Among Highlights of 2011-12 NHL Schedule
NEW YORK (June 23, 2011) – The Boston Bruins will raise a Stanley Cup championship banner for the first time since 1972 and Winnipeg will welcome the National Hockey League back to town after a 15-year hiatus when the 2011-12 NHL regular season commences in October.
Opening night, Thursday, October 6, will witness a coast-to-coast North American triple-header. The Philadelphia Flyers will visit the Cup champs in TD Garden; the Toronto Maple Leafs will play host to their long-time rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, at Air Canada Centre; and the Pittsburgh Penguins will visit Rogers Arena to take on the Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks.
On Friday, Oct. 7, the spotlight will shift across the Atlantic Ocean when the Compuware NHL Premiere games bring NHL regular-season hockey to Europe for the fifth straight season and to Germany for the first time in history. Four NHL teams – the Anaheim Ducks, Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers — will contest four regular-season games in three European capitals on Oct. 7 and 8. The games in Stockholm and Helsinki will represent League returns to those hockey hotbeds while the Sabres-Kings game on Oct. 8 in Berlin will be an historic NHL first for that city.
Winnipeg fans, who required mere minutes to purchase all available season tickets at the MTS Centre, will have to wait a few days longer to bear witness to the return of NHL regular-season hockey. But on Sunday night, Oct. 9, Winnipeg will play host to the Montreal Canadiens in the first NHL season and home opener in the Manitoba capital since 1995.
The League’s 1,230-game schedule will pause from Jan. 26-30, 2012, so that the world’s top players can gather in Ottawa for the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend. Then, what is sure to be yet another furious stretch run will ensue until a wild final day of the regular season, Saturday, April 7, that will have all 30 teams in action in a 15-game bonanza.
Under the NHL scheduling matrix, each team plays six games against each team in its division (24 games), four games against the non-division teams within its conference (40 games) plus 18 non-conference games – including at least one game against each club in the other conference (15 games) and three other games against select teams. Release of the national TV schedules (CBC, NBC, NHL Network, TSN, RDS and VERSUS) will occur at a later date.
Season-Opening Night: Thursday, October 6 – Philadelphia @ Boston, Montreal @ Toronto, Pittsburgh @ Vancouver.
Hall of Fame Game: Boston @ Toronto, Saturday, Nov. 5.
All-Star Break: Jan. 26-30.
Meeting of 2011 Stanley Cup Finalists: Vancouver @ Boston – Saturday, Jan. 7.
Meeting of the past two Stanley Cup champions: Boston @ Chicago — Saturday, Oct. 15.
Busiest Day: Saturday, April 7 — 15 games.
Regular Season Concludes: April 7, 2012.
NORTH AMERICAN HOME OPENERS
ANAHEIM – Friday, Oct. 14, San Jose.
BOSTON – Thursday, Oct. 6, Philadelphia.
BUFFALO – Friday, Oct. 4, Carolina.
CALGARY – Saturday, Oct. 8, Pittsburgh.
CAROLINA – Friday, Oct. 7, Tampa Bay.
CHICAGO – Saturday, Oct. 8, Dallas.
COLORADO – Saturday, Oct. 8, Detroit.
COLUMBUS – Friday, Oct. 7, Nashville.
DALLAS – Friday, Oct. 7, Chicago.
DETROIT – Friday, Oct. 7, Ottawa.
EDMONTON – Sunday, Oct. 9, Pittsburgh.
FLORIDA – Saturday, Oct. 15, Tampa Bay.
LOS ANGELES – Tuesday, Oct. 18, St. Louis.
MINNESOTA – Saturday, Oct. 8, Columbus.
MONTREAL – Thursday, Oct. 13, Calgary.
NASHVILLE – Thursday, Oct. 13, Phoenix.
NEW JERSEY – Saturday, Oct. 8, Philadelphia.
NY ISLANDERS – Saturday, Oct. 8, Florida.
NY RANGERS – Thursday, Oct. 27, Toronto.
OTTAWA – Tuesday, Oct. 11, Minnesota.
PHILADELPHIA – Wednesday, Oct. 12, Vancouver.
PHOENIX – Saturday, Oct. 15, Winnipeg.
PITTSBURGH – Tuesday, Oct. 11, Florida.
ST. LOUIS – Saturday, Oct. 8, Nashville.
SAN JOSE – Saturday, Oct. 8, Phoenix.
TAMPA BAY – Monday, Oct. 17, Florida.
TORONTO – Thursday, Oct. 6, Montreal.
VANCOUVER – Thursday, Oct. 6, Pittsburgh.
WASHINGTON – Saturday, Oct. 8, Carolina.
WINNIPEG – Sunday, Oct. 9, Montreal.