Gary Bettman met with reporters prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals to deliver his annual state of the game press conference. Bettman spoke about everything ranging from the Stanley Cup Finals matchup, the Olympics, and some key dates that hockey fans everywhere can look forward to next season. In this article we’ll focus on the schedule highlights that were revealed today.
During the week of the NHL Draft, the league will announce the full schedule, but right now here are a few of the highlights.
During the preseason the NHL, our teams, our players, our partners, will launch our long term commitment to building hockey in China with the 2017 NHL China games presented by O.R.G Packaging. Those games will be in Shanghai and Beijing,” said Bettman.
The China Games take place on September 21st and 23rd, featuring two preseason games between the Vancouver Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings. The first game will be played in Shanghai and the second game will be in Beijing.
The preseason slate will also feature the annual Kraft Hockeyville. On September 24th the St. Louis Blues will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania. On the 25th, the New Jersey Devils will face the Ottawa Senators at O’Leary, Prince Edward Island.
On November 10th and 11th, there will be two regular season games in Europe, featuring the Senators and the Colorado Avalanche in Stockholm, Sweden. During the next weekend (Nov. 17-19) the league is planning a centennial celebration in Montreal to honor the NHL’s 100th birthday.
No NHL schedule highlights are complete without knowing who will get to play outside. The first outdoor game will take place on December 16th as the Senators host the Montreal Canadiens at Landsdowne Park as part of the Scotiabank NHL 100 Classic. The annual New Years tradition, the Winter Classic, will take place on New Years Day at Citi Field in New York where the Rangers will host the Buffalo Sabres.
“The game will be played on the 10th anniversary of the event that launched our regular slate of New Years Day games outdoors so who better than the Sabres who hosted the first game in the snow to be involved in the 10th anniversary game. That will serve as the start of our second hundred years,” said Bettman.
Finally there’s the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series and that game will feature your Washington Capitals against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland. Mark your calendars for March 3rd for that one.
“Just imagine for a second the Navy band playing the Star Spangled Banner on the field because that will be 87 years to the day that President (Herbert) Hoover signed the legislation that made it the U.S. National Anthem,” added Bettman. “That game in Annapolis will launch a series of Coors Light NHL Stadium Series games at our military academies over the next few seasons.”
NHL All Star weekend will be on January 27-28 in Tampa, Florida and the Stanley Cup playoffs will start on April 11th.
A full list of the schedule highlights revealed on Monday:
The NHL’s big-event schedule (or signature event schedule, as it calls it): pic.twitter.com/TvI8chAy6M
— Tracey Myers (@TramyersCSN) May 29, 2017
By Michael Marzzacco