Today was a busy day for the National Hockey League. First, it reached an agreement to have its players participate in next year’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. After that hurdle was cleared, the 2013-14 schedule and division names were released. The Eastern Conference will have the Atlantic and Metropolitan Divisions…Metropolitan, seriously? Of course, the Jackets play in the Metropolitan Division. The Western Conference will have the Central and Pacific Divisions.
The Blue Jackets open up the regular season on Friday, October 4 against the Calgary Flames. After playing five of their first seven games on the road, the Jackets play eight of their next nine at home. Former Blue Jackets Rick Nash, Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, and John Moore are set to return to Nationwide Arena on Thursday, November 7 when the Rangers come to town. Columbus doesn’t leave the Eastern Time Zone until game number 22, November 19 at Edmonton. In fact, the Jackets will play 68 of their 82 games in the Eastern Time Zone. Their longest road trip is five games, just before Thanksgiving. At Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, and Toronto. Their Jackets lone California trip (Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose) will be their last three games going into the Olympic Break. Click here for the complete 2013-14 Blue Jackets schedule.