With the Maple Leafs and Red Wings slated to play at Michigan’s “The Big House” on January 1st (in some sick throwbacks), as well as a break for the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, this schedule promised to be slightly more interesting than, say, daydreaming about hockey in July. As a matter of fact, the league has a few interesting dates, including a couple games at Yankee Stadium, Soldier Field, and Dodger Stadium. That’s right — outdoor hockey in L.A.
Here are the dates to mark down on that sexy girls hockey calendar you undoubtedly don’t have:
January 1, 2014 Winter Classic, Toronto Maple Leafs at Detroit Red Wings, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, Mich.
January 25, 2014 Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings – Dodger Stadium
January 26, 2014 New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils – Yankee Stadium
January 29, 2014 New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders – Yankee Stadium
February 9-25, 2014 Olympic Break
March 2, 2014 Heritage Classic, Ottawa Senators at Vancouver Canucks, B.C. Place, Vancouver
What’s more interesting, however, is the redistricting of professional hockey in the U.S. — a pretty big deal on many levels. There’ll now be four divisions in total, and zero logic to the names they give them relative to the teams actually in them. For instance, Ottawa — a city a few hundred miles from the ocean — will play in the Atlantic Division, along with other land locked favorites such as Buffalo, Toronto, Detroit, and Montreal.
Might as well call it the Australian Division…
On the other side of the conference, the NHL has continued it’s long standing tradition of refusing to acknowledged the Boston/New York rivalry, by keeping all New York teams in a separate division dubbed “The Metropolitan”, as if it were a salami and provolone sandwich at your local deli. Here’s how it’ll shake out (with each team meeting up at least once):
Metropolitan: Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington
Atlantic: Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto
Central: Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, St. Louis, Nashville, Winnipeg
Pacific: Anaheim, Calgary, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose, Vancouver
Photo via Tomfulery.com