Wild to open season October 3 against Kings

  • Updated: July 19, 2013 - 1:25 PM

Wild fans in January

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

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The Wild will open the upcoming season Oct. 3 against Dustin Brown and the Los Angeles Kings, take part in the new Central Division and break for 18 days for the Winter Olympics in February.

The Wild will open the upcoming season Oct. 3 against the Los Angeles Kings, take part in the new Central Division and have 20 days off for the Winter Olympics in February.

These were just some of the highlights Friday when the NHL made it official that its players will take part in the Winter Olympics for the fifth time and the schedules for all 30 teams were announced.

The Wild opens the 82-game, 2013-14 campaign with four of the first five games at home and concludes with a three-game homestand.

It has no road trip longer than four games, but five of those. It also has three four-game homestands. The toughest stretch will be from Jan. 21-April 7 when the Wild plays 17 of 28 games on the road.

Some of the schedule features:

Zach Parise returns to New Jersey for the first time March 20 and the Wild will be in Dallas on March 8 when the Stars retire former North Star Mike Modano’s No. 9.

• Former Wild center Matt Cullen returns to Minnesota for the first time with Nashville on Oct. 22, Devin Setoguchi returns for the first time with Winnipeg on Oct. 10 and Cal Clutterbuck and Pierre-Marc Bouchard return with the Islanders on Dec. 29.

• Former Pittsburgh Penguin Matt Cooke will host Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the Penguins on April 5.

As part of its new division, the Wild will leave the former Northwest Division and be grouped with the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues and Winnipeg Jets. Sixty-seven games will start at 7 p.m. or earlier, a sharp contrast when the Wild typically traveled to Northwest Division opponents three times a season and every Pacific Division team twice.

Every NHL team will play home and away against the other conference, meaning fans will get to see every team in the league.

In the West, the first three teams in each of the two divisions make the playoffs. There will then be two wild-card teams determined by the next two teams with the highest points.

The NHL will interrupt its season starting Feb. 9 and return to play Feb. 26 after the Olympics in Sochi. The Wild has no games scheduled from Feb. 7-26. The Wild should be well represented in the Olympics and could have as many eight players participate.

Parise, a captain contender, and Ryan Suter are shoo-ins to play for the United States, while Jason Pominville, born in Canada but with dual citizenship, is a roster contender.

Mikko Koivu could captain Finland, while Niklas Backstrom and Mikael Granlund are contenders. Nino Niederreiter is a shoo-in for Switzerland, while Jonas Brodin has already been invited to Sweden’s summer Olympic camp.

Parise and Suter won silver at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, while Koivu and Backstrom won bronze and silver respectively in 2010 and 2006 in Turin, Italy. Backstrom turns 36 on Feb. 13. With Pekka Rinne and Antti Niemi also options for Finland, Backstrom could be a long shot unless there are injuries.

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Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Brooklyn 109 FINAL
Boston 107
Cleveland 92 4th Qtr 2:45
Orlando 85
Indiana 68 3rd Qtr 2:55
Detroit 82
Milwaukee 79 3rd Qtr 2:47
Atlanta 52
Houston 50 3rd Qtr
Memphis 57
San Antonio 44 3rd Qtr
New Orleans 48
Charlotte 40 3rd Qtr
Oklahoma City 59
LA Lakers 21 2nd Qtr 10:00
Dallas 30
Minnesota 8:00 PM
Philadelphia 9:00 PM
Phoenix 9:00 PM
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 14 2nd Qtr 9:05
UCF 10
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(15) Arizona State 12/27/14 1:10 PM
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
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