CHICAGO – There are a lot of things that have to transpire before they can even get there, so the regular season might not be on the Blackhawks’ minds at the moment.
While the team is trying to answer a number of questions about the team on the ice in the draft and free agency over the next month, there is also the internal investigation into sexual assault allegations against former video coach Bradley Aldrich back in 2010.
After Stan Bowman spoke a bit about that publically for the first time since the reports of the allegations became public on Thursday, the NHL has now set the course for the Blackhawks 2021-2022 regular season.
The team will open up their campaign on the road against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver on Wednesday, October 13th. That will be the first of three road games to start the season, with contests against Eastern Conference opponents New Jersey (Friday, October 15th) and Pittsburgh (Saturday, October 16th) following.
Tuesday, October 19th will be the team’s home opener against the New York Islanders, which would be the team’s first regular season game with full capacity since March 11, 2020.
Unlike the 2021 season, which featured teams playing only within regional divisions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the regular 82-game slate returns with the Blackhawks returning to the normal Central Division. That means the return of the Blues to the schedule, whom the team will face on the road for the first time on Saturday, October 30th then host for the first time on Friday, November 26th.
Meanwhile, the Red Wings will only face the Blackhawks twice this season, with a game at the United Center on Sunday, October 24th then in Detroit on Wednesday, January 26th.
Duncan Keith will face the Blackhawks for the first time as a member of the Oilers on Tuesday, November 18th, then make his return to the United Center on Thursday, March 3rd.
The Stanley Cup champion Lightning come to Chicago for the only time on Sunday, March 6th with the Blackhawks making their trip to Tampa Bay on Friday, April 1st.
For the first time, the Blackhawks will face the expansion Seattle Kraken on the road on Monday, November 17th then host them at the United Center on Thursday, April 7th.
The season will finish up against the Sabres in Buffalo on Friday, April 29th, which is later than usual due to the Olympic break that will occur from February 3-24th. NHL players will once again have the opportunity to represent their country in the game in Beijing.