete now instead of waiting for the draft lottery.
“Everybody says it’s a rebuild,” Voracke told Hedger. “Well, if it’s a rebuild, why would Jarmo (Kealainen) trade for an $8.25 million player that is 32 years old, you know? I kind of sense out of that, that they want me to be a guy to guide the guys through the next couple years. And I take it as a huge opportunity.”