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Leafs announce 2002-03 schedule

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
"by media relations

The Toronto Maple Leafs will travel to Pittsburgh to face Mario Lemieux and the Penguins October 10 to open their 76th season in the National Hockey League. Division-rival, the Ottawa Senators, will oppose the Maple Leafs in their home opener October 12.

Saturday night games once again dominate the Maple Leafs schedule with Toronto playing 25 times, with 18 of the contests to be played at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs will also play 18 games on Tuesday (13 at home and five on the road).

Toronto does not have any home games scheduled for Friday's, but will play a rare Sunday night game at home against Nashville, February 23. The Maple Leafs will be involved in only one afternoon game in 2002-03, November 29 at Philadelphia.

The month of March will be the busiest for Toronto with 15 games (six at home and nine on the road) scheduled. The Maple Leafs will close out the schedule with a two-game homestand with the season finale versus Ottawa on April 5.

The Maple Leafs will play Northeast Division rivals five times each with the Bruins and Senators visiting Toronto on three occasions. Chicago, Columbus, Dallas and St. Louis will not travel to Toronto to play the Maple Leafs in 2002-03.

On the road, the club will not face Anaheim, Colorado, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville, Phoenix and San Jose. For the first time in five years, the club will travel to Dallas (November 8) and will also make the franchise's first appearance in Columbus (March 20).

After a one year absence, the Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings will travel to Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs on November 16 and the teams will play once more in Detroit on February 27.

The Maple Leafs will hold their 2002 Training Camp in Hamilton, Ontario. The first on-ice workout is scheduled to take place at Copps Coliseum on September 13.

The team's nine game preseason schedule includes four home-and-home series against Buffalo, Detroit, Montreal and Ottawa along with a home date versus Tampa Bay. The club travels to Ottawa (September 20), Detroit (September 24), Buffalo (September 27) and Montreal (October 3). The Senators (September 22), Sabres (September 25), Canadiens (October 2) and Lightning (October 5) visit Toronto during the preseason.

For the ninth consecutive season, the Maple Leafs will host a preseason game in Hamilton, hosting Detroit on September 28 at Copps Coliseum.

Other Schedule Notes:

  • Saturday home games start at 7 p.m.
  • Sunday and mid-week home games start at 7:30 p.m.
  • The longest road streak occurs on two occasions - December 27 to January 3 and January 29 to February 6 (4 games)
  • The longest home stand takes place from October 21 to November 5 (7 games)
  • The Maple Leafs will play on consecutive nights on 19 occasions compared to 14 last season
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