NHL 2014 Schedule
According to industry insiders, the NHL schedule for the 2013-2014 season will be announced tomorrow, July 17. The upcoming season will incorporate several changes, including a league-wide division realignment and new game venues.
Check back here for updates. In the meantime, check out some of the highlights to look forward to in the upcoming season:
League Division Realignment
The NHL has operated with thirty teams in six divisions since 1992. However, beginning with the 2013-2014 season, the number of divisions will be reduced to four. Although this plan has been discussed by league officials in the past few years, the NHL Player's Association only approved of the new system in March of this year. The new division are tentatively named Divisions A, B, C and D, but plans to re-dub them in the future are underway. Divisions A and B will constitue the Western Conference and Divisions C and D the Eastern.
While the Western divisions will have seven teams each, the Eastern divisions will have eight. Under the new system, sixteen teams will make the playoffs: three from each division and two wildcards from each conference.
2014 NHL Stadium Series
In an unprecedented move, several outdoor hockey games will take place in 2014. The series, known as the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, will feature seven teams facing off in four matches. The games will take place at Dodger Stadium, Yankee Stadium and Soldier Field.
2014 Winter Olympic Games
The 2014 Winter Olympic Games will take place in Sochi, Russia. The NHL will be suspending all play between February 9 and February 25 in order to accomodate players who want to compete with their respective national teams. Unfortunately, the 2014 NHL All-Star Game will not take place because of the Olympic Games.