After a series for the ages against the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference finals, you'd think that the first time the Blackhawks and Kings meet again would top the list of games to watch next season.
Close, but not quite. Not when the Hawks are playing in the Winter Classic against the Capitals in Washington on Jan. 1.
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"It's an honor to be selected by the NHL to participate in the 2015 Winter Classic," said Blackhawks president and CEO John McDonough. "This is another marquee event for the Blackhawks, and we're looking forward to spending New Year's Day in our nation's capital."
A return trip to the Classic is but one of many games of interest on the 2014-15 schedule. And here's a reminder: Monday through Saturday home games are reverting to a 7:30 p.m. faceoff. Among the regular-season highlights:
• The Hawks will start the season Oct. 9 on the road in Dallas and two days later return to the United Center for the home opener against Buffalo.
• The annual circus trip -- a six-game trek from Nov. 20-29 -- will wrap up with a rematch against the Kings in L.A. But that's not the longest road trip of the season: The Hawks take a seven-game swing that begins in Pittsburgh on Jan. 21 and wraps up Feb. 8 in St. Louis.
• Playoff rematches: The Blues' first trip into Chicago will be Dec. 3, while Minnesota is here Dec. 16. The Kings, however, don't visit Chicago until March 30.
• The regular season concludes with a pair of tough ones against the Blues and Colorado on April 9 and 11.