From banner raising to outdoor games to a full plate on the Friday after Thanksgiving, NHL fans can plan their season after Tuesday's release of the 2023-24 league schedule.
Connor Bedard, this year's projected No. 1 overall pick in the NHL draft, might play his first NHL game that night. Chicago -- which owns the first pick in Wednesday's opening round -- is scheduled to play Pittsburgh, and most believe Bedard is NHL-ready.
Nashville -- the host of the draft -- kicks off its season against Tampa.
There are 15 games slated for the Friday after Thanksgiving on Nov. 24. Detroit vs. Boston and Rangers vs. Flyers get the day going. The league doesn't play on Thanksgiving Day.
There's the usual array of outdoor games. The Winter Classic will feature a rematch of the opening night Vegas-Seattle clash when the two most recent expansion teams meet at T-Mobile Park in Seattle on Jan. 1.
And for the first time since 2016, the NHL is holding two Stadium Series tilts -- both at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey -- between Philadelphia and New Jersey on Feb. 17, followed by the New York Rangers and New York Islanders on Feb. 18.
The NHL also goes international: Los Angeles and Arizona travel to Melbourne, Australia, on Sept. 23 and 24 for two preseason games, while Detroit, Toronto, Ottawa and Minnesota are headed for Stockholm, Sweden, from Nov. 16-19 for four games.
The Cup winner starting the new season has been tradition, but last year's champion -- the Colorado Avalanche -- had to push their banner raising by a day because of a concert in their building on the league's opening evening.
We have a rematch of this year's Stanley Cup Final when the Golden Knights face the Panthers on Dec. 23.
The Panthers hosted All-Star Weekend last season. The league's best and brightest head north to Toronto for this year's festivities from Feb. 2-3.
Other schedule highlights:
• Former Boston Bruin Taylor Hall -- who was traded to Chicago Monday -- will see his former club for the first time when the Blackhawks finish a back-to-back start to the year Oct. 11 in Boston.
• If Chicago does in fact select Bedard, he will make his Windy City debut against the Bruins on Oct. 21. Bedard would have another memorable first experience on Jan. 22 when the Blackhawks meet Bedard's hometown Canucks in Vancouver.
• Will there be bad blood between the Rangers and Devils after how New Jersey sent New York packing in their first-round playoff series? We'll find out when they meet the first time Nov. 18 in Jersey.
• Toronto will see old faces in new places: First, it'll be former GM Kyle Dubas and his new Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 25, followed by the Leafs' first meeting against former bench boss Mike Babcock on Dec. 14. Babcock, who's joining Columbus, was fired by the team in 2019.