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New Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock has big nights early in schedule @NHLdotcom

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Mike Babcock will see his former team and the one that desperately wanted to hire him within the first two weeks of the NHL season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Detroit Red Wings for their second game on Oct. 9, and they travel to Buffalo to face the Sabres on Oct. 21.

Connor McDavid, who will make his NHL debut Oct. 7 in St. Louis assuming he's healthy, could face Jack Eichel and the Sabres for the first time Dec. 6 in Edmonton.

New Oilers coach Todd McLellan makes his first trip back to San Jose on Jan. 14.

The season opens Oct. 7 with four games: Canadiens at Leafs, Rangers at Blackhawks, Canucks at Flames and Sharks at Kings.

The last day of the regular season is April 9, according to the schedule released Thursday.

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