The Rangers will open the 2015-16 season at Chicago where they’ll take on the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks on Wednesday October 7. Unfortunately, they’ll get a birds eye view of the Hawks raising their third championship banner in six years.
Eight teams are in action on Opening Night. That includes traditional Canadian Original Six rivals the Canadiens and Maple Leafs clashing at Air Canada Centre. In two other juicy Western rivalry games, the Canucks and Flames renew acquaintances at The Saddledome and the Sharks and Kings exchange pleasantries at Staples Center.
The Rangers will then visit the Blue Jackets Friday October 9 before returning for the home opener Saturday October 10 against those same Jackets. We’ll call the home-and-home series an early test for them against what should be an improved Columbus roster assuming they’re healthy.
While we don’t yet know the full extent of the schedule, we already are aware of four dates with the Blueshirts visiting the Canadiens on October 15 for their home opener at Bell Centre. Those are four good early games.
Meanwhile, the Islanders are set to open at Barclays Center on Friday October 9 against the Blackhawks in Brooklyn. It’ll be their first official home game as the Brooklyn Islanders. That’ll feel odd with the former Long Island franchise relocating to Brooklyn. Also on 10/9, the Devils will host the Winnipeg Jets at Prudential Center for their home opener. They will also be in action on Saturday 10/10 at the Capitals.
The Sabres home opener is Thursday October 8 when they host the Canadian rival Senators. That could be the start of the Jack Eichel era. Buffalo is a day and a half away from making it official by selecting Eichel with the second overall pick in Friday’s Draft. The Boston University standout is expected to go number two following the Oilers selection of top rated Canadian prospect Connor McDavid.
The rest of the schedule will be released later today.