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And now, the schedule

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First, the Red Wings, then the annual State Fair road trip.

That's how the Hurricanes' schedule opens -- with games against Florida (home, Oct. 10), Tampa (away, Oct. 11) and Detroit (home, Oct. 13) before the Canes head out on a six-game road trip that includes games on both coasts to avoid the N.C. State Fair.

Erik Cole returns to the RBC Center with the Oilers on Nov. 1 and the Canes host the Thrashers in the now-traditional New Year's Eve game.

Here's a pdf of the schedule. Other teams are available at nhl.com.

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Weekend games

I love the weekend games...just wish the Sunday games were a bit more spread out over the season rather than SIX Sundays in a row.

Complimentary Preseason Game?

Anyone hear which of the preseason games is complimentary this year?

Blackhawks

My only complaint - Chicago is not on the home schedule.
This was the year we were supposed to have all the Western Conference Central Division teams in.

new format

Actually, the league dropped that schedule format this season after a full three-year rotation. The Blackhawks should be in Raleigh next season.

Opponents in 2nd game of back to backs

Just noticed that 4 of our 6 games with Tampa Bay are the 2nd game of back-to-back series. Only twice do the Lightning play us as the second game of a back-to-back series.

Interesting...

Fewer division games after the break - other observations

By my count, it looks like only 9 of the last 34 games after the break are against the Southeast. The last two weeks are almost exclusively Canes vs NY (area). In other words, we will be playing the perenially tougher divisions down the stretch.

Hope the Canes come out hot. I suspect points will be hard to come by late in the season. Another Nov/Dec meltdown will probably nix playoffs for the third straight year.

The western conf visitors look intruiging - Detroit, Edmonton, Phoenix, St. Louis, Columbus, Nashville, Calgary (did I miss any?). I haven't seen some of those teams in a while so I am lookin forward to their visits.

Hopefully 08-09 be an productive season for the team! Go Canes!

Sorry, make that 10 of last 34...

At any rate, same observation applies. Tough finishing stretch.

Team choice

The teams get to indicate what days they prefer to play. I remember reading last year that managment prefers the Friday-Sunday set up because they have 2 weekend games without having to play back-to-back games to get them.

I like the home schedule,

I like the home schedule, it's a good mix between weeknight and weekend (both afternoon and evening) games. I also like the fact that we don't finish the regular season playing the SE division teams like 8 games in a row, like we did last season. Of course we have that long road trip in the beginning (courtesy of State Fair), but I kinda like that too - it builds team's character!

Schedule

I see there are more Saturday and Sunday games with afternoon or early evening starts than previous seasons...good for a few reasons.

Organizationally - Better chance of sellouts. A weekend mini-plan could attract folks from Greensboro, Charlotte, Wilmington, etc.

Fans - Better chance for some good promotions and with the afternoon starts in the winter - some great tailgate and postgate parties ahead.

Bingo!

You are absolutely correct.  The only people who should complain about weekend games are those people who work on the weekends.  This schedule is great.

one downfall

Weekend games also help out of town folks come down.  The April 4th game vs. Pittsburgh will have a lot of folks from Pittsburgh coming down.

 

I should know I've already had friends from back home in Pittsburgh, e-mail me today saying they're coming down.

I don't think all these

I don't think all these Sunday's in November is good.. it is going to conflict big time with the NHL.. if this was in February or March than it would be much better..

There's a great invention.

There's a great invention.  Perhaps you've heard of it.

 It's called a DVR, and it's like magic.  You can set it to record a TV show while you're not home, and then when you get home, you can watch the show you missed.  And it's really cool because you can skip past the commercials.

Sunday Games

Yes there are a lot of them, but if you look the majority are home games. Almost certainly being done to make up for the two weeks of no homes games in October when the State Fair is on. Personally I'd rather not be fighting my way through fair traffic to see the games.

Welcome Back Erik!

I would imagine November 1st is going to be a huge afternoon as Erik Cole makes a return trip to the Big ATM.

schedule

Saw the schedule and for me there are way too many Sunday games. Six Sundays in a row is too many. I know that there are those who like Sunday games. Just don't include me in that group

Wow - Sorry

I guess the league and JR should have called you before the schedule came out.  I would think weekend games would be better.  You don't have to rush out of work, and if the weather is nice, you can tailgate and enjoy some family time in a nice outdoor atmosphere. 

Weekend games are better in

Weekend games are better in a lot of respects for the reasons you mentioned.  However, November is not the best time of the season to have almost all of the Sunday afternoon games.  There is another sport played at that time of year that is much more popular in this area than hockey and only takes place on Sunday.  I'll use my tickets for those games as trade ins and watch my G-Men.

Back to Back 2

Sorry, 14 sets of back-to-back...still less than last year.

Back to Back

Thankfully it looks like only 10 sets of back-to-back games this season.  The last two years were more like 17/18 - seemingly way more than anyone else.

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About the blogger

Luke has worked for The N&O since 2000. He covered the Carolina Hurricanes and the NHL before becoming a sports columnist in August 2008. A native of Evanston, Ill., he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He can be reached at (919) 829-8947, @LukeDeCock on Twitter or luke.decock@newsobserver.com.
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