Oilers' opener, P.K.'s return among notable games in 2016-17 NHL season

Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban warms up before an NHL hockey preseason game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. Subban's return to Montreal is among the notable games in 2016-17 NHL season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ AP/Mark Humphrey

The 2016-17 NHL season kicks off Oct. 12. Here are five games to circle on your calendar:

OCT. 12


All opening nights are big, but the Oilers' is extra special because it will be the first regular-season game played at its sparkling new arena, Rogers Place.

It's only natural to officially open the rink with another chapter in the Battle of Alberta.

It promises to be a big season for the Oilers, with a load of young talent led by 2015 first-overall pick Connor McDavid in his sophomore year, looking poised to become winners again.


OCT. 23


The Heritage Classic sees the Jets play host to the Oilers outdoors at Investors Group Field, home of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

What better opponent could be found than the youthful Oilers to face a home side boosted by the arrival of second-overall draft pick Patrik Laine?


JAN. 1


Top draft pick Auston Matthews will be showcased on the rebuilding Maple Leafs at the Centennial Classic, which will celebrate the league's 100th anniversary.

The outdoor matchup with the Original Six-rival Red Wings at BMO Field knocked the annual Winter Classic (St. Louis vs Chicago) to Jan. 2.

It'll be their second outdoor meeting, as Toronto topped Detroit 3-2 in a shootout in 2014 before 105,491 at Michigan Stadium.




All eyes will be on P.K. Subban, as usual, when he makes his return to the Bell Centre as a Nashville Predator.

The flashy defenceman will surely be looking to put on a show for fans of his former team after his shock trade to the Preds for Shea Weber.

The low-key Weber will have his own special moment when the Canadiens visit Nashville on Jan. 3.




It's the final regular-season game at Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings' home since 1980, before they move to the new Little Caesars Arena for the 2017-18 campaign.

The Canadiens visit one night before the Wings-Devils game.

Toronto (April 1) and Ottawa (April 3) will also be among the last teams to play at Joe Louis.

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