New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club, entering their 75th year in the National Hockey League, will open the 2000-2001 season on Saturday, October 7 at Atlanta. It marks the fourth time in the last eight seasons that the team has opened on the road. The Rangers will play their first game at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, October 11 vs. Montreal (7:00 PM). A significant change to the 2000-2001 schedule is that starting times for all home games are now 7:00 PM. Ticket information for the upcoming season at MSG will be released at a future date.
The 2000-2001 home schedule features a heavy concentration of Monday (9) and Wednesday (9) games, as well as Sunday (8) and Tuesday (6) dates. There will also be four Friday games, three Saturday contests and two Thursday matches. A notable addition to the schedule will be the Rangers hosting the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday, February 19 in a President's Day matinee game at 1:00 PM. The club will play seven three-game stretches at MSG throughout the course of the 2000-2001 season, which represent the longest homestands of the season. The Rangers will endure their longest road trip of the season beginning on Saturday, December 9 in Boston and concluding on Friday, December 15 in Anaheim, with visits to San Jose and Los Angeles in between.
The Rangers will face the Atlantic Division rival New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins five times, and all Northeast Division and Southeast Division opponents four times. New York will face Western Conference teams twice, including the expansion Minnesota Wild, except for single matches vs. the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets, Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Detroit Red Wings, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks. Calgary, Columbus, San Jose and Vancouver will not make appearances at MSG this season.
As mentioned earlier, starting times for all home games are now 7:00 PM, except for the following dates: Fri., Oct. 27, Pittsburgh (8:00 PM); Tue., Nov. 7, Edmonton (7:30 PM); Mon., Jan. 8, Dallas (8:00 PM); Mon., Jan. 29, Atlanta (8:00 PM); Sun, Feb. 11, New Jersey (1:00 PM); Mon., Feb. 19, Chicago (1:00 PM); Wed., Feb. 28, Florida (7:30 PM); Fri., Mar. 2, Pittsburgh (8:00 PM); Mon., Mar. 12, Pittsburgh (7:30 PM); and Sat., Mar. 24, Detroit (1:00 PM).
Under the NHL's network television agreement, four Rangers games will be shown exclusively on ABC (Mar. 17 at Philadelphia, Mar. 24 at Detroit, Mar. 31 at New Jersey and Apr. 7 at Florida).