The NHL released the complete preseason schedule today for the 2014-15 season. The NHL preseason will consist of 105 games played over the course of 15 days, with a number of special events taking place.
For their part the Minnesota Wild will play six games, three home and three away with two each against the Winnipeg Jets, Pittsburgh Penguins, and St. Louis Blues. Not a bad slate, as Wild fans will get a chance to see the team square off against two division rivals and get a sense of the prospects climbing the ranks in those systems.
Fans will also get a look at the Penguins, who have done some serious lineup shuffling in the offseason, acquiring Christian Ehrhoff, Blake Comeau, Patric Hornqvist, Steve Downie, Nick Spaling, and back up netminder Thomas Greiss (previously with the Coyotes and Sharks). Exiting their roster was James Neal, Jussi Jokinen, Brooks Orpik, Minnesotan Matt Niskanen, Lee Stempniak, Tanner Glass, and Joe Vitale. They’ve got a new look and should be an interesting team this season.
The NHL site says the “highlight” of the preseason is the 2014 Kraft Hockeyville game, which will take place in Sylvan Lake, Alberta on September 24. There was apparently some sort of contest that this city won to get a preseason NHL game. That’s certainly a highlight if you live there, for everyone else, it’s just a game between the Arizona Coyotes and Calgary Flames, which…
(To be fair, the Coyotes aren’t a bad team. Here’s a good piece that says the Coyotes are better than you think.)
In addition, the league will host games in a number of non-NHL towns. From the NHL.com site:
Preseason games also are scheduled in Bridgeport, Conn. (Boston vs. NY Islanders, Oct. 3); Brooklyn, N.Y. (New Jersey vs. NY Islanders, Sept. 26); Colorado Springs, Colo. (Colorado vs. Los Angeles, Oct. 2); Kansas City, Mo. (Dallas vs. St. Louis, Sept. 27); Las Vegas, Nev. (Colorado vs. Los Angeles, Oct. 4); London, Ont. (Philadelphia vs. Toronto, Sept. 22); Quebec City, Que. (Colorado vs. Montreal, Sept. 26); St. John’s, Nfld. (NY Islanders vs. Ottawa split-squad doubleheader, Sept. 22); Saskatoon, Sask. (Chicago vs. Edmonton, Sept. 28) and Stockton, Calif. (San Jose vs. Vancouver, Sept. 23).
Some notable games there, with a Devils vs. Islanders rematch at the Barclays Center, the arena the Islanders will cal home starting with the 2015-16 season. I caught the preseason game there last season and it was a great spot to see a game. The schedule also has a game hitting Las Vegas, which has been talked about as a possible NHL expansion town. And the Avalanche are returning to Quebec City for a game against the Canadiens.
Complete Minnesota Wild Preseason Schedule:
09.22 at Winnipeg, 8pm EST
09.25 at Pittsburgh, 7pm EST
09.27 vs. Winnipeg, 8pm EST
09.29 vs. Pittsburgh, 8pm EST
10.02 at St. Louis, 8pm EST
10.04 vs. St. Louis, 8pm EST