by Christina Peden

Rogers had hockey legend Mark Messier on hand this morning at a press conference in Toronto to unveil some major upgrades to their NHL GameCentre Live streaming service for the upcoming 2014/2015 season.

Rogers is promising to bring over 50 per cent more games to Canadian hockey fans this season, including over 1000 regular season games, the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Winter Classic and the All-Star Game. Hockey Night in Canada, Wednesday Night Hockey and Hometown Hockey on Sundays, which were previously inaccessible via the streaming service, will now be available for GameCentre subscribers.

“We talked to fans in local rinks and living rooms across the country and it’s clear, they want access to more of the games and teams that matter to them,” said Keith Pelley, president of Rogers Media. “We’re bringing fans national [and local] games so they can watch the teams and players they love.”

Of course, the best things in life aren’t always free, so just how much will you have to dish out for an increase in NHL streaming action?

Well, if you’re already a Rogers wireless data or hi-speed internet subscriber, you’ll have free access to GameCentre until the end of 2014. After that, expect to pay $129.99 for a “Half-Season Pass” from January 1st to the end of the season.

Not a Rogers customer? If you want full access for the entirety of the regular and post-season, it will cost you $199.99. The company is also offering an “early bird” discounted rate of $179.99 for fans who purchase their package between now and October 13th.

Fans will also experience fewer “blackouts”; previously, fans in say, Vancouver, could not watch the Canucks play live on GameCentre’s streaming service. This will change once the puck drops on the new hockey season. However, you’ll need a cable TV subscription plus a GameCentre membership to access the formerly blacked out games, so there's still a bit of a catch.

Rogers has also brought on hockey legend and six-time Stanley Cup champion Mark Messier as a “Rogers NHL Hockey Ambassador” to promote the partnership between the company and the sports league. Messier says his new role doesn’t even feel like a job. “It seemed very natural … that I could be the guy that woke up everyday and told hockey fans across the country that they could watch more hockey,” he told reporters at Wednesday’s press conference.

The 2014/2015 NHL season kicks off October 8th.