The National Hockey League released the entire 2016-17 regular season schedule, and as we learned yesterday, the Philadelphia Flyers will begin the new year on the West Coast.
The season kicks off on Friday night, October 14 against the Los Angeles Kings. It’ll be the Kings’ home opener at Staples Center that night. They’ll be in Arizona the next night for the Coyotes season opener, and then in Chicago on October 18 against the Blackhawks to end the season-opening road trip. The Flyers will kick off their home schedule five nights later on October 20 when they host the Anaheim Ducks.
The Flyers will be in Pittsburgh on February 25 at 8 p.m. to take on the Penguins outdoors at Heinz Field in the 2016 NHL Stadium Series. It'll be their first outdoor game since 2012 at Citizens Bank Park against the Rangers.
The season ends with back-to-back home games on April 8 against Columbus and April 9 against Carolina. TV information will be available later in the offseason.
Some more details of note:
- The Flyers play the Hurricanes and Devils five times each, while they play the rest of the division four times. They’ll host Carolina three times and travel to New Jersey three times.
- The Flyers play all teams in the Atlantic Division three times. two road games in Boston, Buffalo, Montreal and Toronto, while they host two home games against Detroit, Florida, Ottawa and Tampa Bay. That’s the opposite of what we saw last year.
- The Flyers will not leave the Eastern Time Zone from the home opener on October 20 until December 4 when they make a trip to Nashville.
- The Black Friday afternoon game this year is against the New York Rangers. It's scheduled for 1 p.m. and you can probably bet that it'll be on NBC.
- In total, the Flyers have 18 back-to-backs: three in October, three in November, three in December, four in January (including one in 3 of 4 weekends that month), one in February, two in March, two in April.
- The schedule is home-heavy early (aside from the season opening road trip) with 18 of 27 games after that trip on home ice. The end of the season is the opposite, however, with 13 games on the road and just six at home between February 15 and March 26. There are two four-game road trips in March.
- The Flyers have typically hit a Western Canada + California road trip over Christmas and New Years, as the Wells Fargo Center is usually occupied by Disney On Ice at that time. Same this year -- a trip to St. Louis, San Jose and Anaheim before returning home January 4 against the Rangers.
- The Western Canada trip comes in mid-February this year with a back-to-back in Calgary and Edmonton on the 15th and 16th, followed by a date with Vancouver on the 19th.
- The longest homestand is from February 2 to February 10 -- just before that Western Canada trip -- with games against Montreal, Los Angeles, St. Louis, the Islanders and San Jose.
- First games against division rivals: Oct. 22 home vs. Carolina, Oct. 29 home vs. Pittsburgh, Nov. 3 on the road against NYI, Nov. 25 at home against NYR, December 21 at home against Washington, December 22 on the road against New Jersey, Jan. 8 on the road against Columbus.
Here’s the full schedule. We’ll be back in a few minutes with more details.