NHL announces 2013-14 season schedule Banner-Raising Ceremony in Chicago, Six Outdoor Games and New Conference and Division Alignment Highlight 2013-14 Season

NHL

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 http://www.nhl.com/schedules.

NHL Face-Off

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 begins its NHL broadcast coverage this season the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S. on Friday, Nov. 29, with a 1 p.m. ET Original Six match-up featuring the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins in the Bruins’ traditional day-after-Thanksgiving home matinee at TD Garden.

Outdoor Games

As previously announced, six regular-season games will be played in outdoor locations this season: the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, the 2014 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®

·        Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Detroit Red Wings – Michigan Stadium
Wednesday, Jan. 1, 12:30 p.m. ET
NBC, CBC, RDS

Coors Light NHL Stadium Series

  •      Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings – Dodger Stadium
    Saturday, Jan. 25, 9:30 p.m. ET
    NBC Sports Network, CBC

    ·        New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils – Yankee Stadium
    Sunday, Jan. 26, 12:30 p.m. ET
    NBC, CBC

    ·        New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders – Yankee Stadium
    Wednesday, Jan. 29, 7 p.m. ET
    NBC Sports Network

    ·        Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks – Soldier Field
    Saturday, March 1, 8 p.m. ET

2014 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic®

  •      Ottawa Senators vs. Vancouver Canucks – BC Place
    Sunday, March 2, 4 p.m. ET
    CBC, RDS, NBC Sports Network
    Olympic Break

    The League 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.

    Realignment

    Effective this season, the NHL will operate under a new divisional alignment and scheduling matrix that ensures all 30 teams play in all 30 arenas at least once each 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        Atlantic Division

    Anaheim        Chicago        Carolina                Boston
    Calgary        Colorado        Columbus                Buffalo
    Edmonton        Dallas        New Jersey                Detroit
    Los Angeles        Minnesota        NY Islanders                Florida
    Phoenix        Nashville        NY Rangers                Montreal
    San Jose        St. Louis        Philadelphia                Ottawa
    Vancouver        Winnipeg        Pittsburgh                Tampa Bay
    Washington                Toronto

    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

    When the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin on Wednesday, April 16, they will have a new Division-based format. The top three finishers in each Division will qualify 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.

    Schedule Notes

    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
    Scotiabank Hockey Day In Canada        Saturday, Jan. 18
    Olympic Break                Sunday, Feb. 9 – Tuesday, Feb. 25
    Last Day of Regular Season        Sunday, April 13
    Stanley Cup Playoffs Begin        Wednesday, April 16

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