The Minnesota Wild will be at home for the first four games of next season — including a matchup with the defending Stanley Cup champions during that stretch.
The NHL regular season schedule was released on Wednesday afternoon and it is the first time since 2014 that the Wild begin a campaign at the Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota opens on Oct. 13 against a New York Rangers team that reached the Eastern Conference finals this past season.
Minnesota then hosts former Wild forward Kevin Fiala and the Los Angeles Kings Oct. 15) the Colorado Avalanche (Oct. 17) and the Vancouver Canucks (Oct. 20) to round out the opening homestand.
The stretch is the the second-longest homestand to open a single season in team history. just a game behind the five straight the Wild played between Oct. 5-14 in 2006. It is a contrast to last season when four of the team’s first seven games consisted of west coast trips to California, Washington and British Columbia.
The Wild were also late-night viewing in 2020 as the season opened with road games in Los Angeles and Anaheim.
The Wild’s first road game is Oct. 22 at Boston, which begins a run of five straight games away from St. Paul to end the opening month of the season. That also is the team’s longest raod trip of the season.
The Wild will play 26 games against their fellow Central Division opponents, including three games each against the Avalanche (two home, one road) and Nashville (one home, two road). Minnesota will also play four games (two home and two road each) against Arizona, Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis and Winnipeg.
Among other schedule highlights, Minnesota has nine home games in February that includes seven straight from Feb. 9-21.
There are nine road games scheduled in February, the most for the team in any month of the season.