NEW YORK -- The Chicago Blackhawks will raise their second Stanley Cup® championship banner in four years and the NHL will feature a new conference and division alignment when the 2013-14 NHL regular season opens on Tuesday, Oct., 1. The 1,230-game regular season, 82 games per team, concludes on Sunday, April 13, with the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs beginning Wednesday, April 16.
National television partners NBC, NBC Sports Network, CBC, TSN, TSN2, RDS and NHL Network once again will bring live NHL action to fans during the 2013-14 regular season.
In the U.S., NBC and NBC Sports Network enter the third season of their 10-year agreement with the NHL, the largest media rights deal in League history. It also marks the ninth consecutive season both networks have served as a national television partner of the NHL in the U.S.
In Canada, CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada begins" its 61st regular season of NHL® broadcasts. TSN, whose relationship with the NHL dates to 1987, continues as the League's national English-language cable partner. French-language telecast partner RDS has been televising NHL games since its inception in 1989 and enters its 11th consecutive season presenting every Montreal Canadiens game.
For full 2013-14 regular-season schedules, including television information, please visit NHL.com/schedules.
Opening night is highlighted by NHL Face-Off, the League’s North American launch event. Prior to the first game of the season, in which the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Montreal Canadiens live on CBC, a hockey and entertainment festival in Montreal will give fans the opportunity to celebrate the start of the hockey season. Further punctuating the return of the NHL, that evening the Chicago Blackhawks will commemorate their 2013 Stanley Cup championship by raising a banner to the United Center rafters prior to their game against the visiting Washington Capitals. That game will be televised nationally by NBC Sports Network in the U.S. Later on that night, the Winnipeg Jets visit the Edmonton Oilers in the second game of CBC’s doubleheader.
2013 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown
NBC again this season begins its NHL broadcast coverage the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S. on Friday, November 29, with a 1 p.m. ET Original Six match-up featuring the New York Rangers against the Boston Bruins in the Bruins' traditional day-after-Thanksgiving home matinee at TD Garden.
As previously announced, six regular-season games will be played in outdoor locations next season: The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic and the four-game 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™.
The games, in chronological order, are scheduled as follows:
2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic
Wednesday, Jan. 1, 12:30 p.m. ET -- NBC, CBC, RDS
Coors Light NHL Stadium Series
Saturday, Jan. 25, 9:30 p.m. ET -- NBC Sports Network, CBC
Sunday, Jan. 26, 12:30 p.m. ET -- NBC, CBC
Wednesday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m. ET -- NBC Sports Network
Saturday, March 1, 8 p.m. ET
2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic
Sunday, March 2, 4 p.m. ET -- CBC, RDS, NBC Sports Network
The League's 1,230-game schedule will pause from Feb. 9-25, 2014, while NHL players comprise the majority of the rosters of the national teams competing in Sochi for Olympic gold. The NHL season resumes Wednesday, Feb. 26 with a slate of four games.
Effective this season, the NHL will operate under a new divisional alignment and scheduling matrix that ensures that all 30 teams play in all 30 arenas at least once a season. In creating more geographically-appropriate groupings, the NHL now has two eight-team divisions in the Eastern Conference and two seven-team divisions in the Western Conference:
|WESTERN CONFERENCE||EASTERN CONFERENCE|
|Pacific Division||Central Division||Metropolitan Division
|Los Angeles||Minnesota||NY Islanders||Florida|
|San Jose||St. Louis||Philadelphia||Ottawa|
New Regular-Season Schedule Matrix
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)
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
The Stanley Cup Playoffs have a new division-based format. Playoff qualification will be primarily Division-based, with the top three finishers in each Division qualifying for the first 12 spots in the Stanley Cup Playoffs (and the first three "seeds" in each Division). The two additional playoff spots in each Conference, designated as "Wild Cards," will be awarded to the next two highest-placed finishers in each Conference, ranked on the basis of regular-season points and regardless of Division. The League will play under this new alignment and playoff system for a minimum of three seasons, through the 2015-16 NHL season.
Training Camp Opens -- Wednesday, Sept. 11
Exhibition Games Begin -- Friday, Sept. 13
Regular Season Opens -- Tuesday, Oct. 1
Hall of Fame Game -- Friday, Nov. 8
Christmas Break -- Tuesday, Dec. 24 – Thursday, Dec. 26
Hockey Day In Canada -- Saturday, Jan. 18
Olympic Break -- Sunday, Feb. 9 – Tuesday, Feb. 25
Last Day of Regular Season -- Sunday, Apr. 13
Stanley Cup Playoffs Begin -- Wednesday, Apr. 16
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