By Brandon Mileski
The 2013-14 Minnesota Wild schedule was released today as the team will start the season with four of the first five gams at home, beginning on October 3 when the Los Angeles Kings visit Xcel Energy Center. During the opening week, the Wild will see new division rivals. The Winnipeg Jets come to town on October 10 and the Dallas Stars two days later on October 12. The Wild will play a home-and-home series with new division rival and defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Chicago Blackhawks on October 26 in Chicago and then 2 days later on October 28 at the X.
Thanks to the new NHL Divisional alignments, the Wild will have 66 of their 82 games begin at or before 7:00PM which is a far change from the numerous late-night starts Wild rubes have had to endure when the team was in what was the Northwest division.
Because of the NHL Lockout-shortened season last year, the Western Conference did not play the Eastern Conference. That meant Zack Parise did not get to play his former team the New Jersey Devils. Parise will see the Devils for the first time since signing as a Free Agent with Minnesota on November 3 in St. Paul and will return to New Jersey for the first time on March 20.
The Wild play just five games in the month of February split by a 20 day gap (February 7-26) due to the Olympic Break in Sochi, Russia. The club will have 23 games remaining on its schedule after the Olympics, including 11 home games and 12 road contests. Nine of the Wild’s last 10 games come against the Western Conference
Minnesota finishes the season with three games at home, with the regular season concluding on April 13 when the Wild host the Nashville Predators. KFAN-FM 100.3 continues to be the radio home for Minnesota Wild Hockey.
Brandon Mileski can be heard weekdays noon-3pm on 100.3 KFAN and can be followed on twitter @BMileskiKFAN