Blackhawks release 2021-22 schedule: Five games to circle originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
The Blackhawks can officially start looking ahead to the 2021-22 season after the league revealed the full 82-game schedule on Thursday.
So get out those sharpie markers and start circling those calendars! But first, here are a few quick notes:
- Two versions of the schedule were released to all 32 teams. Only one was made available to the public, which is the schedule that includes an Olympic break in February. It remains to be determined whether NHL players will participate or not.
- The NHL is going back to regular divisions, which means the Central Division will include Arizona, Chicago, Colorado, Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg.
- The Blackhawks' longest homestand of the season is five games (twice), from Jan. 31-March 3 and April 2-14.
- The Blackhawks' longest road trip of the season is four games (twice), from Nov. 17-23 and April 16-23.
- The Blackhawks have 13 back-to-back sets. They had 16 during the 2019-20 campaign.
Five dates to circle in order of how they appear on the schedule:
Wednesday, Oct. 13 at Colorado — Season opener
The Blackhawks will open the campaign with a three-game road trip that begins in Colorado against an Avalanche team that's likely to be the preseason Stanley Cup favorite. The divisional foes did not play each other last season because of the realigned divisions for the COVID-19-shortened season.
Tuesday, Oct. 19 vs. N.Y. Islanders — Home opener
Who's ready to hear the United Center roar again? The Blackhawks will host Barry Trotz's Islanders in their first home game of the season in Chicago, which will hopefully be at full capacity or close to it.
Wednesday, Nov. 17 at Seattle — First look at the Kraken
The Blackhawks are scheduled to play the NHL's 32nd franchise three times in the Kraken's inaugural season, with the first two matchups being played in Seattle. The lone game at the United Center will be played on Thursday, April 7 in the final few weeks of the regular season.
Friday, Nov. 26 vs. St. Louis — A rivalry renewed
The Blackhawks and Blues were in separate divisions last season, but the league has returned to normal divisions and the pair of divisional rivals will collide four times this season. Buckle up.
Thursday, March 3 vs. Edmonton — Duncan Keith returns to Chicago
A Conn Smythe Trophy winner. A two-time Norris Trophy recipient. A three-time Stanley Cup champion. Arguably the greatest defenseman in franchise history. Keith deserves the loudest ovation in his return to Chicago.