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Breaking Down the 2015-16 Schedule

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Michael Smith

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The countdown to October is on! The Carolina Hurricanes’ 2015-16 regular-season schedule was released today, and the team’s 82-game campaign begins on Thursday, Oct. 8 in Nashville, followed by the home opener on Saturday, Oct. 10 vs. Detroit.

There is still plenty that will take place between now and then, including the 2015 NHL Draft, the opening of free agency, Summerfest, training camp and more, but it’s never too early to start planning. Schedule download links, including a printable calendar and list option, are available below.

Now, here is a breakdown of some of the highlights from the Canes’ 2015-16 schedule.

Opening Night(s)

The Hurricanes will open their 82-game regular-season slate on the road for the first time since the shortened 2012-13 season when they faced off in Florida. This year, it’s the team’s lone trip to Nashville that serves as game No. 1, and that falls on Thursday, Oct. 8.

Following that will be the team’s home opener, which falls on Saturday, Oct. 10 against the Detroit Red Wings. 10-10-15. Sound familiar?

2015-16 SCHEDULE
2015-16 Schedule

As a related and peculiar sidenote, the Hurricanes will play the entirety of their three-game season series against Detroit in the span of 18 days in October, including two games on the “same” road trip late in the month. (I say “same” because, while the Canes will play seven straight games away from home, they will likely return to Raleigh at some point to break up the trip.)

Matching Up Against the Champs

As is the case with all Western Conference opponents, the Hurricanes will face the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks twice in 2015-16. The first meeting will take place in the Windy City on Sunday, Dec. 27, and the Blackhawks will travel to Raleigh for the Canes’ last game before the All-Star Break on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Happy New Year

A New Year’s Eve hockey game returns to Raleigh in 2015-16, as the Hurricanes host the Washington Capitals on Dec. 31. The shortened 2012-13 season aside (which began in January), this will mark the fourth straight season in which the Canes will ring in the New Year with a hockey game. Last year, the Canes dropped a 2-1 decision in Pittsburgh on the last night of 2014. The last time the team spent New Year’s Eve in Raleigh was 2013, and it produced one of the more memorable games played in PNC Arena, a 5-4 overtime victory over Montreal.

All-Star Break

All-Star Weekend visits Nashville on Jan. 30-31. The league will pause from Thursday, Jan. 28 until Monday, Feb. 1 as the league’s best descend upon Music City, but the Canes’ break will be just a bit longer, as they play host to the Blackhawks on Tuesday, Jan. 26 and aren't in action again until Wednesday, Feb. 3 versus Calgary.


The Hurricanes will play 16 sets of back-to-back games in 2015-16, equal to their total from last season. Just one of those 16 sets is a home-and-home series: Jan. 8 and 9 against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Four more of the back-to-back sets will not involve travel for the Hurricanes: Nov. 6 vs. Dallas and Nov. 7 vs. Ottawa, Dec. 5 vs. Montreal and Dec. 6 vs. Arizona, Feb. 12 vs. Pittsburgh and Feb. 13 vs. New York Islanders, and March 26 vs. New York Islanders and March 27 vs. New Jersey.

Divisional Play

The Hurricanes play 30 games against the seven other teams in the Metropolitan Division. Since that doesn’t divide evenly, the Canes play four games (two at home and two on the road) against five teams and five games (three at home and two on the road against one team and two at home and three on the road against the other team) against the remaining two teams on a rotating basis.

This season, the Canes will play five games against the New Jersey Devils – three at home and two on the road – and the Pittsburgh Penguins – two at home and three on the road.


The busiest months for the Hurricanes will be December and March, which both feature 14 games. All in all, it’s a fairly balanced schedule, with three other months featuring 13 games each.

Month Home Road Total
October 3 8 11
November 9 4 13
December 7 7 14
January 7 6 13
February 8 5 13
March 5 9 14
April 2 2 4

Plan to spend your weekends at PNC Arena with the Hurricanes as more than half of the team’s 41 home games (26) will be played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In fact, the weekend houses just over half of the Canes’ 82-game schedule (43).

Outside of the All-Star break, the Hurricanes will play on 15 of 20 Fridays from October through February. After that, though, the last day of the traditional workweek is bare for the remainder of the season.

Saturday is the busiest day of the week, as it features 18 games: nine at home and nine on the road. The Canes will play on every Saturday in December, including hosting New Jersey on the day after Christmas, and March, including matinee games in Buffalo and Minnesota.

Outside of the weekend, Tuesday is the busiest day of the week, as it features 16 games, including seven at home and nine on the road. From mid-February to the end of the season, the Hurricanes will play on each of the eight Tuesdays on the calendar.

Day Home Road Total
Monday 2 3 5
Tuesday 7 9 16
Wednesday 1 3 4
Thursday 5 9 14
Friday 10 5 15
Saturday 9 9 18
Sunday 7 3 10

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