The National Hockey League recently released its 2012-2013 regular season schedule — four games kick off the season on October 11, including Boston at Philidelphia and St. Louis at Colorado. Fans in Canada will get to see Montreal take on Ottawa and Vancouver at Calgary.
For fans of the defending Stanley Cup Champions Los Angeles Kings, their season begins the following day at home against the New York Rangers. Before the game the Kings will have their first ever Stanley Cup banner raising ceremony.
There are plenty of rivarly games to be aware of including a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference Finals as the New York Rangers travel to New Jersey to take on the Devils on October 17. Ten days later, the Phoenix Coyotes travel to Los Angeles to take on the Kings in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals.
On October 16 the Bruins and Canadiens renew their rivalry as part of a home-and-home series starting in Montreal and ending in Boston two days later. The annual Pittsburgh versus Philadelphia rivalry kicks off on October 18 when the Penguins travel to face the Flyers.
Another notable game to look out for during the season is on New Year’s Day with the annual Winter Classic. This year featuring the Toronto Maple Leafs taking on the Detroit Red Wings in an outdoor game at Michigan Stadium. Michigan Stadium is home to the University of Michigan Wolveriens football team, and has a seating capacity of over 100,000.
Fans looking for revenge will have to wait until February 13 when the Kings travel to New Jersey to face the Devils in a rematch of last years Stanley Cup Finals.
There will be no regular season games from Jan. 24-28 as part of the NHL All-Star Weekend. This years All-Star game will be held at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, OH, which is home to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Finally, the NHL ends the season with a huge selection of fourteen games. Some notable match-ups include the New York Rangers at Philadelphia, Montreal at Toronto, Calgary at Edmonton and Anaheim at Los Angeles.
According to the SportingNews season ticket sales for the 2012-2013 season have been up 7 percent, despite a potential labor stoppage. In a survey of all 30 NHL teams, in which 24 responded only three teams reported decreased season ticket sales.
Certain cities like Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Buffalo, and Boston have maxed out on season ticket sales and even have a waiting list. In some cases fans have been waiting years to get access to season tickets.
“I am a huge Boston Bruins fan, and have been waiting years to get season tickets to see them,” said Kayla Gariott a Maine resident. “I go to college in the Northeast and as a highschool graduation present my step-dad got me on the waiting list for Bruins season tickets. That was five years ago and I’m still waiting, but the good news is by the time I get them I should be done with school and won’t have to use loan money to pay for them.”
Other smaller market cities like Dallas have seen season ticket growth. However, there is reason for excitement in Dallas with new owner Tom Gaglardi taking over the team, and looking to pull the Stars out of financial trouble.
Even with a possible labor stoppage and lower television ratings for playoff games last season, NHL owners and executives seem to be excited for the new season. Executives and owners can only hope that ticket buyers share this excitement on game days.