The NHL is really taking care of business these days, as last night saw the new Adidas jerseys unveiled for every team and Wednesday is also a big day, which has now started with the announcement of every home opener for all 31 teams. This is an exciting announcement for me, the Opiated Sherpa, as I can start putting together a plan for the hockey pool draft, which I will try and lock down the date here soon, so you can get it into your calendars.
The season gets started on October 4th, a Wednesday, making it a short Week One in the hockey pool, yet again, but it will be a busy start, one would imagine. Tomorrow, the entire schedule will be released and we'll see just how busy it gets.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will open their back-to-back Cup defense against the St. Louis Blues, likely raising their Cup banner on the same night, making a big production of the whole thing. The Penguins will likely be a popular team at the draft, so a lot of teams are going to start getting their fill of points in this one. Expect a great goalie battle here, as Jake Allen and Matt Murray should get the green light to start this season.
The league might be awaiting their next crop of superstars to get drafted this week, but they will quickly remind us that the 2016 draft has already given us a couple of big names and they will go head-to-head on opening night, as Auston Matthews and the Maple Leafs will open in Winnipeg, taking on Patrik Laine and the Jets. Both players will be pretty high draft picks this year, I would imagine.
How about a Battle of Alberta on opening night? That sounds like a good plan. The odds on favourite to go number one in this year's hockey pool draft, Connor McDavid, will get another taste of the provincial rivalry, when Johnny Gaudreau and the Flames invade Rogers Place. Both teams are going to be popular in the draft again, so this will give some teams a good head start, I'm sure.
Finally, the Philadelphia Flyers open the season on a California road trip, by the look of things and their first stop will be the Shark Tank in San Jose. The Flyers will get to showcase who they took with the 2nd overall pick, assuming they keep it, against a Sharks team that should have a completely different feel to it, although, I'm sure Brent Burns will be more than happy to give their new kid a proper NHL welcome.