10. Canadiens at Maple Leafs; Flames at Oilers, Oct. 7, 7 & 10 p.m. ET, CBC
Kick off the season with two classic rivalries back to back on Hockey Night in Canada. The Habs are out to prove the playoffs weren’t a fluke, while the Leafs, Flames and Oilers want to show they’ve improved.
9. Sharks at Blue Jackets, Oct. 8, 3 p.m. ET, TSN
Not only will it be interesting to see the crowds in Stockholm, Sweden, but also the Blue Jackets and Sharks are two teams to get an early read on in the Western Conference.
8. Kings at Canucks, Oct. 9, 10 p.m. ET, CBC
One of last year’s success stories, the L.A. Kings, get an early test against the Cup-contending Canucks, who kick off their 40th season celebrations and want a win to get it off on the right foot.
7. Oilers at Avalanche, Feb. 23, 9:30 p.m. ET, TSN
The Avalanche used a bunch of young stars to surprise people last season and the Oilers are looking to do the same this year after stockpiling draft picks for many springs. Should be a fun contest.
6. Canucks at Blackhawks, Oct. 20, 9 p.m. ET, TSN
All eyes are going to be on the defending Stanley Cup champions this season after they shed salary and made big changes to the look of their squad in the off-season. Their opening month is going to be full of surprises.
5. Canadiens at Lightning, March 5, 7 p.m. ET, CBC
If the Bolts are as improved as they appear on paper, this could be a matchup with some serious Eastern Conference implications. The big question with these two teams is can either of them keep goals from going in?
4. Canucks at Red Wings, March 23, 7 p.m. ET, TSN
With the playoffs just a couple of weeks away, these two talented clubs could be jostling for position in the Western Conference. Late-season hockey between a couple of contenders is always interesting.
3. Hockey Day in Canada, Feb. 12, 2 p.m., 7 p.m., 10 p.m., CBC
The Ottawa Senators visit the Edmonton Oilers, the Toronto Maple Leafs head to Montreal to play the Canadiens and the Vancouver Canucks host the hated Calgary Flames, so park yourself in front of the tube all day.
2. Capitals at Penguins, Jan. 1, 1 p.m. ET, CBC
Alex Ovechkin versus Sidney Crosby. Outdoors in a football stadium. Two teams that have spawned a serious modern-day rivalry based on the top two players in the game. Enough said.
1. Canadiens at Flames, Feb. 20, time TBA, CBC
The only way to top the Winter Classic, a great annual tradition that goes beyond the cool marketing and jersey sales, is to do the same thing at McMahon Stadium and have two Canadian clubs battle on outdoor ice.