r1186273 600x400 3 2 - Replay Madness

From banner raising to outdoor games to a full plate on Thanksgiving, NHL fans can plan their season with the release of the 2023-24 league schedule Tuesday.

The reigning Stanley Cup champion Las Vegas Golden Knights face the Seattle Kraken on Oct. 10 to round out an opening-day slate.

Also on that first night could be the NHL debut of this year’s projected No. 1 overall pick in the NHL draft, Connor Bedard. Chicago — who own the first pick in Wednesday’s opening round — is slated to take on Pittsburgh, and most believe Bedard is NHL-ready.

Nashville — the host of said draft — kicks off the season with a tilt against Tampa.

All that and more was revealed by the league in Tuesday’s schedule release.

There’s a big change this year with 15 games slated for Thanksgiving on Nov. 23. Detroit vs. Boston and Rangers vs. Flyers get the day going. The league has traditionally taken Thanksgiving off.

Then of course there’s the usual slate of outdoor games. The Winter Classic will feature a rematch of that opening night Vegas-Seattle clash when the two most recent expansion teams tango at T-Mobile Park in Seattle on Jan. 1.

And for the first time since 2016, the NHL is holding two Stadium Series tilts — both at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey — between Philadelphia and New Jersey on Feb. 17, followed by the New York Rangers and New York Islanders on the 18th.

The NHL also goes international on two fronts: Los Angeles and Arizona travel down under to Melbourne, Australia on Sept. 23 and 24 for a pair of preseason tilts, while Detroit, Toronto, Ottawa and Minnesota are headed for Stockholm, Sweden from Nov. 16-19 for four games.

The Cup winner starting the new season has been tradition, but last year’s champions — the Colorado Avalanche — had to push their banner raising by a day due to a concert in their building on the league’s opening evening.

We have a rematch of this year’s Stanley Cup Final when the Golden Knights face the Panthers on Dec. 23.

The Panthers hosted All-Star Weekend last season, but the league’s best and brightest head north to Toronto for this year’s festivities from Feb. 2-3.

Some other schedule highlights:

• Former Boston Bruin Taylor Hall — who was traded to Chicago Monday — will see his old club for the first time when the Blackhawks finish off a back-to-back start to the year on Oct. 11 in Boston.

• If Chicago does in fact select Bedard, he makes his Windy City debut against the Bruins Oct. 21. Bedard would have another memorable first experience on Jan. 22 when the Blackhawks are set to clash with Bedard’s hometown Canucks in Vancouver.

• Will there be any extra bad blood between the Rangers and Devils this season after how New Jersey sent New York packing in their first-round playoff series? We’ll find out when they meet the first time on Nov. 18 in Jersey.

• Toronto will see old faces in new places: First, it’ll be former GM Kyle Dubas and his new Pittsburgh Penguins on Nov. 25, followed by the Leafs’ first meeting against former bench boss Mike Babcock — who’s set to join Columbus — since he was fired by the team in 2019 on Dec. 14.

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NHL schedule release features banners, Connor Bedard and Thanksgiving