The NHL released the schedule for the upcoming season, and for fans of the Jackets, you can't help but be excited with what you see. Some highlights:
- The Jackets are now in the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference. The "Metro" Division.
- The league will shutdown for the Olympics between February 9th-25th.
- The playoffs start on April 16, 2014.
- October 4, 2013 vs. Flames - Season and home opener,
- October 5, 2013 at Islanders - First game against a Metro Division opponent.
- October 20, 2013 to November 9, 2013 - The Jackets play eight of nine at home. Four games at home against the Canucks, Devils, Leafs, Ducks, followed by an away game against the Penguins, then back home for another four against the Penguins, Senators, Rangers and Islanders.
- November 7, 2013: The first game of the season against the Rangers, in Columbus. The return of Rick Nash, not to mention Scott Arniel, Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, John Moore, Anton Stralman and perhaps Sunshine Johnson.
- November 17, 2013 to November 25, 2013 - Five game roadie, starting in Ottawa, then out West to Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver, ending in Toronto.
- December 31, 2013 - No New Year's Eve game in Columbus. Jackets are in Colorado to face the Avs.
- January 13, 2014 to February 1, 2014 - The Jackets play 8 of 11 at home. Likely the most crucial stretch of the season.
- March 6, 2014 - First game against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks
- The Jackets final five regular season games break down like this: home against the Blackhawks, home to face the Isles, with the final home game on April 8, 2014 against Phoenix. The final two games are on the road in Tampa and Miami.
- Final regular season game against the Panthers is on April 12, 2014.
The schedule looks great at first blush. Two big home stands, little Western travel, lots of new and exciting opponents, not to mention the Olympics. The Jackets have no complaints, schedule-wise, for the first time in franchise history. It's their time.