Kings, Ducks both to open season at home
Flyers visit Staples on Oct. 5, and Coyotes will drop in at Honda Center that day.
The 31-team NHL will launch its 2017-18 season with four games on Oct. 4, but the Kings and the Ducks will have to wait a day to drop the puck.
As announced Thursday by the league, the Kings will open their season Oct. 5 at Staples Center against the Philadelphia Flyers. The Ducks also will open on Oct. 5, against the Arizona Coyotes at Honda Center, their first home season opener in seven years. The expansion Vegas Golden Knights will make their debut Oct. 6 at Dallas and will play their first home game on Oct. 10 against Arizona at T-Mobile Arena.
The league scheduled three outdoor games: Montreal at Ottawa on Dec. 16, the New York Rangers against the Buffalo Sabres at Citi Field in New York on Jan. 1, and the Toronto Maple Leafs versus the Washington Capitals at Annapolis, Md., on March 3. Continuing its international push, the league scheduled Colorado to face Ottawa at Stockholm on Oct. 10 and 11.
The 1,271-game schedule doesn’t include an Olympic break, eliminating the possibility that the league might reverse course and allow players to represent their homelands at Pyeongchang, South Korea, next February. The NHL has sent players to the last five Winter Olympics, but commissioner Gary Bettman has said a return doesn’t make sense financially or competitively.
A break was built in for AllStar weekend at Tampa, Fla., from Jan. 26 through Jan. 29.
The Kings will have a sixgame trip in October and a seven-game trip that starts on Feb. 9 and runs through Feb. 20. They will make their first visit to Pacific Division rival Vegas on Nov. 19.
The Ducks will start with a four-game homestand but have two six-game trips in November and December and another five-game trip after the All-Star break. They’ll play four of their last five games at home.
NHL general managers, meeting in Chicago before Friday’s draft, recommended assessing a minor penalty against teams that challenge an offside call but lose that challenge. The competition committee and Board of Governors will have final approval.