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10 Reasons Why You Should Be Excited About The Start Of The NHL Season

Hockey is coming.

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So Here's Why You Need to Get Excited for the NHL to Return

1. Ice Hockey is a Great (Perhaps the Greatest) Sport

View this video on YouTube

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View this video on YouTube

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View this video on YouTube

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If you are not already a fan of hockey, perhaps this is the year you come and join the fray.

If you are a fan of hockey, you know what I'm talking about.

4. The Winter Classic Comes Back

AP

The Red Wings and the Maple Leafs are scheduled to play in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2014, at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. This matchup was originally supposed to be played last season, but the lockout got in the way.

5. Speaking of Outdoor Games, More Outdoor Games

Ray Stubblebine / Reuters

Because why not. This is a huge gamble for the NHL, which has seen the Winter Classic increase interest in the sport. Whether the NHL can pack a bunch of stadiums each year will remain to be seen.

The 2014 NHL Stadium Series

January 25, 2014: Los Angeles Kings vs. Anaheim Ducks in Dodger Stadium

January 26, 2014: New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils in Yankee Stadium

January 29, 2014: New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders in Yankee Stadium

March 1, 2014: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins in Soldier Field

6. The Olympic Tournament

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

Okay, the Olympics and the NHL are kind of not the same thing, but the best of the NHL are heading to Sochi to represent their respective countries on the biggest international stage for the sport.

(Or Your Least Favorite Players are Coming Back)

9. The New League Alignment

Via tomfulery.com

There are now 4 divisions. The Atlantic (Blue) and Metropolitan (Yellow) are members of the Eastern Conference. The Central (Red) and the Pacific (Green) make up the Western Conference

With the Realignment, A Few Teams Moved

As are the Columbus Blue Jackets

Mike Blake / Reuters

In addition, the realignment, by eliminating two divisions, has the potential to create or build upon rivalries in the league. Other key rivalries, like that of Chicago and Detroit, will be potentially hurt.

Other Realignment Storylines

Chicago becomes the only Original Six team in the Western Conference

There are two more teams in the East than in the West

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