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Golden Knights Working To Finalize Preseason Schedule

George McPhee: 'Our preseason schedule is probably 90 percent complete.'

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

It'll still be a while before the NHL releases its schedule for the 2017-18 season.

But according to Golden Knights general manager George McPhee, it might not be much longer until we know Vegas' preseason schedule.

"One of the things we're working on, and are close to completion on is our preseason schedule," McPhee said. "We're just waiting for a little bit more information from the league on a couple of things. Our preseason schedule is probably 90 percent complete."

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Unlike the regular season, where all teams play 82 regular-season games - 41 home, 41 away - NHL clubs are given the liberty in choosing the layout of their exhibition schedules.

Teams decide the layout of their exhibition schedule by individually coming to agreements with other teams, both on whether to face each other and when and where the contests will be held.

For example, this past fall, the Chicago Blackhawks chose to only play six preseason games - three at home and three on the road.

The New Jersey Devils, on the other hand, played eight, the Calgary Flames seven and teams in the 1990s played as many as nine or 10.

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Some teams choose to play several home games, others elect for more away games and some decide to only face division rivals, to minimize travel time.

And in some cases, NHL teams choose "neutral site" venues for preseason games, whether it would be in the home of their AHL affiliate or an altogether unrelated city. This was the system that allowed the Los Angeles Kings to annually stage Frozen Fury in Las Vegas, and has even resulted in the playing of NHL games at West Point.

McPhee wouldn't tip his hand on what opponents or venues Vegas' inaugural preseason will be held in, except that this is a process he hopes to complete far in advance of when the NHL releases its regular-season schedule in June.

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"Obviously, there are some things like the Olympics that have to be addressed (that impact schedules)," McPhee said. "So we've discussed, and talked to some other teams and we've agreed to play games. It's just a matter of how they fit into our schedule now, based on what the NHL wants to do in relation to the Olympics and some other events.

"We would release it as soon as we get the final information from the league."

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