It is a bit unusual to be already talking about the next season's games before the free agent frenzy begins every July 1st. But this summer, the National Hockey League decided to announce it just one day before the 2010 NHL Awards show in Las Vegas.
The 2010-2011 regular season schedule was announced today with plenty of highlights to give any hockey fan a lot to look forward to. Among the highlights as detailed in the league's official news release:
Season begins on October 7th (NHL Face-Off)
Four games in North America are slated to be played. One of note is when the Pittsburgh Penguins open the new CONSOL Energy Center against the Philadelphia Flyers. Two Canadian matchups kick off the season when the Montréal Canadiens visit the Toronto Maple Leafs while the Edmonton Oilers host the Calgary Flames.
Compuware NHL Premiere series - October 7th to 10th
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Minnesota Wild in Helsinki, Finland
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. San Jose Sharks in Stockholm, Sweden
Boston Bruins vs. Phoenix Coyotes in Prague, Czech Republic
Stanley Cup championship defense
The Chicago Blackhawks open their new season on October 7th against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center in Denver. They will hoist their first championship banner in almost a half century two nights later at the United Center when the Blackhawks host the Detroit Red Wings.
2010 Stanley Cup Finals rematch
The Flyers will visit Chicago on January 23, 2011 to play the Blackhawks, the team that defeated them for the 2010 Stanley Cup championship.
2011 NHL All-Star Game
The Hurricanes will be the host franchise with the game being played at the RBC Center in Raleigh on January 30, 2011.
4th edition of Winter Classic game
The game is on January 1, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The Penguins host the Washington Capitals in yet another marquee matchup between superstars Sidney Crosby and Alexander Ovechkin.
Heritage Classic returns
The Canadiens play in the second of as many Heritage Classic games ever played as they face the host Flames. It will take place on February 20, 2011 at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.
"Hockey Day in Canada"
All 6 Canadian teams will be in action on February 11, 2011. Festivities for the event will take place in Whitehorse, Yukon.
The 3 games are:
Ottawa at Edmonton
Toronto at Montreal
Calgary at Vancouver
"Hockey Day in America"
NBC will air regionally these games on February 20, 2011:
Washington at Buffalo
Philadelphia at New York Rangers
Pittsburgh at Chicago
Detroit at Minnesota
The national television schedules will be released at a later date.
National Hockey League official news release (June 22):
NHL announces 2010-2011 regular season schedule
Ducks release 2010-2011 schedule
Ducks release 2010-2011 schedule (Orange County Register)
2010-2011 schedule announced
Two schedule changes announced
Thrashers announce 2010-2011 NHL regular season schedule
2010-2011 schedule released
Thrashers play four of first five away from home
The schedule is out: Thrashers open with Caps
The new schedule is here! The new schedule is here!
Bruins release 2010-2011 regular season schedule
Bruins announce 2010-2011 regular season schedule
Schedule released for 2010-2011
Bruins' 2010-2011 schedule unveiled
Bruins announce '10-11 schedule
Sabres announce 2010-2011 regular season schedule
Sabres' schedule will put premium on backup goaltending
2010-2011 schedule: A travel-centric look
Calgary Flames 2010 schedule
Calgary Flames schedule for 2010-2011 released
Flames unveil regular season schedule
Flames announce 2010-2011 schedule
Hurricanes' 2010-2011 regular season schedule released
Canes open on long road trip
Canes' 2010-2011 schedule announced
Hurricanes announce game time changes
Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks launch 83rd season on Thursday, October 7th
Chicago Blackhawks 2010-2011 schedule
Chicago Blackhawks announce 2010-2011 schedule
Hawks-Flyers rematch highlights 2010-2011 slate
Avalanche announces 2010-2011 schedule
Avs to open season October 7th against Cup champs Blackhawks
NHL releases the Avalanche schedule for 2010-2011
2010-2011 Avalanche schedule
Columbus Blue Jackets
Blue Jackets announce 2010-2011 regular season schedule
Cunneyworth, Berry & the schedule
Blue Jackets 2010-2011 schedule
Circle your calendars!
