NHL GameCenter app now free on PS3

The 2011-12 hockey season begins today, which makes it a perfect time to download the NHL GameCenter app on the PS3. The app cost $9.99 in last year's season, but Sony has announced that the app is now completely free to download.

You won't need a subscription to GameCenter Live in order to use the app, as there are some features built right in. You'll be able to see post-game highlights, team schedules, standings, player stats, and full NHL scoreboards.

But the main attraction of the app is the ability to stream every regular season game in HD--and that will require a GameCenter Live subscription, barring local blackout restrictions. With a subscription you'll also be able to watch full-length and condensed replays 48 hours after a game airs, with no blackouts. There's also access to the NHL Vault, a collection of "classic games" you can rewatch.

A subscription must be purchased from NHL directly. It costs $159 for the whole season.

To download the NHL GameCenter app off the PlayStation Store, you have to browse to the Media & Apps category, and go to "Apps." You'll be able to launch it from the TV/Video Services icon on the XMB, as well.