NHL News: Realignment, the Olympics and 2014 Schedule

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As the NHL enters a lull in the offseason with the initial free agent frenzy over, the league released the 2013-14 schedule last week Friday.  Along with the schedule release, the four new division names were released as well. They are the Metropolitan, Atlantic, Central and Pacific. Atlantic, Central and Pacific we already knew, but the Metropolitan is a little different.  Considering the division includes Columbus and Carolina, the name is a little odd. Nothing about Columbus or Carolina screams metropolitan. Some people who cover hockey have suggested that the NHL should have named the divisions after four of the greats who played the game. Not going to argue that, but the NHL decided on these more geographical names.  The teams in each division are:

  • nhl alignmentMetropolitan Division: Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets.
  • Atlantic Division: Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning.
  • Central Division: Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues.
  • Pacific Division: Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes and Anaheim Ducks.

 

Now to some notes on the 1,230 game regular season schedule itself:

  • Training camps start September 11.
  • Preseason games start just a couple of days later.
  • Regular season begins October 1 and concludes April 13.
  • Stanley Cup playoffs begin April 16.
  • The NHL will take a break February 9-26 so that the NHL players can play for their respective countries in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

usa hockeyThe NHL is making the right move to let its players go play for their countries during the Olympics. There is little question that the NHL benefited greatly during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver with the games between Canada and the USA. They got terrific exposure and generated more interest in the game and more fans. If they didn’t allow players to play, there would certainly be a backlash by their own players against the league and there would be a lot of disappointed NHL fans that players from their team don’t get to play in the Olympics.  Hockey in the Winter Olympics is fun to watch for that reason. The best in the world get center stage to wear their country’s sweater and show their pride by trying to win Olympic gold. The NHL made the right decision in taking a break in February so NHL  players can play in the Olympics.

Every team knows its schedule now and that includes the Dallas Stars.  Their full schedule along with ticket information can be found at http://stars.nhl.com/club/schedule.htm. The Stars start the year on the road with two games against the Florida Panthers and Washington Capitals. They also end the season on the road against the Phoenix Coyotes.  Four games are scheduled to be telecast on NBCSN. There are two five game homestands. It is going to be an exciting year of Stars hockey. It’s the team’s twentieth anniversary in Dallas.  With all of the trades and acquisitions the team has made, these are exciting times for hockey fans in Texas. Should be a great year for the Dallas Stars.  How the season all plays out is going to be written in the stars.

Date Opponent Time
Oct. 3 Florida

8:30

Oct. 5 Washington

8:00

Oct. 11 at Winnipeg

8:00

Oct. 12 at Minnesota

8:00

Oct. 15 at Colorado

9:00

Oct. 17 San Jose

8:30

Oct. 19 at Los Angeles

10:30

Oct. 20 at Anaheim

8:00

Oct. 24 Calgary

8:30

Oct. 26 Winnipeg

7:00

Oct. 28 at Buffalo

7:00

Oct. 29 at Montreal

7:30

Nov. 1 Colorado

8:30

Nov. 3 at Ottawa

1:00

Nov. 5 at Boston

7:00

Nov. 7 at Detroit

7:30

Nov. 9 Chicago

8:00

Nov. 13 at Edmonton

10:00

Nov. 14 at Calgary

9:00

Nov. 17 at Vancouver

8:00

Nov. 21 NY Rangers

8:30

Date Opponent Time
Nov. 23 at St. Louis

8:00

Nov. 26 Anaheim

8:00

Nov. 29 Chicago

8:30

Dec. 1 Edmonton

6:00

Dec. 3 at Chicago

8:00

Dec. 5 at Toronto

7:00

Dec. 7 Philadelphia

8:00

Dec. 10 Chicago

8:30

Dec. 12 at Nashville

8:00

Dec. 14 at Winnipeg

3:00

Dec. 16 at Colorado

9:00

Dec. 17 Colorado

8:30

Dec. 19 Vancouver

8:30

Dec. 21 at San Jose

10:30

Dec. 23 at Los Angeles

10:30

Dec. 27 Nashville

8:30

Dec. 29 St. Louis

6:00

Dec. 31 Los Angeles

8:00

Jan. 2 Montreal

8:30

Jan. 4 Detroit

8:00

Jan. 6 at NY Islanders

7:00

Date Opponent Time
Jan. 9 at New Jersey

7:00

Jan. 10 at NY Rangers

7:00

Jan. 12 NY Islanders

6:00

Jan. 14 Edmonton

8:30

Jan. 16 Boston

8:30

Jan. 18 at Minnesota

9:00

Jan. 20 at Nashville

8:00

Jan. 21 Minnesota

8:00

Jan. 23 Toronto

8:30

Jan. 25 Pittsburgh

8:00

Jan. 27 Colorado

8:30

Jan. 30 New Jersey

8:30

Feb. 1 at Anaheim

10:00

Feb. 4 at Phoenix

9:00

Feb. 5 at San Jose

10:30

Feb. 8 Phoenix

8:00

Feb. 27 Carolina

8:30

Mar. 1 Tampa Bay

3:00

Mar. 3 Buffalo

8:00

Mar. 4 at Columbus

7:00

Mar. 6 Vancouver

8:30

Date Opponent Time
Mar. 8 Minnesota

8:30

Mar. 10 Columbus

8:30

Mar. 11 at St. Louis

8:00

Mar. 14 Calgary

8:30

Mar. 16 at Winnipeg

8:00

Mar. 18 at Pittsburgh

7:00

Mar. 20 at Philadelphia

7:00

Mar. 22 Ottawa

3:00

Mar. 24 Winnipeg

8:30

Mar. 25 at Chicago

8:00

Mar. 28 Nashville

8:30

Mar. 29 at St. Louis

8:00

Apr. 1 at Washington

7:00

Apr. 3 at Carolina

7:00

Apr. 5 at Tampa Bay

7:00

Apr. 6 at Florida

5:00

Apr. 8 Nashville

8:30

Apr. 11 St. Louis

8:30

Apr. 13 at Phoenix

9:00

*** All Times Eastern. ***

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