Some must-see games on Chicago Blackhawks 2016-17 schedule

  • The Chicago Blackhawks will open the 2016-17 NHL season at home against the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 12, then travel to Nashville for the Predators' home opener on Oct. 14.

      The Chicago Blackhawks will open the 2016-17 NHL season at home against the St. Louis Blues on Oct. 12, then travel to Nashville for the Predators' home opener on Oct. 14. Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer/file

Updated 6/22/2016 9:44 AM

You've got to hand it to the NHL, at least when it comes deciding who the Blackhawks should open their 2016-17 season with next October.

Yes, it's the St. Louis Blues, the team that eliminated the Hawks in the Stanley Cup playoffs. It's the perfect opponent for 22,000 frenzied fans at the United Center and millions more watching on TV to vent as coach Joel Quenneville's team ushers in a new campaign.


The league announced that matchup Monday, then released the entire schedule Tuesday. The Hawks don't have an extended homestand (the longest is four games and it happens four times), and their longest road trip is a seven-gamer from Nov. 15-26.

Two other interesting things about the schedule:

• The Hawks have only one home game between Jan. 27 and Feb. 22. After the All-Star Game in Los Angeles on Jan. 29, the Hawks have a six-game road trip, return to play Edmonton on Feb. 18, then play at Buffalo and Minnesota on Feb. 19 and 21, respectively.

• The Hawks finish the year with three road games: at Colorado, Anaheim and Los Angeles. The finale vs. the Kings is a 9:30 p.m. (CDT) start on April 8.

Here's a look at 10 must-see games fans should circle on their calendars.

1 -- Wednesday, Oct. 12 vs. St. Louis,

7 p.m.

Vladimir Tarasenko. Troy Brouwer. Ken Hitchcock yapping away. What more do could you ask for out of a season opener?

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2 -- Sunday, Oct. 30 vs. Los Angeles, 6 p.m.

With no Bears game (they play the next night vs. Minnesota), Chicagoans can focus their attention on the still-hated Kings.

3 -- Sunday, Nov. 6 vs. Dallas, 6 p.m.

This is the first of three times the Hawks will host Patrick Sharp and the defending Central Division champs. (The other games are Dec. 11 and March 23).

4 -- Friday, Nov. 11 vs. Washington,

7:30 p.m.

Fifty-goal scorer Alex Ovechkin vs. soon-to-be MVP Patrick Kane is a must-see event every season.

5 -- Monday, Jan. 2 at St. Louis, noon

What would an NHL season be without a Blackhawks outdoor game? This will be the team's third Winter Classic and should give fans everything they want out of a hockey game.


6 -- Tuesday, Jan. 10 vs. Detroit, 7:30 p.m.

It remains a cardinal sin that the NHL can't figure out a way to get the Red Wings and Hawks to play more than twice a season.

7 -- Saturday, Feb. 18 vs. Edmonton,

6 p.m.

Here is the only chance for Hawks fans to see Connor McDavid at the United Center. It will be interesting to see how much he improves in his second season.

8 -- Wednesday, March 1 vs. Pittsburgh,

7 p.m.

Sidney Crosby and the defending champs come to town right after the league trade deadline passes. Figures to make for an interesting couple days.

9 -- Saturday, March 4 at Nashville, 7 p.m.

Winter's dragging on. It's cold, miserable. So get the heck out of here and go see this game in Nashville, one of the best cities for adults young and old to have a heckuva time.

10 -- Sunday, April 2 vs. Boston,

11:30 a.m.

A clash between Original Six teams on national TV closes out the home portion of the Blackhawks' schedule. About a week-and-a-half later, Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Corey Crawford and Co. figure to take another run at Lord Stanley's Cup.

• Follow John's reports on Twitter @johndietzdh.

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