As part of the NHL’s odd system of announcing home openers for 2016-17 before revealing the full schedule, the Ottawa Senators announced their home opener on Wednesday, October 12th against the Toronto Maple Leafs. That’s right, Auston Matthews will presumably open his professional hockey career in the hockey hotbed of Kanata, ON. October 12th will be the opening day for the entire league, since the World Cup of Hockey has forced back the start date a little bit from years past. The Sens will be one of only four teams to have their home opener on opening night of the season, joining three heavyweights in the Blackhawks, Oilers (??), and Sharks. Maybe the NHL noticed the effect of the lack of Canadian teams on the playoffs.
All 30 teams announced their home openers today. In addition to their own, the Sens will also play in the Detroit Red Wings’ home opener on Monday, October 17th, as the Wings kick off their last season at the Joe Louis Arena. The most ridiculous one is definitely the Hurricanes, who don’t open at home until October 28th.
The full NHL 2016-17 season will be revealed tomorrow.