The Devils announced their preseason schedule this morning! We already knew about the two games against the Washington Capitals because their schedule was released a few days ago and speculation could determine at least some of the others. The Devils always play the Rangers, Islanders, and Flyers but surprisingly, there is no Flyers game this year and the only reason that could be (besides realistic reasons like scheduling conflicts) is that the NHL doesn’t want to have Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier face each other until the regular season.
The Devils have seven total preseason games, two at home and five away.
Complete 2017-18 preseason schedule:
Monday 9/18 vs. Washington
Wednesday 9/20 @ New York (Rangers)
Thursday 9/21 @ Montreal
Saturday 9/23 vs. New York (Rangers)
Monday 9/25 vs. Ottawa (Canadian Kraft Hockeyville series)
Monday 9/25 @ New York (Islanders)
Wednesday 9/27 vs. Washington
The two games on September 25th are split-squad games: half of the team will play Ottawa, the other half will play the Islanders. The Devils play Washington twice, once at home and once away, and the Rangers twice, one at home and one away. They do play Montreal again (they had a preseason game last year as well).
The Ottawa game is part of the Kraft Hockeyville series, where rinks and hockey venues around North America were selected by voters to have an NHL preseason game and to receive arena upgrades. The winner of the Canadian Kraft Hockeyville series, the O’Leary Community Sports Centre in O’Leary, Prince Edward Island, will receive C$100,000 in rink upgrades and will host the preseason game between the Devils and Senators.
Only a few other teams have released their preseason schedules (to my knowledge), including Florida, Dallas, Winnipeg, Edmonton, and of course, Washington. I’m curious to see who the Flyers are playing with no Devils game.
An interesting idea came up earlier: what if the four major NHL teams in this area (Devils, Rangers, Flyers, and Islanders) hosted a preseason tournament since they all usually play one another anyway? I think it would be fun and I would definitely go. It’s a great way to build excitement for the upcoming season. A prospects tournament or rookie tournament would be fun too, and the clubs could sponsor a kids tournament to help grow the wonderful sport of hockey in the tri-state area. The area is blessed to have four amazing franchises in the same vicinity but the sport isn’t as popular as it could be (or should be). I hope they do develop something similar down the road; would you be interested in seeing an idea like that?
But the NHL offseason is officially underway. There is plenty going on in the hockey world within the next few weeks with trade rumors (and thus, actual trades), free agent signings, the entry-level draft, the expansion draft, and everything else NHL-related. I was only five years old the last time the NHL expanded so this is exciting for me and I’m eager to see how things go. But for now, is it October yet?