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Five highlights from the 2013-14 NHL schedule

Jul 19, 2013, 1:49 PM EDT

2014winterclassic

On Friday, the NHL released its 2013-14 regular-season schedule and we here at PHT (okay, it’s just me) have identified five of the biggest highlights.

Click here for the full 2013-14 NHL schedule

1) Six Outdoor Games

These contests will fall under three umbrellas: the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series (four games), the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic (one game) and the Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic (one game).

In chronological order, here’s when they’ll be played:

Jan. 1 — Toronto vs. Detroit at Michigan Stadium (Winter Classic)

Jan. 25 — Anaheim vs. Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium (Stadium Series)

Jan. 26 — New York Rangers vs. New Jersey at Yankee Stadium (Stadium Series)

Jan. 29 — New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders at Yankee Stadium (Stadium Series)

Mar. 1 — Pittsburgh vs. Chicago at Soldier Field (Stadium Series)

Mar. 2 — Ottawa vs. Vancouver at BC Place (Heritage Classic)

2) Opening night

Three games will be played on Tuesday, Oct. 1, beginning with the first contest of the year — a historic Original Six matchup between Toronto and Montreal.

That’ll be followed by Chicago vs. Washington at the United Center — featuring the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup banner-raising ceremony — and capped off with Edmonton at Winnipeg in the final game of the evening.

Of note, you can catch the ‘Hawks-Caps game on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET).

3) Closing weekend

Breaking from the “Super Saturday” theme of having all 30 teams play on the final day of the regular season, the NHL has opted to load up the final weekend — Saturday, Apr. 12 and Sunday, Apr. 13.

Saturday will feature 18 teams participating in nine games, while Sunday will have 20 teams partaking in 10 games.

Of note, the final game of the regular season will take place in Phoenix, as the Coyotes host the Stars at 9 p.m. ET.

4) Return of the Thanksgiving Showdown

This year’s schedule features the return of the league’s annual Black Friday game, as the Bruins will take on the Rangers at TD Garden in a day-after-Thanksgiving matinee (1 p.m. ET.)

The event began in 2011 (played between the Bruins and Red Wings) but was canceled last season due to the lockout. The Bruins and Rangers were slated to participate in the 2012 event.

5) The Olympic Break

The NHL will play 1,230 games this year, but none during a 16-day break from Feb. 9-25, during which NHLers will participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

This will mark the fifth consecutive winter games the NHL has participated in. Involvement dates back to the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, the first in which professional players were allowed to take part.

  1. Conner012367 - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    Have fun playing at Dodger in the winter i don’t think it gets very cold there.

    • Conner012367 - Jul 19, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      Dodger stadium oops

    • paperkid96 - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      That means the pool for the water polo game will be warm. It will be interesting to find out how well goalies swim with all that equipment on.

      • Conner012367 - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:35 PM

        lol

    • sjsblitz - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:31 PM

      If you can play ice hockey in vegas im sure Dodger Stadium wont be a problem. I look foward to watching LA and ANA kill each other

    • sdelmonte - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:00 PM

      And it could rain.

      • Conner012367 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:15 PM

        true

    • therealjr - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      Are you 10 years old or just started following hockey today? How many times do we have to explain precipitation and glare are the only concerns, not temperature?

      • Conner012367 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:59 PM

        i am 18 years old and i don’t care

      • cheesesteak75 - Jul 19, 2013 at 8:22 PM

        There are a few other concerns with Dodger Stadium: no tailgating, gangs, and traffic.

    • davidswiggs - Jul 19, 2013 at 7:59 PM

      I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do… D­a­y3­7.ℂ­ℴ­M

  2. bensawesomeness - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:01 PM

    I don’t mind the 6 outdoor games, i will mind if they make a habit out of it, though

    Outdoor games are something special, they’re spectacular to watch on tv and even more special in person

    So ultimately, if the NHL wants to spread that around THIS year, ok yeah sure lets do it. If they want to kill it by doing it the next 5 years or so, then i have issue.

    Plus, you have to believe people will stay up to watch that game at Dodger Stadium to see how it works

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:13 PM

      5 outdoor games and one played at a convertible stadium where the roof is 90% likely to be closed due to rain.

