Nashville, Tenn. - The National Hockey League released the 2006-07 regular-season schedule today and the Nashville Predators will open their ninth NHL season by hosting the Central Division rival Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, October 5 at the Gaylord Entertainment Center. The Predators' schedule also includes 18 Saturday-night home games at the GEC, the most Saturday home contests that the club's schedule has ever featured.
While this coming season marks the fifth time Nashville will open its schedule on home ice, the Predators will play five of their first seven games, 10 of their first 14 and 19 of their first 29 games on the road. The Predators play five of their last six games on home ice and enjoy a stretch of 11 of 15 games at the GEC from December 12-January 12. The Predators play at home eight times each in the months of December and February.
The 2006-07 NHL schedule again emphasizes divisional rivalries as the Predators will face their Central Division foes - the Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues - a total of eight times each, including four tilts vs. each opponent at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.
Nashville's 82-game schedule features four games against the other teams in its conference and 10 games vs. teams from the Eastern Conference's Atlantic and Northeast Divisions.
In the Eastern Conference, Nashville will play the five Northeast Division teams (Boston, Buffalo, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto) at home, and the five Atlantic Division teams (New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) on the road. The Toronto Maple Leafs, having only visited Nashville once before (2002), will play in the Music City on Thursday, February 8.
The Predators do not face the 2006 Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes (or Atlanta, Florida, Tampa Bay and Washington of the Southeast Division) during the 2006-07 regular season, but the Predators and Hurricanes meet twice in the 2006 preseason (Friday, September 22 at the RBC Center and Saturday, September 23 at the GEC). The Western Conference Champion Edmonton Oilers hit Nashville on Tuesday, December 12 and Tuesday, March 27 and Nashville's 2006 playoff opponent, the San Jose Sharks, will return to the GEC on Thursday, October 26 and Wednesday, February 14. The Presidents' Trophy-winning Red Wings will come to Nashville a total four times: Saturday, November 25, Saturday, February 24, Tuesday, March 13 and Thursday, March 29.
The Predators play 19 sets of back-to-back games this season, including home-and-home series against the Blues (Saturday, December 16 at the GEC and Sunday, December 17 at the Savvis Center), the Blue Jackets (Friday, January 12 at the GEC and Saturday, January 13 at Nationwide Arena) and the Red Wings (Tuesday, March 13 at the GEC and Wednesday, March 14 at Joe Louis Arena).
There are 12 home games scheduled on Thursdays, six on Tuesdays, three on Mondays, one on Friday, one on Wednesday and none on Sundays.
The Predators will be busy around the holidays this season, playing their annual New Year's Day game at the GEC (2:00 p.m. against Colorado) in addition to Thanksgiving night (Thursday, November 23 vs. Vancouver), Valentine's Day (Wednesday, February 14 vs. San Jose) and St. Patrick's Day (Saturday, March 17 vs. Dallas). In addition, Nashville will have special 5:00 p.m. face-offs for games on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Monday, January 15 vs. Calgary) and Presidents' Day (Monday, February 19 vs. Phoenix). The Predators will also be home for the year-end holidays, as they play five home games between December 21 and January 1.
The NHL All-Star festivities will take place in Dallas from Monday, January 22 through Wednesday, January 24.
Face-off for all Predators home contests will be at 7:00 p.m. (Central time). The only exceptions include a 2:00 p.m. face-off on January 1 (vs. Colorado) and the two 5:00 p.m. holiday games (January 15 and February 19).
Information on ticket availability for individual games will be announced at a later date. For more information on ticket sales, please call (615) 770-PUCK (7825).
VIEW: Predators full 2006-07 regular season schedule
2006 Western Conference Champion Edmonton Oilers visit Nashville: Dec. 12 and Mar. 27
Detroit Red Wings visit Nashville: Nov. 25, Feb. 24, Mar. 13 and Mar. 29
San Jose Sharks visit Nashville: Oct. 26 and Feb. 14
Boston Bruins visit Nashville: Dec. 30
Montreal Canadiens visit Nashville: Feb. 22
Toronto Maple Leafs visit Nashville: Feb. 8
Longest home stand: Five games - Mar. 27 to Apr. 5
Longest road trip: Five games - twice, Oct. 28 to Nov. 10 and Feb. 25-Mar. 6
All-Star break: Jan. 22-24
Home game start times: 7:00 p.m. (Central time)
No home games vs. Atlanta, Carolina, Florida, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay and Washington.
No road games vs. Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Carolina, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto and Washington.
Chicago: Oct. 5, Dec. 2, Jan. 20, Apr. 3
At Chicago: Oct. 12, Dec. 20, Jan. 5, Jan. 26
Columbus: Nov. 18, Jan. 12, Jan. 18, Mar. 10
At Columbus: Nov. 15, Nov. 20, Jan. 13, Feb. 25
Detroit: Nov. 25, Feb. 24, Mar. 13, Mar. 29 At Detroit: Nov. 10, Jan. 17, Mar. 6, Mar. 14
St. Louis: Dec. 16, Dec. 26, Jan. 6, Apr. 5
At St. Louis: Nov. 30, Dec. 17, Jan. 27, Feb. 16
Anaheim: Jan. 9, Feb. 3
At Anaheim: Dec. 6, Mar. 4 Calgary: Jan. 15, Mar. 8 At Calgary: Oct. 28, Mar. 23
Colorado: Nov. 11, Jan. 1
At Colorado: Jan. 30, Apr. 7
Dallas: Mar. 17, Mar. 31
At Dallas: Nov. 22, Dec. 29
Edmonton: Dec. 12, Mar. 27
At Edmonton: Nov. 1, Mar. 24
Los Angeles: Dec. 23, Feb. 10
At Los Angeles: Dec. 7, Mar. 3
Minnesota: Nov. 16, Feb. 17
At Minnesota: Oct. 7, Nov. 4
Phoenix: Oct. 14, Feb. 19
At Phoenix: Dec. 4, Feb. 1
San Jose: Oct. 26, Feb. 14
At San Jose: Dec. 9, Feb. 28
Vancouver: Oct. 21, Nov. 23
At Vancouver: Oct. 31, Mar. 21
Boston: Dec. 30
Buffalo: Dec. 21
Montreal: Feb. 22
At New Jersey: Oct. 19
At New York Islanders: Oct. 16
At New York Rangers: Oct. 18
Ottawa: Dec. 14
At Philadelphia: Nov. 29
At Pittsburgh: Feb. 6
Toronto: Feb. 8