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NHL Releases 2016-17 Schedule

Tha Sports Junkies 101-Sports News Jason Mrachina/via flickr.com

Centennial NHL Season to get underway October 12

NHL

After a memorable 2015-16 season, the NHL will be celebrating its 100th campaign this fall. Today, we learned when it will all get underway and the schedule for the entire season.

The league’s centennial season will start on October 12, with four games that night. All four match-ups will be division games, with six of the 14 Western Conference teams kicking things off.

Opening night will be highlighted by the Edmonton Oilers debuting their new arena, Rogers Place, against their provincial rivals, the Calgary Flames.

Also that evening, the potential 2016 No. 1 overall draft pick may be making his NHL debut. The Toronto Maple Leafs hold the top pick in this year’s draft and they are expected to select Auston Matthews, barring a trade. If he is selected, we may see him on opening night when Toronto visits the Ottawa Senators.

The following night, the Pittsburgh Penguins will begin their defense of the Stanley Cup when they get their season underway. They will host the Washington Capitals on October 13. They will also be raising their fourth Stanley Cup banner that evening.

We won’t have to wait too long for a rematch of this past Stanley Cup Final as the San Jose Sharks will visit the Consol Energy Center to take on the Penguins on October 20. Pittsburgh will then visit San Jose on November 5.

Outdoor games have been common in recent NHL seasons, and in 2016-17 it won’t be an exception.

There will be four outdoor games during the centennial season. The first will take place on October 23 when the Winnipeg Jets host the Oilers in the Tim Horton’s Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg.

January 1 is usually reserved for the Winter Classic, but this year will be a tad different. January 1 will be the day of the NHL’s first-ever Centennial Classic. Two of the league’s Original Six will be outdoors that day when the Maple Leafs host the Detroit Red Wings at BMO Field in Toronto.

The game will be the start of a year-long centennial celebration featuring a variety of ceremonies, recognitions, observances, and special events highlighting 100 years of NHL hockey

The Winter Classic will be held on January 2 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis when the St. Louis Blues host the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Penguins will find themselves hosting the final outdoor game of the season at Heinz Field on February 25. They will welcome their hated in-state rival, the Philadelphia Flyers in the year’s only Stadium Series game.

This season, the NHL will take its All-Star Game to Hollywood as Los Angeles will be hosting All-Star weekend. The skills competition will be on January 28, while the All-Star Game will be on January 29.

The regular season concludes April 9 with 20 of the 30 teams scheduled to play. That final weekend of the season will also see the closing of one of the NHL’s toughest buildings to play in.

The Red Wings will be saying goodbye to Joe Louis Arena this season. April 8 and 9 will be the final two regular season games there when they host the Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils, respectively. Detroit will be moving into Little Caesars Arena in 2017-18.

The TV schedule for the 2016-17 season was not announced today, but we can expect it sometime in the next few weeks.

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