canadiensThe Canadiens will host the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre to open the 2013-2014 season.  It is the fourth year in a row the two rivals have started their schedule against each other.

However, they will not wrap up their season against Toronto as they have in recent years.  The Canadiens will finish their regular season at home against the Rangers on Saturday April 12th.

Still on the schedule is what has become a traditional Canadiens lengthy road trip over the Christmas/New Year’s holiday period.  The Canadiens will start a six game road trip in St. Louis on December 19th followed by Nashville before Christmas day and then it’s Tampa Bay, the Florida Panthers and Carolina before returning to the Bell Centre against Dallas January 4th.

The league announced it’s schedule only hours after NHL/IIHF/IOC agreement regarding participation in the 2014 Winter Olympics.  The Habs will take an 18 day break for the games from February 8th when they play at Carolina until their schedule resumes at home against Detroit February 26th.

The Canadiens will be playing what will be called the Atlantic Division along with Toronto, Ottawa, Buffalo, Detroit, Boston and the two Florida teams. (Why the “Atlantic Division” when only Boston and Florida are anywhere near the Atlantic Ocean is beyond me.  Even Tampa is on the Gulf of Mexico).    The other three divisions will be known as the Metropolitan,  Central and Pacific.

After opening night against the Leafs on opening night the Canadiens will host Philadelphia Saturday October 5th before heading out on a four game tour of western Canada with games in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg.  They’ll conclude an eleven game month of October with 6 of the remaining 7 games at home.  (Full Canadiens schedule here)   (You can find their Pre-Season Schedule here)

In the re-aligned NHL, the Metropolitan division will include the Washington Capitals, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Central has the Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues.

The Pacific has Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, San Jose , Los Angeles, Phoenix and Anaheim.