COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets will play the home opener of their eighth National Hockey League season on Friday, October 17 against the Nashville Predators, the club announced today. Game time between the Central Division rivals is 7 p.m. at Nationwide Arena. The club also announced the three Eastern Conference opponents it will play in home-and-home series this season, as well as the 2008 pre-season schedule. The complete 2008-09 regular season schedule will be released on Thursday afternoon.
The new schedule matrix adopted by the NHL for the 2008-09 season will feature each team playing six games against divisional opponents (24 total), four games against non-divisional conference opponents (40 total), one game each against all 15 non-conference opponents and three additional games vs. non-conference foes as part of home-and-home series with that club.
The three Eastern Conference teams that the Blue Jackets will face at home and on the road and the dates in which they will visit Nationwide Arena are as follows: the Washington Capitals and reigning NHL most valuable player Alex Ovechkin on Saturday, November 29; the New York Islanders on Saturday, December 13; and the defending Eastern Conference champion Pittsburgh Penguins and Sidney Crosby on Thursday, March 12.
The pre-season schedule features eight games and opens Tuesday, September 23 with back-to-back road games against Chicago and Minnesota before the club returns home to play four of the next five at Nationwide Arena. Columbus hosts Nashville on Friday, September 26 in its first home contest of the pre-season.
The complete schedule is below:
Date Opponent Site - Time(ET)
Tuesday, Sept. 23 at Chicago Blackhawks United Center - 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 24 at Minnesota Wild Xcel Energy Center - 8 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 26 NASHVILLE PREDATORS NATIONWIDE ARENA - 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 27 at Nashville Predators Sommet Center - 8 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 29 CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS NATIONWIDE ARENA - 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 2 BUFFALO SABRES NATIONWIDE ARENA - 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 3 MINNESOTA WILD NATIONWIDE ARENA - 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 5 at Toronto Maple Leafs Air Canada Centre - 5 p.m.
Deposits are now being accepted for Blue Jackets season tickets for the 2008-09 season. New 10 and 20 game plans also are available starting at $240. For information on season tickets, mini-plans or group tickets, call (614) 246-PUCK or 800-NHL-COLS.