      • bensawesomeness - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:22 PM

        So then it becomes a game with a 40,000+ crowd, it’s still twice as big as any NHL arena, and it’s still special

        The Winter Classic is the flagship and the crown jewel, it’s the one they want to keep as special, plus Detroit desperately needs the money ( we’re declaring backrupcy today last i heard)
        and then from there it’s definitely a money grab, with the NYC ones, the Vancouver one makes sure Canada isn’t pissed that all of these are happening south of the border, the LA one is almost just to see if they can, and the Chicago-Pitt one worked out great cause now it’s the Defending Cup Champions vs the polarizing Penguins

        They’re fun games, i’ll watch

      • imleftcoast - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:06 PM

        It pretty much rains from March to May in Vancouver. December or February would have made more sense from a weather standpoint.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:07 PM

        Bensaw, I might watch them on TV, but the only thing special about some of these is how awful the sight-lines will be for those in the stadiums. Binoculars will be a must for most fans to be able to see anything.

    • kcbruinsfan - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      The two games in Yankee Stadium are being played during the run up the Super Bowl which is being played in whatever the new Meadowlands is called. Intent is to generate interest in the league and showcase hockey while all of the sports media folks and people come into New York for the Super Bowl. Who knows, maybe the NHL will get a mention on ESPN while every sports personality in the world is milling around NYC for the two weeks leading up to the game. Something else for them to talk about (although I already know they won’t).

    • tdrusher225 - Jul 19, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      Yeah, except you know their going to do it if they can. I mean what’s the point of coming up with a truly great and special event if you can’t water it down to make more money, right?

  3. eagles512 - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    One per year made it a big deal. 6 within a few months and its no longer special.

    • ibieiniid - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:12 PM

      you know, i agreed with that for a while, but then i started thinking… no matter how many outdoor games i WENT TO, i’d still think it was freaking awesome. maybe they’re trying more to appease the fans that go to the games rather than the ones watching on TV, for once. just an idea. i think it’s cool for the cities they’re having these games in, regardless of how many there are.

    • therealjr - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:30 PM

      As long as it makes additional money for players and owners, it continues, special or not.

  4. northstarnic - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    6 outdoor games. That’s 4 too many. Playing outdoor games anywhere that people don’t routinely skate on outdoor rinks, lakes, etc is cheesy and misses the point of the whole thing, which is celebrating the tradition/heritage of the sport.

    • ibieiniid - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      but if i lived there, i’d buy a ticket to go see it with 89,999 hometown buds.

  5. ironmd778 - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Toronto-Montreal is a historic matchup?? Lol… What??

    • einjzmolf - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      Only 784 meetings between the two since 1917. What a joke calling that historic.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:13 PM

      Um, the Leafs (aka the Arenas and St. Pats) and Canadiens are the only 2 teams that have been in the NHL since it was founded with 4 teams in 1917. The “Original Six” was coined after the 1967 expansion and was never based on the actual original NHL.

  6. tfaltin - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    I’m so excited for this season. We were deprived of half a season last year as fans. It was brutal. This year, we get rewarded with a short offseason, a full season, and arguably the best hockey out there with the winter Olympics. I can’t wait to drop the puck!

  7. tkushy - Jul 19, 2013 at 2:59 PM

    Six games. “Winter Nothing Special” should be the new name. Way to ruin a good thing.

  8. sabatimus - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    “These contests will fall under three umbrellas: the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series (four games), the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic (one game) and the Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic (one game).”

    What is this, NASCAR?

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      I actually knew Tim Horton, and he had a wry sense of humor. I’m picturing his reaction to hearing his company is sponsoring a “Heritage Classic” in a football stadium with a 50-50 chance of having to close the roof to keep the rain out. I see him grinning, chuckling quietly and slightly shaking his head.

  9. yougotgirouxed - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Good Job NHL. Way to bore people death with all these Ranger games on national broadcast.

    • tdrusher225 - Jul 19, 2013 at 8:40 PM

      Well with Torts gone they may actually be fun to watch this year.

  10. endusersolutions2013 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    I don’t get the dodger stadium one. Folks were saying that the ice was in pretty poor shape towards the end of the playoffs due to the temps outdoor, and that all the rinks were of course indoor.

    Unless they’ve decided to go with playing field hockey.

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jul 19, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      I’ll not argue the merits of the thing, but the playoffs were in mid-June while the LA outdoor game will be in January, and it sometimes gets chilly in the evening there. LA folks of course bundle up when it dips below 55F, but it can actually freeze there in winter, and every several years they get a dusting of snow. They also will not be counting on that for their rink. You do understand they have a massive refrigeration machine with miles of pipe under the ice for all these games?

  11. jernster21 - Jul 19, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    Happy to see the season start earlier, as a result, ends earlier….I’m a season ticket holder and the last game of the season always lands on the same weekend I’m out of town for an annual hockey tournament.

  12. girouxed - Jul 20, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Everything in moderation.. especially outdoor hockey games

  13. President Charles Logan - Jul 20, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    these outdoor games are becoming old hat , yawn

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