Schedule Day! Kinda!

by Ryan

So today is the slowest sports day of the year. It’s the day after the All Star Game (well, still the “day of” really…), and no other major sports league is currently in season.

What are we going to talk about today?

Well, thank the Sabres for trying to fill the gap with some hockey talk.

The big stories:

-Season ticket renewal is at 97%, with 500 or so tickets being given to Blue and Gold Club members. Glad that $100 bucks is getting them something.

-The full NHL schedule comes out on Thursday, which will be loads of fun. We can’t wait to tear through that bad boy and start planning our mini packs.(If they are doing that this year, that is…)

-However, today at noon the Sabres will announce the home opener opponent, as well as three “at large” opponents. Hopefully a Mid Major picked as one of the three, perhaps Ball State sometime around Christmas. Let’s do some bracketology for the three possible teams.

– Chicago- The “at large” opponents are most likely going to be picked to maximize revenue for teams, and my guess is the Sabres will want to squeeze a gold game out of a Western Conference opponent. Chitown will be that team, with Campbell, Kane, and $13 million goaltending tandem to boot. If we don’t see the Hawks at HSBC this fall, I’d be moderately surprised.

– Toronto- probably not, but it would be smart of them. I want as much Jeff Finger in my life as possible this winter.

– Calgary- Perhaps, we don’t go out West enough…

– Pittsburgh- Nah, too much demand for Sid and Gino.

– Carolina- Still have bad blood? Absolutely.

(Note: No one seems to be sure how exactly this “at large” thing works. For all we know they can only be within the conference or something. Let’s put it this way, tell us who you’d like to see an extra time in the comments, and if you are reading this after noon today, hopefully you know for yourself.)

UPDATE: The scheduling format actually was changed and takes effect this upcoming season:

This season, the NHL has revised its scheduling format. Each team will continue to play an 82-game schedule, but the breakdown of opponents has changed.

Each team will play their divisional opponents six times (24 games in total), four games against each non-divisional conference opponent (40 games in total), one game against each of the 15 non-conference opponents and three “at large” games.

3 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Is the NHL keeping the same schedule format that only has teams visiting opponent arenas in the opposite conference every three years?
    Jesse H.

  2. Zach

    Canadian teams would be a no with them taking each other for their at large games. Chicago is probably a yes, so would most likely be Columbus due to their proximity. Detroit would probably be the final one due to the same reasoning as Columbus.

  3. Ryan

    Anon,

    The schedule is changed so everyone playes eachother. Divisional opponents are played 6 times each, everyone in the conference plays four times, and the rest of the teams in the West are played once. The other three games are… well we know now: against Western “at large” opponents.