The National Hockey League announced its 2016-17 regular season schedule today, with the Colorado Avalanche set to open the campaign on Saturday, Oct. 15, against the Dallas Stars at Pepsi Center.
The Oct. 15 opener will be the latest start date to a full season in Avalanche/Nordiques history. Quebec once opened a season on Oct. 11 (1984-85), while the Avalanche’s previous “late start” was Oct. 10 (1998-99 and 2003-04). Colorado, Arizona and Vancouver will be the final three NHL teams to open their respective schedules on Oct. 15.
The Avs will be playing the Stars on Opening Night for the sixth time in 21 seasons since moving to Denver, by far their most common opponent. Colorado also faced Dallas to start the 1997-98, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2006-07 and 2007-08 campaigns. The most common opener for the Nordiques was Hartford on five occasions.
Following that Oct. 15 opener, the Avalanche will begin a four-game road trip against the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins on Oct. 17 in Pittsburgh. The Penguins will make their one trip to Pepsi Center on Thursday, Feb. 9.
Colorado will play a total of 30 games versus its division foes, facing each opponent five times apiece. The Avs will host Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg three times, while welcoming Chicago, Dallas and Minnesota twice.
The Avs will play 20 games against the Pacific Division, meeting each of the opponents three times with the exception of San Jose, who they will face twice. Colorado will have 32 total games against teams from the Eastern Conference, facing all 16 clubs twice (once at home).
Colorado’s schedule features 17 home "weekend" games, including five on Friday, nine on Saturday and three on Sunday. The Avalanche’s longest road trip of the year is five games (Feb. 11-17), while its longest homestand is also five contests (Nov. 23 to Dec. 3). The Avs will host a New Year’s Eve game for the fourth straight year, as they welcome the New York Rangers on Dec. 31.
The Avalanche will have a trio of five-day breaks in the schedule: Oct. 23-27, Jan. 7-11 and Jan. 26-30 for the NHL All-Star Weekend. Colorado will play a total of 11 back-to-back games, including one to end the season on April 8-9 in Dallas and St. Louis.
The Avs have only seven games in October (two at home), their fewest ever in that particular month. Colorado’s busiest month is March (16 games), which will equal its most games ever in that month. The Avs will also match their busiest December ever with 15 dates.
The complete broadcast schedule, including Altitude Sports & Entertainment telecasts, and information regarding the on-sale dates for preseason and regular season tickets will be released at a later time. Full and partial season memberships are on sale now at www.coloradoavalanche.com or 303.4AVS.NHL.