With the Colorado Avalanche hosting their media day Wednesday afternoon, the NHL season is officially upon us.
That means that if you haven’t already, it’s time to mark your calendars with the important dates for the 2023-24 season.
Avalanche Training Camp – Sept. 21-23
While training camp is technically only three days, the Avalanche will be holding large practices for much longer than that, as they’ll carry a pretty large roster into early October. These are just the big dates leading into preseason.
All training camp sessions are free and open to the public at Family Sports Center.
First Preseason Game – Sept. 24
I don’t recall the Avalanche ever holding their first preseason game in the afternoon, but that’s what will happen this Sunday, as Colorado will host the Minnesota Wild at 1 PM MST. Preseason is exciting…for about 5 minutes, and then you’re left wanting the regular season to start.
Season Opener – Oct. 11
Colorado Hockey Now will be live on site in Los Angeles, as the Avalanche will start their season on the road against the Kings. It’ll be our first look at Pierre-Luc Dubois in a Kings uniform, as well as the first regular season peek at the new forward core for Colorado.
Rematch Against The Kraken – Oct. 17
The final seven games the Avalanche played last season were against Seattle, with the Kraken ending their year in late April. The NHL schedule makers made sure to have the two teams face-off early and often to start this season, as three of Colorado’s first 14 games are against Seattle.
Will the Seattle fans still vigorously boo Cale Makar? We’ll find out pretty quickly.
Home Opener – Oct. 19
Fans won’t have to wait long to see first-overall pick Connor Bedard in action, as he’ll visit Colorado in their first game at Ball Arena. Under any other circumstance, opening the season at home against Chicago AGAIN would be extremely annoying, but at least this time fans will get to watch a future star do his thing.
Perhaps the futures bettors will be watching the NHL scores to keep tabs on Bedard’s over/under season point totals, too.
Bye Week/NHL All-Star Break – Jan. 27 – Feb. 4
The NHL now combines the bye week with the All-Star break, so you’ll be without NHL hockey for over a week. If your significant other wants to get away for a tropical vacation, this is the week for you to schedule it. You’re welcome.
Action starts to pick up after the All-Star break, as things can get a little dull in December/January.
NHL Trade Deadline – March 8
This was only recently made official, with an interesting wrinkle – the Avalanche will be one of eight teams schedule to play the night of the trade deadline. If they do make any moves on the actual deadline day, that player will have to hustle to get there in time. Colorado won’t be able to accrue cap space this season because of LTIR, so trades will be a little more difficult to make.
Last Game of the Regular Season – April 18
Colorado will finish off their regular season schedule at home against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers. After that, it’s straight into the best time of the year – the NHL playoffs.
NHL Draft – TBD
This always comes at the end of June, but as of right now, there is no official date for the draft. Las Vegas is expected to host the draft, but that has not been made official just yet.