|Rick Nash's debut with the New York Rangers is one of the many games worth watching this season. (Getty Images)|
Here are the five must-watch games for any hockey fans on Saturday. Remember that the Center Ice package on DirecTV or your cable system is free this week so you should be able to watch all of the games.
Rick Nash's debut for New York
New York at Boston (7 p.m. ET on NHL Network)
The New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets worked on this trade for months. There were rumors, and proposals, and rejections, and the saga finally came to an end six months ago when the Blue Jackets agreed to send the best player they've ever had to New York for a package that included Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, defense prospect Tim Erixon, and a first-round draft pick.
Rick Nash is supposed to be the missing piece for the Rangers, another big-time goal-scorer who will give them the offensive upgrade they need to push them into the Stanley Cup finals.
They had the goaltending last year. They had the defense. They didn't have enough offense. Will Nash be enough to get them there? Or will his recent goal-scoring decline continue into his days with the Rangers?
Kings' banner raising, season opener
Chicago at Los Angeles (3 p.m. ET on NBC)
Los Angeles Kings fans have had to wait since 1967 (assuming they were alive at that time) to see their team win the Stanley Cup and hang a championship banner in the rafters, and now that it finally happened they had to wait even longer to see the banner go up thanks to a lockout.
Hey, when you had to wait more than 40 years to see a championship, what's another 100-plus days to finally see the banner go up?
The Kings' title defense begins Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Minnesota debuts its new stars
Colorado at Minnesota (9 p.m. ET)
One of the biggest days in the brief history of the Minnesota Wild came July 4 when they out of nowhere signed the two biggest free agents on the market in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. They make their Minnesota debuts against the Colorado Avalanche.
After a hot start last season, the Wild collapsed down the stretch and ended up being one of the worst teams in the league and obviously needed some significant changes.
These would qualify as significant changes. Minnesota still has too many holes, especially offensively, for the additions of Parise and Suter to make them a Stanley Cup contender, but they should be enough of an improvement to at least make the Wild a contender for a playoff spot.
Minnesota hasn't made the playoffs since the 2007-08 season.
Our first look at the the new-look Dallas Stars
Phoenix at Dallas (8 p.m. ET)
The Dallas Stars are one of the more fascinating teams in the NHL after their offseason moves.
The latter two should help boost what was a dreadful Dallas power play last season (worst in the NHL) while this could, in theory, be Jagr's final dance in the NHL. He had a fantastic start in Philadelphia last season before fading down the stretch, so perhaps Dallas is one of the teams that will benefit from having a shorter schedule.
Penguins vs. Flyers
Penguins at Flyers (3 p.m. ET on NBC)
Whenever the Penguins and Flyers get together it's pretty much anarchy on ice, and last year's Eastern Conference quarterfinal series (which the Flyers won in six games after jumping out to a commanding 3-0 series lead) was a perfect example.
From the line brawls, to the back-and-forth, up-and-down action that resulted in one of the highest-scoring playoff series we've seen in recent years, it was complete madness, and we get it four times this season.
And that includes on the NHL's opening day in Philadelphia.
No better way to kick off the season than with one of the best rivalries in the league.
Here is the viewer's map which tells you whether you'll receive either Pens-Flyers or Kings-Blackhawks on your NBC affilliate thanks to the506.com.