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

Hockey is coming.

It’s Been a While Since the Puck Last Dropped

But Hockey is Just Around the Corner

The first preseason games are on Saturday, September 14 and the regular season gets going on Tuesday, October 1.

That is Just 3 Weeks From Now

If you are not Canadian, You May Still be Reveling in the Start of the Football Season

Jack Dempsey / AP

Or Maybe You are Busy with Baseball

Ronald Martinez / Getty Images

But Hockey is Ready for You and You are Ready for Hockey

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

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

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.

2. Hockey Fans Are Coming Back

John Gress / Reuters
Mark Blinch / Reuters
Gene J. Puskar / AP
Fred Greenslade / Reuters

3. This NHL Season Will Be a Full NHL Season

Lucas Jackson / Reuters

No labor negotiations this time around. Instead of 48 regular season games, we get all 82.

You Won’t Have To Do This

Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer / MCT

4. The Winter Classic Comes Back


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.

The United States has a chance to win.

If you want to get to know the players before the head to Russia, you should start watching now.

Bruce Bennett / Getty Images

Russia is Obviously Going to Want to Win on Home Soil

Ivan Burnyashev / Reuters

Or Will Canada Repeat to Win Gold?

Alex Livesey / Getty Images

Additionally, will Pittsburgh Penguins fans feel this conflicted again?

7. Hockey Jokes will Become Relevant Again

8. Your Favorite Players are Coming Back

Jason Cohn / Reuters
Nick Wass / AP
Harry How / Getty Images
Brian Snyder / Reuters
Adam Hunger / Reuters
Andy Clark / Reuters
The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes / AP
Brian Snyder / Reuters

(Or Your Least Favorite Players are Coming Back)

9. The New League Alignment

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

Winnipeg has Gone West

Chuck Myers / MCT

The Red Wings are Coming East

Jeff Haynes / Reuters

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

10. Hockey is Awesome!

Is that clear?

So Don’t Worry!

Hockey will Soon Be Here

And Then…

Phil Noble / Reuters

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