It’s an annual rite of passage for the National Hockey League: offering an intense grouping of league events in June to close out the contract year and truly finalize the season that was. The NHL draft, the NHL awards, free agency; they dominate the headlines before the summer doldrums hit hard in July through August.
Today, we get the 2016-17 regular-season schedules for the 30 member clubs of the NHL, including your Tampa Bay Lightning. By and large, the schedule begins on October 12th, 2016 and concludes on April 9th, 2017.
Monday at noon we found out that the season opens for the 2016 Eastern Conference finalists on Thursday, October 13th at Amalie Arena when the Lightning takes on the Detrot Red Wings.
Today, we get the full deal in store for Tampa Bay.
The season starts with a solid four-game home stand starting on the already mentioned 13th of October, Detroit, the New Jersey Devils, Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche mark that opening homestand… which changes into an elongated 6 game road trip to immediately follow through the beginning of November.
A broader factor or the schedule is a more even distribution in the schedule of Atlantic Division play; 2014-15 saw a majority of divisional games played in the second half of the season, while the mix was more generalized last season. In 2016-17, it’ll be broader; the series with the Red Wings lasts all season (concluding on March 30th). The Florida Panthers, starting in October, concludes on March 11th. The series’ against the Ottawa Senators, Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens also span like this, the Boston Bruins series begins in early November - but spans until April. Hell, even the series with the Buffalo Sabres (which ended waaaaaaaay early last season) will span through the season (November until the season finale on April 9th at Amalie Arena).
Back-to-back games are part of the season like usual, with 16(!) series in the schedule. Most notable is the fact that three consecutive back-to-back game series’ will be played in January 2017 with Tampa Bay playing January 7th and 8th (at the Philadelphia Flyers and at the Pittsburgh Penguins), 12th and 13th)(versus the Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets), and 16th and 17th (at the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks). The last of the 32 games to be played in back-to-back series’ will be on April 6th and 7th in Eastern Canada against the Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.
No TV schedule information has been released yet, and trying to deduce national broadcasts isn’t exactly clear - start times are subject to change, after all.
|Thu.||Oct 13||7:30 pm||Detroit||Sun.||Jan 8||1:00 pm||@ Pittsburgh|
|Sat.||Oct 15||7:00 pm||New Jersey||Thu.||Jan 12||7:30 pm||Buffalo|
|Tue.||Oct 18||7:30 pm||Florida||Fri.||Jan 13||7:30 pm||Columbus|
|Thu.||Oct 20||7:30 pm||Colorado||Mon.||Jan 16||4:00 pm||@ Los Angeles|
|Sat.||Oct 22||7:00 pm||@ Ottawa||Tue.||Jan 17||10:00 pm||@ Anaheim|
|Tue.||Oct 25||7:30 pm||@ Toronto||Thu.||Jan 19||10:30 pm||@ San Jose|
|Thu.||Oct 27||7:30 pm||@ Montreal||Sat.||Jan 21||8:00 pm||@ Arizona|
|Sat.||Oct 29||7:00 pm||@ New Jersey||Tue.||Jan 24||8:30 pm||@ Chicago|
|Sun.||Oct 30||7:00 pm||@ N.Y. Rangers||Thu.||Jan 26||7:30 pm||@ Florida|
|Tue.||Nov 1||7:00 pm||@ N.Y. Islanders||Tue.||Jan 31||7:30 pm||Boston|
|Thu.||Nov 3||7:30 pm||Boston||Thu.||Feb 2||7:30 pm||Ottawa|
|Sat.||Nov 5||7:00 pm||New Jersey||Sat.||Feb 4||7:00 pm||Anaheim|
|Mon.||Nov 7||7:30 pm||@ Florida||Tue.||Feb 7||7:30 pm||Los Angeles|
|Thu.||Nov 10||7:30 pm||N.Y. Islanders||Fri.||Feb 10||8:00 pm||@ Minnesota|
|Sat.||Nov 12||7:00 pm||San Jose||Sat.||Feb 11||7:00 pm||@ Winnipeg|
|Mon.||Nov 14||7:00 pm||@ N.Y. Islanders||Sat.||Feb 18||8:00 pm||@ Dallas|
|Tue.||Nov 15||7:30 pm||@ Detroit||Sun.||Feb 19||8:00 pm||@ Colorado|
|Thu.||Nov 17||7:00 pm||@ Buffalo||Tue.||Feb 21||7:30 pm||Edmonton|
|Sat.||Nov 19||1:00 pm||@ Philadelphia||Thu.||Feb 23||7:30 pm||Calgary|
|Mon.||Nov 21||8:00 pm||@ Nashville||Mon.||Feb 27||7:30 pm||Ottawa|
|Wed.||Nov 23||7:30 pm||Philadelphia||Wed.||Mar 1||7:00 pm||Carolina|
|Fri.||Nov 25||7:30 pm||Columbus||Fri.||Mar 3||7:00 pm||@ Pittsburgh|
|Sun.||Nov 27||1:00 pm||@ Boston||Sat.||Mar 4||7:00 pm||@ Buffalo|
|Tue.||Nov 29||7:00 pm||@ Columbus||Mon.||Mar 6||7:30 pm||N.Y. Rangers|
|Thu.||Dec 1||8:00 pm||@ St. Louis||Thu.||Mar 9||7:30 pm||Minnesota|
|Sat.||Dec 3||7:00 pm||Washington||Sat.||Mar 11||7:00 pm||Florida|
|Sun.||Dec 4||5:00 pm||@ Carolina||Mon.||Mar 13||7:00 pm||@ N.Y. Rangers|
|Thu.||Dec 8||7:30 pm||Vancouver||Tue.||Mar 14||7:30 pm||@ Ottawa|
|Sat.||Dec 10||7:00 pm||Pittsburgh||Thu.||Mar 16||7:30 pm||Toronto|
|Wed.||Dec 14||9:30 pm||@ Calgary||Sat.||Mar 18||7:00 pm||Washington|
|Fri.||Dec 16||10:00 pm||@ Vancouver||Tue.||Mar 21||7:30 pm||Arizona|
|Sat.||Dec 17||10:00 pm||@ Edmonton||Thu.||Mar 23||7:00 pm||@ Boston|
|Tue.||Dec 20||7:30 pm||Detroit||Fri.||Mar 24||7:30 pm||@ Detroit|
|Thu.||Dec 22||7:30 pm||St. Louis||Mon.||Mar 27||7:30 pm||Chicago|
|Fri.||Dec 23||7:00 pm||@ Washington||Thu.||Mar 30||7:30 pm||Detroit|
|Wed.||Dec 28||7:30 pm||Montreal||Sat.||Apr 1||7:00 pm||Montreal|
|Thu.||Dec 29||7:30 pm||Toronto||Sun.||Apr 2||6:00 pm||Dallas|
|Sat.||Dec 31||7:00 pm||Carolina||Tue.||Apr 4||7:00 pm||@ Boston|
|Tue.||Jan 3||7:30 pm||Winnipeg||Thu.||Apr 6||7:30 pm||@ Toronto|
|Thu.||Jan 5||7:30 pm||Nashville||Fri.||Apr 7||7:30 pm||@ Montreal|
|Sat.||Jan 7||1:00 pm||@ Philadelphia||Sun.||Apr 9||5:00 pm||Buffalo|