The NHL announced the 2013-14 season schedule Friday, highlighted by the Chicago Blackhawks
raising their second Stanley Cup championship banner in four years, the return of outdoor games and the new conference and division alignment.
The regular season opens Oct. 1 with the Toronto Maple Leafs
visiting the Montreal Canadiens
. The Blackhawks will then raise their championship banner before taking on the visiting Washington Capitals
The schedule includes the return of outdoor games. Six outdoor games will be played starting with the NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1 when the Maple Leafs take on the Detroit Red Wings
at Michigan Stadium.
The league will break from Feb. 9-25, 2014, for the Olympics as more than 120 players are expected to represent their respective countries in the men's ice hockey tournament.
The 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs start April 16.
Training camp begins Sept. 11 and exhibition games start Sept. 13.
---Men's hockey teams in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, will again include NHL players.
The NHL and the league's players union reached an agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation to include the players.
It is the fifth straight Olympics that NHL players will be used in the Winter games, dating back to Nagano in 1998.
---The St. Louis Blues
agreed to terms on a two-year, $8.3 million deal with forward Chris Stewart
, who was a restricted free agent, according to CBC.
He will get $4.1 million next year and $4.2 million in 2014-15.
Stewart, 25, led St. Louis in scoring last year with 36 points in 48 games.
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- Toronto Maple Leafs
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- Montreal Canadiens
- Washington Capitals
- The Blackhawks