Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins will celebrate their 2016 Stanley Cup victory with a banner-raising ceremony in front of one of the Penguins, and Crosby’s, greatest rivals: Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.
It will be the second Stanley Cup banner-raising ceremony for the Penguins during the Crosby era, but the first time one will be hoisted to the rafters of the CONSOL Energy Center ahead of the season. The Penguins three past championships came while the team was playing in Civic Arena, also known as the Mellon Arena. Two of the banners were raised during Mario Lemieux’s heyday, with the third coming in October 2010, early in Crosby’s career, in front of the New York Rangers.
The Penguins weren’t the only team to announce their home-opener Monday, though they’ll be the only team raising a Stanley Cup banner. All 30 teams announced their first home date of the 2016-17 season, and there are several other matchups that should make for excellent season debuts for the home sides.
For the Western Conference champion San Jose Sharks, who will be raising their first conference championship banner, the Los Angeles Kings will be in town to watch the ceremony on Oct. 12. It will mark the third-straight season the Sharks open up the season against the Kings, though the first time in those three meetings that it’s Los Angeles visiting San Jose. The meeting will have some extra meaning, too, as it was the Sharks who ousted the Kings from the post-season in five games.
In keeping with playoff rivalries — and rivalries in general — the Blackhawks will open on Oct. 12 against the St. Louis Blues, who sent Chicago packing in a seven-game opening-round series.
The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators will renew hostilities in Ottawa on Oct. 12, which could also very well be the start of a new era of Maple Leafs hockey featuring potential first-overall pick Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander and other fresh faces. As for Winnipeg Jets fans, they’ll get their first look at presumptive second-overall selection Patrik Laine as early as Oct. 15 when the Minnesota Wild come to town for the home-opener.
The most fun pair of openers, though, should be the season-starting set between the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. It doesn’t appear as though the teams will square off in consecutive games — there’s a three-day break between the home openers — but Edmonton will host Calgary on Oct. 12 with the Flames hosting the Oilers on Oct. 16. The Oilers' opener will be the first game played at the brand new Rogers Place.
The opening night of the season will feature four games, it appears, with Ottawa-Toronto, Chicago-St. Louis, Edmonton-Calgary, San Jose-Los Angeles being the slate for Oct. 12.
Find the complete list of home openers below, via NHL.com:
Anaheim Ducks: Sunday, Oct. 23 vs. Vancouver
Arizona Coyotes: Saturday, Oct. 15 vs. Philadelphia
Boston Bruins: Thursday, Oct. 20 vs. New Jersey
Buffalo Sabres: Thursday, Oct. 13 vs. Montreal
Calgary Flames: Friday, Oct. 14 vs. Edmonton
Carolina Hurricanes: Friday, Oct. 28 vs. NY Rangers
Chicago Blackhawks: Wednesday, Oct. 12 vs. St. Louis
Colorado Avalanche: Saturday, Oct. 15 vs. Dallas
Columbus Blue Jackets: Thursday, Oct. 13 vs. Boston
Dallas Stars: Thursday, Oct. 13 vs. Anaheim
Detroit Red Wings: Monday, Oct. 17 vs. Ottawa
Edmonton Oilers: Wednesday, Oct. 12 vs. Calgary
Florida Panthers: Thursday, Oct. 13 vs. New Jersey
Los Angeles Kings: Friday, Oct. 14 vs. Philadelphia
Minnesota Wild: Saturday, Oct. 15 vs. Winnipeg
Montreal Canadiens: Tuesday, Oct. 18 vs. Pittsburgh
Nashville Predators: Friday, Oct. 14 vs. Chicago
New Jersey Devils: Tuesday, Oct. 18 vs. Anaheim
New York Islanders: Sunday, Oct. 16 vs. Anaheim
New York Rangers: Thursday, Oct. 13 vs. NY Islanders
Ottawa Senators: Wednesday, Oct. 12 vs. Toronto
Philadelphia Flyers: Thursday, Oct. 20 vs. Anaheim
Pittsburgh Penguins: Thursday, Oct. 13 vs. Washington
San Jose Sharks: Wednesday, Oct. 12 vs. Los Angeles
St. Louis Blues: Thursday, Oct. 13 vs. Minnesota
Tampa Bay Lightning: Thursday, Oct. 13 vs. Detroit
Toronto Maple Leafs: Saturday, Oct. 15 vs. Boston
Vancouver Canucks: Saturday, Oct. 15 vs. Calgary
Washington Capitals: Saturday, Oct. 15 vs. NY Islanders
Winnipeg Jets: Thursday, Oct. 13 vs. Carolina