Stars' 2010-2011 schedule announced
Dallas Stars' 2010-2011 schedule announced
Stars release 2010-2011 schedule (Dallas Morning News)
Stars schedule already getting time changes
Stars release 2010-2011 schedule
Detroit Red Wings
New start times, visits from old rivals highlight 2010-2011 schedule
Red Wings to open at home October 8th vs. Ducks
Original Six grace Red Wings home schedule
Red Wings reveal 2010-2011 schedule
Oilers begin 32nd NHL season at home with the Battle of Alberta
Oilers schedule released
2010-2011 schedule released
Panthers announce 2010-2011 regular season schedule
Florida to open season October 11th at Edmonton
Lost in the flood: Panthers schedule released
Panthers start season with 3-game western Canada trip
Florida Panthers' 2010-2011 regular season schedule
Los Angeles Kings
Kings announce 2010-2011 schedule
Kings' schedule released
Kings announce game time change (update #1)
Kings announce time changes (update #2)
Wild's regular season schedule released
Home cooking follows Wild's trip to Finland
Wild's 2010-2011 schedule...
Wild hope 2010-2011 schedule featuring early home games...
2010-2011 Wild schedule released
Habs unveil 2010-2011 calendar
Canadiens undefeated in 2010-'11!
Preds release 2010-2011 schedule
Nashville Predators' 2010-2011 schedule released
Predators change two game times for upcoming season
New Jersey Devils
2010-2011 regular season schedule released
Complete 2010-2011 Devils' schedule
2010-2011 New Jersey Devils regular season schedule released
Devils' October 11th home game vs. Pittsburgh moved to 4:00 PM
New York Islanders
Islanders 2010-2011 regular season schedule released
Islanders regular season schedule released
New York Rangers
Rangers announce 2010-2011 schedule
Full Rangers schedule announced
New York Rangers 2010-2011 season schedule
Ottawa Senators announce 2010-2011 schedule
Senators open at home against Sabres
Senators embrace 2010-2011 schedule...
Senators release sked: open vs. Sabres
Flyers open 2010-2011 season at Pittsburgh on October 7th
Flyers open 2010-2011 season in Pittsburgh
Boruk's breakdown of the Flyers' 2010-2011 schedule
Flyers release 2010-2011 schedule
Flyers to open season on road
Flyers announce 2010-2011 schedule
See you in Pittsburgh: Flyers open 2010-2011 season at Penguins
Phoenix Coyotes announce 2010-2011 schedule
2010-2011 home schedule video
Phoenix Coyotes open overseas...
Phoenix Coyotes 2010-2011 schedule released
Penguins' 2010-2011 NHL regular season schedule
Penguins schedule released
Penguins face rigorous schedule
San Jose Sharks
Sharks announce 2010-2011 regular season schedule
Sharks announce 2010 regular season schedule
San Jose Sharks release 2010-2011 schedule
Sharks open at HP Pavilion October 16th against Atlanta...
St. Louis Blues
Blues release 2010-2011 season schedule
Blues 2010-2011 schedule released
St. Louis Blues release 2010-2011 schedule
Tampa Bay Lightning
Lightning announce 2010-2011 regular season schedule
Lightning's 2010-2011 schedule features emotional home reunions
Tampa Bay Lightning opens the 2010-2011 season October 9th...
Tampa Bay Lightning gets odd 2010-2011 schedule
2010-2011 Tampa Bay Lightning schedule highlights
Toronto Maple Leafs
Leafs announce 2010-2011 regular season schedule
Maple Leafs to see plenty of Rangers early next season
Leafs open with pair at home
Canucks to celebrate 40th NHL season throughout 2010-2011
Canucks release 2010-2011 schedule
Canucks 2010-2011 regular season schedule
Capitals announce 2010-2011 regular season schedule
Caps release schedule for 2010-2011 regular season
ESPN's NHL page (June 22):
NHL 2010-2011 regular season schedule released
NBC Sports' NHL page (June 22):
NHL releases regular season schedule, road trippers rejoice
The Sporting News' NHL page (June 22):
NHL schedules announced