2012-13 NHL season to begin (hopefully) on Oct. 11
Assuming the NHL owners and players’ association can agree to a new collective bargaining agreement – the current one runs out on Sept. 15 – the 2012-13 NHL season will open with four games on Oct. 11.
Opening night will feature nationally televised doubleheaders in both the United States and Canada. In the U.S., NBC Sports Network will air the 2011 Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins visiting the Philadelphia Flyers, followed by the St. Louis Blues at the Colorado Avalanche. In Canada, CBC will televise the Montreal Canadiens playing host to the Ottawa Senators, followed by the Calgary Flames hosting the Vancouver Canucks.
The Los Angeles Kings will open defense of the franchise’s first Stanley Cup on Friday, Oct. 12 when they raise the banner before hosting the New York Rangers, who lost in the Eastern Conference Finals. Of course the Kings beat New Jersey in six games in the Cup Finals and those two face off just once next season — Feb. 9 at New Jersey.
The Pittsburgh Penguins, the early 2012-13 betting favorites at WagerWeb.com, also open Oct. 12, hosting the New York Islanders. New Jersey also opens that night in a playoff rematch at Washington.
The Detroit Red Wings will face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in front of an expected record-setting crowd in the 2013 NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day at Michigan Stadium on the campus of the University of Michigan. That’s the only schedule NHL game that day.
The NHL’s 1,230-game schedule will pause from Jan. 24-28, 2013, for the NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus. The final day of the regular season will be Saturday, April 13, with all but two teams in action that day.
Under the NHL scheduling format, 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.