NHL governors approve more logical schedule

What!! Two FEWER games against the Sabres next season?

The league release:

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The National Hockey League’s Board of Governors today approved a scheduling matrix which ensures that each Club will play every other Club a minimum of once per season. The format will go into effect for the 2008-2009 season.

Each Club will play the teams in its division three times at home and three times on the road, for a total of 24 games. Each Club will continue to play 40 games inside its conference but outside its division (10 opponents) twice at home and twice on the road. That brings the in-conference total to 64 games and maintains the integrity of a Conference-based playoff system.

The remaining 18 games in the 82-game schedule will involve each Club playing each Club in the other conference at least once, home or away, with the three remaining games being devoted to interconference “at-large” scheduling.

The format represents a change from the matrix approved by the Board for the 2005-06 campaign. That format called for four games (40 total) against each non-division conference opponent, eight games (32 total) against each in-division opponent and 10 inter-conference games – one game at home against each of the five clubs from a designated division and one game on the road against all five clubs from a different division.


  1. Fagstein says:

    It just makes so much more sense this way. As much as I love games against Boston, It’s nice to see them play Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton at least once a season.

    As for those three leftover games, how about they all just come over to my house and play here?

  2. HabsChick says:

    Let’s not forget Detroit and Chicago. Not seeing them every year is a damn shame as far as I’m concerned. I approve of the new schedule, especially now that it’s much easier to get tickets in Detroit. :)

    Speaking of which, I can hear my Wings fan co-worker screaming for joy as I write this! They got the raw end of the deal when they were moved to the West. This should minimize the bitching a bit. 😉

  3. Sbah Reverof says:

    It’s a step in the right direction at least. The western conference teams play a faster, more wide-open style, and here in the east we tend to use a trap style more often. Mixing it up over the course of the season is good for the game.

  4. Justin says:

    this is great news. more crosby to go around!

  5. leafs67_andcounting says:

    When’s the last time winter meetings were held in Edmonton, or Quebec or winnipeg?

  6. Ibleedbleublancetrouge. says:

    how about making this simple and playing every team in the east the same number of times? And maybe we can scrap the top seeds for division leaders.

  7. ajpursell says:

    I’m already planning my road trip to see them in San Jose in March and then to LA for both games, if this means I can make that a kind of annual thing I’m all for it. And you’ll still have rivalries, I’m not worried about not hating the Leafs as much because we see them only 6 times instead of hate.

  8. Naila Jinnah says:

    This is so very exciting!

  9. earl says:

    This does not address the standings integrity issue in this league.

    Until every team in a conference plays the same teams the same number of times the integrity of the conference standings can be questioned.

    Once again entertainment trumps everything else.

  10. showey47 says:

    all teams in the same conference are competing for the same playoff spots so all teams should play each other the same amount of times. Our division is probably the best division in the eastern conference especially with the sabres regaining form. To prove it we are 7-7-1 in our own division and 6-1-2 with the rest of the eastern conference. What would our record be if we were in a different division

  11. 24 Cups says:

    Pebble Beach, California – wow, there’s a hockey hotbed. Nice gig if you can pull it off. I’m sure all the governors remembered to take their sticks. Fore!

  12. JF says:

    You won’t have to wait long. Nashville played a very entertaining, up-tempo game against Ottawa last night. Theyn looked great, but I think their goal-tending is a bit suspect.

  13. Exit716 says:

    I personally can’t wait to see Nashville! They’ve got Radek Bonk a former Hab and they have some of Uncle George’s money which they used to sign Jason Arnott!!! Oh, don’t point that fact out to Predators fans or they will call you an ignorant Hockey Snob from Canada. Six teams can go tomorrow, please.

  14. Y says:


    For the Canadian teams, the 3 wildcard games will be against each other.
    Thus ensuring everyone in Canada gets to see the Habs at least once.


  15. jew4jah says:

    that’s freakin awesome!

  16. moser17 says:

    I haven’t thought this move through and through, but off the cuff, I think I like it, based solely on the notion that I really like the idea of playing Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver more often. Montreal/Calgary is just a good hockey game. I still recall ’89 ….

  17. teamplayer says:

    what was the old schedule before the lockout?

  18. Plek-Andrew says:

    Screw this!

    When’s Plekanec gonna wake up and start winning faceoffs lol

  19. Lee Hayes says:

    Thank the Lord!
    I wont have to travel all the way to Montreal next season!

    Go Habs Go

  20. jew4jah says:

    sadly, lee, we may still have to travel to montreal next year. while there will be a canucks – habs game next year, it may be at the bell centre.

  21. The Ian Cobb says:

    Lee, No need to thank me. But i am happy for you!

  22. Revolution No. 9 says:

    Well, it doesn’t fully solve the problem of seeing each team at home every year. Since you only play each team once, and it might be on the road, we might only see some Western teams here every other year.

    But I guess it’s reasonable. Otherwise you’d have to play 30 games out of 82 against opponents that you’re not fighting for playoff spots. That’s too big a percentage.

    It’s clearly a better plan that what we’ve had over the….

    ZZZZZZ– Oh!

    Sorry, I fell asleep remembering the month of NoSabre, er, I mean, November.

  23. GPK says:

    Hockey fans are funny. Before the recent changes, we all used to complain that we didn’t want to see Nashville on a Tuesday night, or Columbus on a Thursday night, because these games meant nothing. No history. No rivalry. The cry was always…More Leaf games! More Bruins games!
    Now, I guess, the latest wishes of fans have cme true. We’re going from seeing division rivals, real rivalries, 8 times a year to 6. And God bless the long-standing tradition of the Pheonix Coyotes! Coming soon to a Bell Centre near you…The Predators!! If 14 games a year against the biggest rivals worked in the Original 6, it works for me too! That’s when opposing players REALLY hated each other. (See: Rocket, The)
    My conclusion: When exactly are we going to see contraction?

  24. Chorske says:

    Couldn’t agree more. There’s maybe four or six teams I’d gladly lop off. And now there’s talk of moving a franchise (gawd I hate that word) to LAS friggin VEGAS. Las Vegas has no business having any WATER, let alone ICE.

    The answer to your question is, of course, over Bettman’s frozen corpse.

  25. Da Hema says:

    The Board of Governors should have discussed why it is that in the “new NHL”, forwards can slam into goalies with near impunity. Perhaps someone could explain why the NHL even bothers to paint the ice blue in the goalies’ creases. What is the point? I am getting very frustrated observing inconsistent officiating over this issue of goaltender interference. One game, you cast a glance at a goalie and it is a penalty, another game Jason Blake runs a goalie into the net and then Sundin “miraculously” scores while the goalie is flailing away deep in the net. This is just pure and simple bullshit. Dear Gary Bettman: either instruct the officials to enforce the goddamn rules or change them.
    “Play every game as if it is your last one.”
    –Guy Lafleur

    “Those were little monumental mistakes.”
    –Jean Perron

  26. T R F D says:

    If they really want to make the divisions worth something, they should go back to the old format where you had to play your way out of the division in the playoffs. Two divisions, top four teams in each make it.

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