The start of the season will come on Jan. 19, next Saturday, according to Elliott Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada. Teams won't be allowed to open training camps before this weekend, although the league might push that date back until next Monday. The schedule, which will be 48 games long and consist only of intra-conference matchups, will be released within the next three days. A reporter for the Columbus Blue Jackets indicated that team was unaware of who they would open the season against, although there have been rumors that the opening Saturday of the year will contain matchups between various divisional rivals.
The Rangers and Devils look to go further this season after coming close to the Stanley Cup last year, with New Jersey losing to Los Angeles in a Finals sweep while the top-seeded Rangers lost 4-2 to the Devils in a closely contested conference finals. The Islanders will try to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2007.