Today the schedule for the 2016-17 NHL season was released.
The Hurricanes start with an extended stretch of 6 games on the road. Normally, the Hurricanes get a home game or 2 in before departing for the 10-12 day road trip during the North Carolina State Fair. This season, the World Cup of Hockey tourney backs up the start of the NHL season. My guess a few weeks back had the Canes quickly squeezing in a single home game before departing, but that is not how the final schedule turned out.
A few notes on the 2016-17 Hurricanes schedule:
BIG road trip: The Canes usually have a long stretch of road games during the State Fair as noted above, but oftentimes the stretch of 4-7 road games is heavier on East Coast games and affords a stop back in Raleigh somewhere in the middle. It does not look like that will be the case this time.
Panthers conflicts: The Hurricanes schedule which continues to be heavy on Sunday games sees 5 conflicts with Panthers games (and that is before the playoff schedule obviously). Two of the games are Panthers home games in Charlotte, and three are road/TV conflicts including the Hurricanes lone Monday night game sitting against a Panthers Monday Night Football game.
Compressed schedule for 2017: The schedule looks incredibly busy for the last third of the season. The World Cup of Hockey causes this, and my guess is that it looks similar for other teams. February actually sees some gaps in the schedule. From late February on, the schedule is intense. The team only has 2 days off once after February 24 and plays an astounding 19 games in 34 days around March.
New 7:30 start time for Friday and Saturday games: This is a change from the vast majority of games being 7pm starts except the Sunday matinees and early evening starts. The schedule also features some earlier kid-friendly games on Sunday with 4 5pm starts, 2 6pm starts and a lone 3pm matinee on February 26 against Calgary.
October 13 cannot get here soon enough!