The Minnesota Wild’s journey toward a potential Stanley Cup will begin in October against a team that just played for the championship.
Minnesota opens the regular season at home against the Florida Panthers. The Oct. 12 game is the start of three straight matchups against Eastern Conference opponents and four of the first five.
The regular season starts five days after the Wild wrap up the preseason schedule with a home game against the Dallas Stars.
The NHL’sseason schedules were released Tuesday, a day before the start of the league’s Entry Draft, in which Minnesota holds the No. 21 selection.
The Wild will also face Eastern Conference opponents during the NHL Global Series in Stockholm, Sweden. Minnesota is the road team for a matchup against the Ottawa Senators on Nov. 18, and then the home squad for a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs the next day.
The Wild travel to Toronto two days after the season opener against Florida. Minnesota then heads to Montreal before a return to St. Paul for games against the Los Angels Kings and Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Kings are the only Western Conference opponent in that five-game stretch to start the season.
The Wild are scheduled tp host four opponents in October, which is less than half of their most home-friendly month of the schedule.
Minnesota will have nine home games in January., including their final three contests of the month against Washington, Nashville and Anaheim. The Wild’s longest homestand of the season is six games, from March 23-April 6.
Minnesota faces Vegas, the reigning Stanley Cup champs, three times during the season but just once at the Xcel Energy Center. That comes on March 30, in the middle of the long homestand.
Minnesota is scheduled to play seven road games in both December and February. The team’s lonest road stretch is April 7-15.
The Wild return from that for a home matchup wtih Seattle to close out the regular season.