After taking a couple of days to really look over the Devils schedule (and listen to everyone complain about the surprise 4 games in Atlantic City), I noticed a few more things that I didn’t post on Friday:
-Before I start, I should mention I received a letter from the Devils yesterday concerning the 4 Atlantic City games. They have given season ticket holders 3 options on how to make up the four lost home games: 4 extra free vouchers (on top of the 5 we already get with our ticket package); the dollar value can be taken off next year’s season package or towards the 2013 playoffs; or a refund for those 4 games. And despite the looming lockout situation, the free New Jersey ticket is still on the table (but we’ll have to wait and see what happens there). Considering nobody was even warned of this, it’s a good thing we have options on what to do.
-Albany’s opening night opponent? Manchester. Who is Manchester’s parent club? Los Angeles. Well played, AHL schedule makers. The only other matchup of Stanley Cup final farm teams is January 11th in New Hampshire, by the way.
-I remember a member of the Devils front office saying he wanted to get more 5 PM Saturday games at home. He got his wish, all right. Out of the 12 home Saturday games, only 3 start at 7 PM. There are 8 5 PM games and one 2 PM start. The 2 PM game is January 26th against Adirondack, followed by a matchup between two local college rivals, RPI and Union, at 7 PM.
-Breaking down the March 3 in 3 schedule…3 out of 4 weekends are entirely on the road, with one full home weekend. Back to back weekends will find the Devils in Syracuse on a Saturday, bussing all night to Connecticut, then playing Bridgeport in a Sunday afternoon tilt. At least they start out the trips closer to Syracuse, in Rochester one weekend and Binghamton the next. No Syracuse-Adirondack-Syracuse trip this year, thank goodness.
-Like last year, only one road Wednesday game: December 19th at Bridgeport. The single Tuesday and Thursday games are also away: Thursday December 27th in Springfield and Tuesday February 5th in Hartford.
-First Sunday game of the season doesn’t arrive till Thanksgiving weekend, the first matchup in Atlantic City against the Penguins. Smart move after scheduling home games during football season last year. That killed early attendance figures. First Sunday home game in Albany is January 6th against the Senators.
Now we wait for the rest of the preseason schedule to come out…and keep an eye on NHL negotiations. It’s entirely possible that in less than a month there could be a lockout. And the trickle down effect will be very interesting to watch.