NHL to announce 2017-18 schedule this week – STLtoday.com

It’s a busy stretch in the NHL offseason this week, with the awards show and expansion draft Wednesday night, followed by the amateur draft Friday and Saturday.

Well, let’s not forget about the release of the 2017-18 schedule because after all, the reason the other events exist is because they play the games.

As the NHL has done in recent years, the league will announce the home openers of all teams Wednesday at 11 a.m. St. Louis time Wednesday, followed by the release of the full schedule Thursday at 2 p.m.

The schedule will be a bit different this season, with the addition of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, giving the NHL 31 franchises includes 15 in the Western Conference.

The seven-team Central Division will play 26 divisional games. Clubs will have two home and road games against four teams within the division, one series of three home games and two road games and one series of two home games and three road games. 

The Central Division will play three games each against all eight Pacific Division teams. That will include four series with two home games and one road game, and four with one home game and two road games for a total of 24 games.

The remaining 32 games on the 82-game schedule will be made up of a home-and-home set with each of the 16 teams in the Eastern Conference.

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PRESEASON SCHEDULE

The recently released Blues’ preseason schedule has a couple of highlights on it.

The eight-game slate includes a pair of matchups against former coach Ken Hitchcock, as well as games in neutral-site venues Belle Vernon, Pa., and Kansas City.

The schedule begins Sept. 19 against the Dallas Stars, now led by the ex-Blues boss. On Sept. 24, the Blues will be in Belle Vernon,

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