NHL schedule: Entire 2014-15 schedule released, season starts Oct. 8
The NHL unveiled the entire schedule for the 2014-15 season on Sunday that will begin on Oct. 8 in Toronto and end April 11 in Vancouver.
On Saturday the NHL tried to rev up a little excitement for next season with the announcement of each team's hope opener. The other 81 games each team will play were unveiled on Sunday.
Indeed, just over a week after the Kings and Rangers finished the season in the Stanley Cup Final, the NHL has already laid out the master plan for next season with the campaign getting under way on Oct. 8.
It will be the first time in a few years that we've had a "traditional" schedule; two years ago was of course the lockout and last season was a bit condensed with a three-week break in the middle for the Olympics. The 1,230 games that make up an NHL season will be finished on April 11, one day earlier than it ended in 2014, so you can see how the schedule will be a little less taxing with more days for each team to play all 82.
As was the case last season with the new alignment, every team is guaranteed to visit every NHL city during the season, a special treat for displaced fans.
Here's your reminder on how the schedule matrix now looks from the NHL.
Eastern Conference (8-Team Divisions)
Within Conference (Division): 30 games
* 5 games vs. two teams (3 Home/2 Away vs. one team, 2 Home/3 Away vs. one team) AND 4 games vs. five teams (2 Home/2 Away). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.
* 5 x 2 =10 games
* 4 x 5 = 20 games
Within Conference (Non-Division): 24 games
* 3 games vs. each team (2 Home/1 Away vs. four teams, 1 Home/2 Away vs. four teams). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.
* 3 x 8 = 24 games
Non-Conference: 28 games
* 2 games vs. each team (1 Home/1 Away)
* 2 x 14 = 28 games
Western Conference (7-Team Divisions)
Within Conference (Division): 29 games
* 5 games vs. five teams (3 Home/2 Away vs. two teams, 2 Home/3 Away vs. three teams) AND 4 games vs. one team (2 Home/2 Away). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.
* 5 x 5 =25 games
* 1 x 4 = 4 games
Within Conference (Non-Division): 21 games
* 3 games vs. each team (2 Home/1 Away vs. four teams, 1 Home/2 Away vs. three teams). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.
* 3 x 7 = 21 games
Non-Conference: 32 games
* 2 games vs. each team (1 Home/1 Away)
* 2 x 16 = 32 games
Exception: One team from each division plays one less game inside division and one more game inside conference outside division.
Unlike last season, the schedule is not peppered with outdoor games. We know that the Capitals and Blackhawks will meet in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1 somewhere in the Washington area but we don't know what games on the schedule will make up the Stadium Series games. Minnesota is reported to have a game on the way and so is the Bay Area in California.
Also, there's a Feb. 21 LA/SJ game at 10 p.m. ET that's going to be the only nationally televised game in Canada in that slot. Hmmm #Outside— Steve Lepore (@stevelepore) June 22, 2014
That is a game a lot of people are looking at and wondering if it's going to be outdoors. When the Stadium Series will actually be announced remains uncertain.
One really cool addition to the schedule will be the final day of the season when all 30 teams will be in action. If there are any races coming down to Game 82 then the final day will be guaranteed to be memorable. It's one of two Saturdays in the season when every single team will be in action as the NHL will also have 15 games on the first Saturday of the season, Oct. 11.
Training camps open on Sept. 18 and preseason games will start just a couple of days later on the 21st.
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