- The NHL finally released the upcoming season's schedule yesterday, which was met with general relief. Remember, the NHL had to finalize their agreement to participate in the upcoming Olympics before they could release the schedule, and since it's July and no news is filtering through fans got antsy.
- The big dates aren't a surprise. John Tortorella's first visit back to MSG should be very, very interesting to say the least. I'm wondering how the Rangers faithful are going to treat Tortorella. I'm sure the Rangers might give him a tribute of sorts, but I would be surprised if he was booed. I think a lot of fans liked Tortorella, but it's certianly going to be interesting.
- I'm also very much so looking forward to the Rangers first home game against Columbus. I think Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky will get nice receptions. I think Marian Gaborik will get the best reception of the three. I would be shocked (and disappointed) if he didn't get a standing ovation.
- Rick Nash's return to Columbus will be fun to watch. Same goes for Derick Brassard and John Moore. Brassard ruffled some Columbus feathers when he talked about how nice it was to play in a full arena every night and how much he loved playing in a hockey-crazed city like New York. A lot of Columbus fans weren't happy with that. I bet he gets a good round of boos.
- Also very curious to see how the Vancouver fans treat Alain Vigneault when he returns to his former team. He did a lot of good things there and should get a pretty good reception. You never know, though. These things always interest me, so it will be fun to watch.
- The Rangers play just one game on Long Island. Just one. Remember, the Rangers are technically on the road in their matchup with the Islanders at Yankee Stadium. Same thing for their game against the Devils there. The Rangers help the NHL with their attendance and ability to make money. It makes sense to give them two extra home games.
- Ryane Clowe's return to New York should be interesting, no?
Well, those are my favorite upcoming games next year. What are yours?