Canucks get a lousy deal

BOB MACKIN -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

The Vancouver Canucks got a bum deal from the National Hockey League's scheduling wizard yesterday.

The National Hockey League's most-travelled squad has one seven-game road trip and two six-game road trips, but they only have one six-game homestand.

Good news for the Canucks and their fans, however, is that the club will face all other NHL teams at least once. They'll play Northwest division opponents six times and other Western conference teams four times, which leaves 18 games that include visits from Eastern teams, like the Toronto Maple Leafs (Nov. 15) and Montreal Canadiens (Feb. 15).

The Canucks meet ex-captain Markus Naslund and the New York Rangers on Nov. 19 in the Big Apple, but the Broadway Blueshirts won't reciprocate this season.

The home opener is Oct. 9 against Todd Bertuzzi and the Calgary Flames. The 2009 NHL All-Star Game is Jan. 25 in Montreal.

Team 1040 will carry all games. The TV schedule, including pay-per-view, will be released later. The Canucks play their first exhibition game Sept. 22 at the Edmonton Oilers.

GAMES TO WATCH

Oct. 28: Boston Bruins - Welcome home, former Vancouver Giant Milan Lucic.

Nov. 2: Detroit Red Wings - Here come the Stanley Cup champs.

Dec. 22: Anaheim Ducks - Merry (almost) Christ-mas, Brendan Morrison.

Jan. 13: New Jersey Devils - Martin Brodeur vs. Roberto Luongo: The battle of Canada's 2010 netminders?

April 11: @ Colorado Avalanche - End of the road or a playoff preview? Or will it come down to this one?


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