Worried that you haven’t seen any NHL hockey in almost two months!? Forgetting what the groove on your couch feels like? Starting to enjoy sunshine? Dying to watch the next chapter in the epic Florida Panthers/Nashville Predators rivalry?
Then you’re in luck because the NHL’s preseason schedule has been announced!
If you love meaningless games where most of the top talent decides to sit out, the NHL has got you covered!
The best part of the NHL preseason is that it gives fans in cities that don’t have NHL teams the opportunity to watch something that closely resembles NHL hockey. This year the league is holding preseason games all over the place, in many cities that don’t usually get to see NHL hockey.
In the United States, Albany, New York, Baltimore, Maryland, Bridgeport, Connecticut, Charlotte, North Carolina, Kansas City, Missouri, Las Vegas, Nevada and Orlando, Florida will see games.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will play the Los Angeles Kings in Kansas City. Apparently the Sprint Center gets a preseason game in exchange for being used as a pawn by Mario Lemieux a few years ago. That seems fair.
Conception Bay South, Newfoundland, Halifax, Nova Scotia, London, Ontario, Quebec City, Quebec, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg, Manitoba will all hold exhibition games in Canada. Wait… Winnipeg actually has a team now, right? That’s going to feel weird for a while.
The new Jets will play their first game on Tuesday September 20 against Columbus. Apparently having the team play its first game at home would be too exciting and fun for everyone involved, so that couldn’t happen. Half of the team will be in Columbus at 7:00 while the other half will make their Winnipeg debut at 8:30. Guess which half will have the team’s better players.
We’ll give you a hint. It’s not the half that’s in Columbus.
The preseason magic starts on Monday September 19 with not one but TWO games between the Nashville Predators and the Florida Panthers. Those games will also be part of a split-squad double header and they’ll likely be the first chance to see the Predators and Panthers new uniforms in action for the first time.
The New York Rangers will be incredibly busy in the preseason, as they’ll play four games in Europe against European teams. The Czech Republic, Sweden, Slovakia and Switzerland will see the Blueshirts in action. The Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and Buffalo Sabres will each play one exhibition game against a European club as well.
The Winnipeg Jets and Ottawa Senators will play in the Kraft Hockeyville game, which will be held in Conception Bay South, Newfoundland. Well, they’ll actually be playing in St. John’s at the Mile One Centre. Hopefully that game turns out better than last year’s contest. We doubt it.
At least it will be more interesting now that Winnipeg is involved. The game was originally scheduled to be between the Senators and the Atlanta Thrashers. Only inept management in Atlanta made this game an all-Canadian match-up.
So hockey fans, if you’re sick of enjoying the sunshine and relaxing on patios and beaches, get ready for some preseason hockey and the start of another long NHL season!