The NHL released its 1,312-game 2022-23 regular-season schedule Wednesday.
With the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft taking place Thursday and Friday, and the free agency signing period beginning July 13, there are already plenty of games to look forward to.
[PDF: 2022-23 NHL regular season schedule by Club]
Here’s a look at several must-see games in 2022-23:
Oct. 7-8: San Jose Sharks vs. Nashville Predators (2022 NHL Global Series)
For the first time since 2019, the NHL will play games in Europe when the Sharks and Predators play two games at O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic (each at 2 pm ET) to open the season. It will be a homecoming for San Jose forward Thomas Hertl, who was born in Praha, and defenseman Radek Simek, who is from Mlada Boleslav. San Jose played two regular-season games in Stockholm in the 2010 NHL Premiere Series; Nashville will be playing in Europe for the first time.
Oct. 12: Chicago Blackhawks at Colorado Avalanche (Avalanche home opener)
The Avalanche were unable to celebrate on home ice, winning the Stanley Cup in Tampa Bay, but Ball Arena should be rocking when Colorado faces Chicago and raises its championship banner to the rafters (9:30 pm). The Avalanche won all three games against the Central Division rivals last season and have won nine of the past 11 against them.
Nov. 4-5: Columbus Blues Jackets vs. Colorado Avalanche (2022 NHL Global Series)
Blue Jackets forward Patriarch Laine, who is a restricted free agent, is from Tampere, Finland, where the games will be played at Nokia Arena (each at 1 pm ET). He scored four goals in two games when he last played there in 2018 as a member of the Winnipeg Jets against the Florida Panthers. The Avalanche will also be represented with forwards Mikko Rantanen (Nousiainen) and restricted free agent Artturi Lehkonen (Piikkio) hailing from the home country.
Nov. 25: Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers; st. Louis Blues at Tampa Bay Lightning (2022 NHL Thanksgiving Showdown)
led by center Sydney Crosby, the Penguins will renew their rivalry with the Flyers at Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia (5 pm ET) in the first game of a doubleheader on TNT. The second game will see the Tampa Bay Lightning host the St. Louis Blues at Amalie Arena in Tampa (7:30 pm ET) in a matchup of two teams that have combined to win three championships in the past four seasons.
Dec. 5: Vegas Golden Knights at Boston Bruins (Bruce Cassidy returns to Boston)
Cassidy led the Bruins to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in each of his six seasons, including to the 2019 Stanley Cup Final, before he was fired as coach on June 6. He was hired as coach of the Golden Knights eight days later and likely has this game circled on his calendar (7 pm ET).
Dec. 6: Florida Panthers at Winnipeg Jets (Paul Maurice returns to Winnipeg)
Maurice spent nine seasons as Jets coach before resigning Dec. 17, 2021 with the most wins (315) in Jets/Atlanta Thrashers history. He helped Winnipeg to the postseason five times, including the Western Conference Final in 2018. Maurice was hired as Panthers coach on June 22.
Dec. 8 Nashville Predators at Tampa Bay Lightning (Ryan McDonagh returns to Tampa Bay)
It will be an emotional night when McDonagh returns to Amalie Arena in Tampa (7 pm ET). The two-time Stanley Cup winner was traded to the Predators on July 3 after five seasons with the Lightning. McDonagh helped the Lightning win the Cup in 2020 and 2021 and advance to the Final this season and was one of the most well-respected players on the team.
Jan. 2: Pittsburgh Penguins at Boston Bruins (2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic)
The Bruins will be playing in the Winter Classic for the first time since 2019 and will be hosting it at Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, for the first time since 2010 (2 pm ET). On the other side of the ice will be their Metropolitan Division rivals, Sidney Crosby and the Penguins, who have not played in the game since 2011, when they hosted it at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Boston is 2-1 in the Winter Classic; Pittsburgh is 1-1.
Feb. 9: Colorado Avalanche at Tampa Bay Lightning (Stanley Cup Final rematch)
The teams will meet at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay (7 pm ET) for the first time since June 26 when Colorado win the Cup with a 2-1 victory in Game 6 of the Final. Though the rosters will be different, the game should have lots of star power, with Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman and Andrei Vasilevsky leading the way for the Lightning, and Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog and Cale Makar for the Avalanche. They will also play five days later at Ball Arena in Denver.
Feb. 18: Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes (2023 Navy Federal Credit Union NHL Stadium Series)
The Hurricanes will play their first outdoor game, hosting the Capitals at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina, on the campus of North Carolina State University (8 pm ET). The Capitals are 3-0 in outdoor games, having last played in one in the 2018 NHL Stadium Series. The game was originally scheduled for 2021 but was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.