NEW YORK - The NHL's 2016-17 regular season will commence Wednesday, Oct. 12, with a four-game slate, highlighted by the Edmonton Oilers playing their first game at their new arena, Rogers Place. The 1,230-game regular-season schedule - 82 games per team - will conclude Sunday, April 9.
After closing Rexall Place last season, the Oilers will open their new home against the provincial rival Calgary Flames. The other three games on the first night of the 2016-17 season: the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Ottawa Senators in a renewal of the Battle of Ontario; the St. Louis Blues, who defeated Chicago in the First Round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs, face the Central Division rival Blackhawks at United Center; and the defending Western Conference champion San Jose Sharks play host to the Los Angeles Kings at SAP Center.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will raise their fourth Stanley Cup championship banner the following night - Thursday, Oct. 13 - before facing the Washington Capitals at CONSOL Energy Center.
On New Year's Day, the Maple Leafs will play host to the Detroit Red Wings in the first-ever NHL Centennial Classic™, an outdoor game at BMO Field in Toronto. This contest will serve as the start of a yearlong centennial celebration featuring a variety of ceremonies, recognitions, observances and special events highlighting 100 years of NHL hockey. The game also will be a rematch of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, which saw the Maple Leafs and Red Wings rekindle their Original Six™ rivalry in front of a record crowd of 105,491 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The following day - Monday, Jan. 2 - the Blues will face the Blackhawks in the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Two more outdoor games will dot the 2016-17 regular-season schedule: the 2016 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic™ between the Winnipeg Jets and Oilers on Sunday, Oct. 23, at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg, and the 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ between the Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, Feb. 25, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
The League's regular-season schedule will pause from Jan. 27-30 so the world's top players can gather in Los Angeles for the 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend. The 2017 NHL All-Star Game will be the third time the NHL All-Star activities will take place in Los Angeles.
The 2016-17 regular season will conclude Sunday, April 9, when 20 of the League's 30 teams take to the ice. That weekend will include the Red Wings' final two regular-season games at Joe Louis Arena - April 8 and 9 - prior to their move to Little Caesars Arena in 2017-18.
Reminder: Scheduling Matrix
The scheduling matrix ensures that all 30 teams play in all 30 arenas at least once each season:
Eastern Conference (8-Team Divisions)
Within Conference (Division): 30 games
* 5 games vs. two teams (3 Home/2 Away vs. one team, 2 Home/3 Away vs. one team) AND 4 games vs. five teams (2 Home/2 Away). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.
* 5 x 2 = 10 games
* 4 x 5 = 20 games
Within Conference (Non-Division): 24 games
* 3 games vs. each team (2 Home/1 Away vs. four teams, 1 Home/2 Away vs. four teams). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.
* 3 x 8 = 24 games
Non-Conference: 28 games
* 2 games vs. each team (1 Home/1 Away).
* 2 x 14 = 28 games
Western Conference (7-Team Divisions)
Within Conference (Division): 29 games
* 5 games vs. five teams (3 Home/2 Away vs. two teams, 2 Home/3 Away vs. three teams) AND 4 games vs. one team (2 Home/2 Away). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.
* 5 x 5 = 25 games
* 1 x 4 = 4 games
Within Conference (Non-Division): 21 games
* 3 games vs. each team (2 Home/1 Away vs. four teams, 1 Home/2 Away vs. three teams). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.
* 3 x 7 = 21 games
Non-Conference: 32 games
* 2 games vs. each team (1 Home/1 Away).
* 2 x 16 = 32 games
Exception: One team from each division plays one less game inside division and one more game inside conference outside division.
Regular Season Opens: Wednesday, Oct. 12
Christmas Break: Saturday, Dec. 24 - Monday, Dec. 26
All-Star Break: Friday, Jan. 27 - Monday, Jan. 30
Last Day of Regular Season: Sunday, April 9